Scottish expatriate on run through Borders in bid to raise £35,000 for children’s charity

Charity fundraiser John McGurk, front right, and his team of runners and helpers.
Charity fundraiser John McGurk, front right, and his team of runners and helpers.

A charity fundraiser will be on the run in the Borders next month as part of a bid to raise £35,000 for Children 1st.

Expatriate Scot John McGurk plans to run 560 miles from his current homeland of Germany to his former home city of Glasgow, accompanied by six other runners, all doing the equivalent of a marathon a day.

The kilt-clad 53-year-old will be in the Borders on Sunday, June 5, after running overnight from Dumfries to Kelso, taking in Hawick, Newton St Boswells and Denholm.

They will stop off at Kelso’s Roxburghe Hotel to meet youngsters there and raise awareness of the charity, before heading on, at about 9.30am, to Chirnside via Eccles, Blackadder and Edram.

The former soldier, once a squaddie with the King’s Own Scottish Borderers but now a paper mill worker in Osnabrück in Lower-Saxony, said: “I may live in Germany, but I’m still a true and proud Scotsman.

“I survived a traumatic childhood and chose Children 1st because it works with abused children and those whose lives are blighted by poverty.

“The work it does is all about helping children recover from trauma or helping families who need support. That’s what needs addressed, and what I want to change.”

Donations can be made online at www.justgiving.com/1in3run

John added: “We will hopefully be meeting some local children because that’s what it’s all about.

“When I read that one in five children in Scotland is living in poverty, that just blew me away.

“I wanted to do something to raise awareness as well as money, so I got my trainers out and planned this run.

“Children 1st is a great charity, with a local service in the Borders. It works hard for children, young people and their families, and I want to raise as much money as I can for it.”

At the Ahlstrom paper mill in Chirnside, staff will present their colleague John with a cheque before he and his team head off at 2.30pm for East Lothian.

To follow his progress, look for @Children1st on Twitter.

John has already raised almost €1m for children’s organisations worldwide and is £335 of the way towards his current £35,000 target.

Alison Todd, chief executive of Children 1st, said: “I hope that people will get behind John as he makes his way through the Borders.

“By doing so, you’ll help children who, like John, have had their lives impacted upon by poverty and abuse.”