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Highland fundraising hero steps out for heart and stroke charity

By Hector MacKenzie

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George Macleay with Nathan Dick, Vinnie Wood and Katie Dick at Cromarty. Picture: Pete Deigan
George Macleay with Nathan Dick, Vinnie Wood and Katie Dick at Cromarty. Picture: Pete Deigan

A Highlander who got the idea to step out for a cause close to his heart while churning out extra miles during the coronavirus lockdown has delighted a local charity with his efforts.

Cost accountant George Macleay was hailed a fundraising superhero after ringing up a £1800 boost for Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland in a poignant tribute to his own parents and those of his wife, Deirdre, who were all lost to stroke and heart-related conditions.

Mr Macleay, from Fortrose, undertook a 10-mile walk in memory of both his parents and those of his partner Deirdre’s parents who they had sadly lost to stroke and heart conditions.

Mr Macleay, who works as a cost accountant in the construction industry, set himself a goal to walk from Fortrose, via Eathie to Cromarty in a bid to help Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland raise much-needed funds. He had been walking more and more throughout lockdown and decided to put his extra steps to good use and build up his daily walks to take on the challenge to raise money for a charity that means a great deal to him and his family.

He said: “We are lucky enough to live in a place with beautiful coastal scenery and I wanted to give something back to a charity that is very close to our hearts, so I planned my route, packed my bag and off I went. Both myself and Deirdre lost our parents to stroke and heart conditions and unfortunately during the pandemic a number of friends and colleagues have also lost loved ones, so I walked in memory of all these people and to help others have a better quality of life going forward.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my walk and was lucky enough to be accompanied by Pete Deigan who took some wonderful photos along the way. Deirdre and I were absolutely delighted with the amount raised and we hope that the money will make a real difference to people and their families who need the charity’s support.”

Oliver Middleton, Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland’s community and events fundraiser, said: “I would like to say a massive thank you to George for taking on such a heartfelt challenge on behalf of Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland.

His walk has raised an incredible amount of money that will ensure that people living with chest, heart and stroke conditions can get the vital help and support they need when they need it most, now and in the future.

“The impact of coronavirus has been really hard on the charity, with major events being postponed and our shops being closed so it is absolutely fantastic to have people like George in our local communities rallying round to support us in any way they can!

“I also want to say a huge thank you to Deirdre and all George’s family, friends and colleagues

for their support and generosity

in raising such a fantastic


According to the charity, every day in Scotland:

n 25 people will have a stroke

n 30 people will have a heart attack

n 46 people will be diagnosed with heart failure

n One in 11 people will struggle to breathe because of chronic chest illness.

It says that chest, heart and stroke conditions account for 40 per cent of all adult deaths in Scotland and that more people than ever before are living with chest, heart or stroke conditions.

It aims to double the number of people it reaches within the next year.

Anyone who would like to show their support for the walk and donate to help people across Scotland living with chest heart and stroke conditions is still able to make a donation at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/george-macleay

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