The Angry Corrie 24: Sep-Oct 1995

Gordon Pierson of Boots Across Scotland writes:

We would like to thank TAC for giving us the chance to let more hillgoers know about Boots Across Scotland, as it has become apparent that there are many people who, as yet, are unaware of our existence. "Boots", as we are commonly known, is a trust fund with charitable status, which has three clears aims and terms of reference:

  1. To offer help and practical support to injured hillgoers which will improve their quality of life
  2. To support Mountain Rescue Teams with funding to allow them to carry out their work as efficiently as possible
  3. To offer support in other areas, closely related to hillgoing

"Boots" started in 1988 with a sponsored event which tried to have hillgoers on top of all 277 Munros on the same day, at the same time. This was in an attempt to support a hillgoer, Davy Pearson, who had suffered severe injuries in a fall in Glen Etive. Over 2000 people took part in that original event and in excess of 76000 was raised. A very great feeling of shared endeavour and purpose were the hallmarks of the event, which we are committed to reorganising every four years. 1992 saw over 2000 people again taking on the challenge and raising considerable funding which has allowed us to carry out our aims.

Since 1988 we have helped several hillgoers with particular needs, and equipment has ranged from a specially converted caravanette to specialised seating and wheelchairs. We have also managed to arrange for people with particular requirements to enjoy outdoor activities. Support for MRTs has been another major initiative for "Boots", and over the past few years our total funding has topped 30000. Many teams have been assisted, and this year's donation of 6000 was split between teams around the country.

"Boots" has also been very active in other areas, with a strong commitment to trying to prevent mountaineering accidents. We have been organising successful winter skills courses, navigation courses and first-aid lectures. Major initiatives include our travelling Winter Safety Lectures: these have been touring the country over the past five years and have taken us to many corners, letting people hear a no-nonsense, commonsense message of the potential dangers of hillgoing, especially in winter.

"Boots" is organised and run by a committee of, in the main, keen hillgoers with broad interests. We are all volunteers with a commitment to offering something back to a pastime which gives us something special. We also try to be as open and accountable as possible and are always keen to hear ideas and suggestions which will fit in with our aims.

Although "Boots" receives donations, our major fundraising effort is the four-yearly event. The next will be on 26th May 1996, our aim being to make this event "A Day for the Hills". Although the main theme will be another attempt on all the Munros, this does not preclude other people being involved, tackling their own challenge. We realise there are people who may not necessarily be keen on going onto the tops, but would like to become involved and take on their own event, all linked to the day. Whether it be walking a glen or tackling Tinto, all will be welcome.

In 1988 and 1992 we missed climbing all 277 Munros by two and three hills respectively. Hopefully we can complete a successful attempt on 26th May 1996, and hopefully we can continue to offer the type of support and help which we have been doing these past few years. If anyone would like to know more, then they can receive our twice-yearly newsletter absolutely free by contacting: Gordon Pierson, 97 Braes View, Denny, Stirlingshire FK6 5NG, 01324-823041.

Gordon Pierson

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