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Calling All Ladies Join Lorraine Kelly For 100K Charity Stroll

Friday, 06 February 2009

Staff at Specsavers stores throughout Scotland have joined forces with Strathcarron Hospice to seek out 1,500 women for a special charity walk with TV star, Lorraine Kelly.

The 'Here Come the Girls' Ladies Midnight Walk will take a route around the historic sites of Stirling to raise money for the nearby Strathcarron Hospice in May. In addition to its role as main sponsor for the event itself, nearly 100 female Specsavers employees will participate in the walk. It is hoped that the ladies will generate £100,000 as they cover up to 10 moonlit miles around the picturesque city.

TV personality Lorraine Kelly, who is a great supporter of Strathcarron Hospice, will head the midnight walk. It is the first fundraising venture of its type for any hospice in Scotland. Says Lorraine: 'The walk is a great way of helping to shed those extra pounds gained over the festive period - and not only will our ladies be supporting a wonderful cause, they can also get fitter!' 

Lorraine continues: 'It's good to have a goal to aim for, and taking part in the walk encourages you to go out, even if it's raining and you don't feel like doing any exercise.  I always find that walking is a great stress buster, especially when I'm with friends as we can have a big catch up and chat all the way!'     

Strathcarron Hospice opened its doors in 1981 with the aim of improving the lives of patients throughout central Scotland who face life-limiting illnesses. Hospice staff take a holistic approach towards the needs of both patients and relatives, and are always on hand to provide support, whether it be emotional, physical, psychological or otherwise.

Strathcarron fundraising manager, Angela Gillies, says: 'This is a very exciting event and one which we're confident will appeal to lots of women, as the emphasis is firmly fixed on simply having fun. 

'We need £100,000, to cover just two weeks of running costs for the hospice, and so events like this one are absolutely fundamental to help us continue to provide a high level of care. We're thrilled to have Specsavers supporting the event, not just in terms of the financial backing they've provided, but more importantly through the pledge to participate in the walk that many members of staff have so enthusiastically embraced.

'Needless to say, we are extremely grateful for their support, and hope that we may be able to role out the initiative as an ongoing annual event if we can make this year's walk a real success.'  

The walk will start out at Stirling County Rugby club, where hospice staff will provide a varied line up of entertainment in the clubhouse, prior to the walk to get the ladies warmed up and in the mood for fun.  Massages, aerobics and musical acts will be among the activities happening before the walk along with a few other surprises. Angela adds: 'There will be no time limit on the walk, just come along and have fun whilst raising money for the hospice!'

Specsavers regional chair for Scotland, Peter Carson, says:  'We are delighted to be able to help Strathcarron Hospice by raising funds in such a fun way. Female staff at stores throughout Scotland are thrilled to be taking part and I'm very proud that everyone is displaying such wonderful camaraderie in their support of such a great cause. Hopefully our male colleagues won't get too jealous of the "ladies only" aspect to the walk - though I will be encouraging them to volunteer to help out as stewards!'


Anyone interested in taking part and who is over the age of 16 can call Angela at the hospice on 01324 826222 between 9am and 5pm or email enquiries@strathcarronhospice.org for further information and a registration pack. Applicants may also download a registration form from the website at www.strathcarronhospice.org. It's only £15 to register to take part and a minimum of £30 in sponsorship funds is required. All participants will receive a special branded T-shirt, a medal, goody bag and breakfast on finishing the walk.  Any men interested in volunteering as a steward/marshal for the event can contact the hospice direct.

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 Specsavers notes to editors                                               

  • Specsavers was founded by Doug and Dame Mary Perkins in 1984 and is now the largest privately owned opticians in the world
  • The couple still run the company, along with their three children. Their eldest son John is joint managing director
  • Specsavers has more than 1,260 stores throughout the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Australia and New Zealand
  • Annual turnover for the Specsavers Group is forecast to reach a record £1.05 billion for the financial year 2008/9
  • The group plans to continue its successful international expansion by opening stores in New Zealand
  • Specsavers optical stores and hearing centres are owned and run by joint venture or franchise partners.
  • Specsavers employs more than 26,000 staff
  • Specsavers was voted Britain's most trusted brand of opticians for the seventh year running by Reader's Digest in 2008
  • One in three people who wear glasses in the UK buy them from Specsavers Opticians - eight and a half million glasses were sold during 2007
  • Specsavers is the largest retail provider of home delivery contact lenses in Europe and one of the top two retail suppliers of continuous wear lenses in the world
  • Specsavers is now the largest retail dispenser of digital hearing aids in the UK and will offer a hearing service from more than 400 locations by the end of 2008
  • Specsavers supports numerous optical and hearing charities, including Diabetes UK, for whom they have raised more than £250,000 to fund research into diabetic retinopathy
  • Since 2003 a quarter of a million glasses have been collected and recycled by Specsavers stores for Vision Aid Overseas for use in developing countries