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Findhorn Foundation campaigners preparing to take part in Kilt Walk to raise fire rebuild funds

Findhorn Foundation walkers due to take part in the Kilt Walk. Pictured: Susie Kemp, Peter Mildner, India Brown, Rudolf van Brederode with baby Abi van Brederode, Dell Horler.
Findhorn Foundation walkers due to take part in the Kilt Walk. Pictured: Susie Kemp, Peter Mildner, India Brown, Rudolf van Brederode with baby Abi van Brederode, Dell Horler.

Findhorn Foundation campaigners are preparing to embark on a fundraising expedition to raise money to rebuild two buildings destroyed by fire.

The park’s community centre and main sanctuary, which were both some of the oldest buildings on the site, were burned to the ground last week.

Community leaders have already vowed to rebuild what was lost.

However, the charity’s finances are currently stretched due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Findhorn Foundation finances hit by Covid-19

A halt on educational courses and events has led to an 85% reduction in the Findhorn Foundation’s income while cost-cutting has led to the staff complement being halved.

Now campaigners are preparing to embark on a fundraising mission as part of the annual Kilt Walk to raise money to put towards the project.

Simon Stedman, chief financial officer of the Findhorn Foundation, warned the rebuild project following the fire is likely to prove challenging without support.

He said: “The last year has been really difficult, we have lost 50% of our employees and we have had to take some really hard decisions – now here we are with another huge challenge.

“The financial impact (of the fire) on the Foundation will be fairly significant  because we were hoping to start opening up the community centre as a place to feed people, which would generate some income for us.

“The community centre was insured and we will be able to claim on that but it will not cover the full rebuilding costs.”

Caroline Matters, Foundation chief executive, has thanked well-wishers from across the world for sending messages of support in the last week.

She said: “There is still such a sense of shock and devastation. We are still feeling that sense of loss and sadness.

The Findhorn Foundation has pledged to rebuild the buildings that were lost to the fire.

“So many people have been touched by Findhorn, the Findhorn Foundation and the community, young people have been born here and grown up here, it’s such a special place.

“We’re so thankful we can come together at a time like this.”

Walk to be ‘positive response’ for fire rebuild

About 40 campaigners from the Findhorn Foundation will be taking part in the annual Kilt Walk on Friday and Saturday.

Groups of up to six people will trek between the park, the charity’s Cluny Hill accommodation in Forres, Logie Steading and Randolph’s Leap, south of Forres.

Donations pledged are topped-up by the Hunter Foundation, meaning for £1 donated the charity will receive £1.50.

Findhorn Foundation campaigners due to take part in the Kilt Walk. Pictured: Alessandro Daboni, Susie Kemp, Pia Parada, Yuko Sato.

Valerie Whistler, development officer in the fundraising team at the Findhorn Foundation, explained taking part in the event aims to focus positive energy towards the rebuild following the fire.

She said: “We wanted to take part in this event to respond in a positive way towards what has happened.

“For everyone taking part, this is not only a walk but a pilgrimage in Scottish tartan, celebrating our heritage while taking the opportunity to express our loss and embrace a bright, bold future.

“This is a great opportunity for us to raise funds.”

Donations can be pledged to the Findhorn Foundation online at www.findhorn.org/kilt-walk 

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