St Margaret of Scotland Hospice is privileged to benefit from the support of a great number of people with a personal connection to the Hospice, often through a family member or friend who has been cared for here.
The Hospice is equally fortunate to be able to call on the backing of people in the local community who go out of their way to help through volunteering or fundraising.
George Hally would probably come into the second category. But he also has something of a personal association. Working in a shop just half a mile from the Hospice, George often speaks to customers who are on their way to see, or have just visited, someone who is being looked after here.
After hearing so much about the standard of care provided at the Hospice, George, from Drumchapel, was determined to give something back.
The 35-year-old, who works in the Keystore on Yoker Mill Road, decided to take on his first-ever marathon, in Stirling last month, and thanks to the backing of family, friends, customers and colleagues, raised as incredible £1522 for the Hospice.
Completing the gruelling training and the 26.2-mile race itself culminated in an emotionally-charged run to the finish line for George on May 21. The race was on the same day as his late brother Kevin’s birthday.
Here, George tells us all about his experience and why he chose to raise funds for the Hospice.
How physically tough was it to run a marathon?
It was my first full marathon. I’d run a couple of 10ks. Towards the end of the marathon, once I hit the wall, it was really tough (at about 18-20 miles). And the blisters I got too… I ran up to 22 miles in training and didn’t get any.
How would you describe the day itself?
The course was really good but just a wee bit hilly! My family, friends and children were there at the end and it was really emotional.
What made you decide to do it?
I’ve worked at the Keystore for 14 years and I wanted to give something back to the local community. A lot of my customers have passed away in the Hospice.
How did you raise the funds?
I was hoping to raise £500. I used a JustGiving page and had sponsor sheets in the shop – people were coming in and making donations even after the race.
Do you think you would do something like this again?
I talk a lot to the customers in store and they’ve really supported me. I’ve been taken aback by everyone’s kindness. I’ll definitely do more fundraising after this – I think I’ll try to do a marathon every year. I started training on the first of January and I’ve been eating healthy – I lost a stone and a half. I’m going to keep the training going.