On 13 August 2022, a Willow Burn volunteer will run a unique 215-mile, coast-to-coast ultramarathon in Scotland to raise money for Willow Burn. With just over three weeks to go until the big day, his employer, Erwin Hymer Group, has pledged to match fund the final figure he fundraises.
Ian Lowther 38 of Annfield Plain will have only 100 hours to complete the Race Across Scotland which starts on the coastline of Portpatrick, with some tough climbs over the mountains, along the valleys, through the beautiful forests of the Southern Uplands.
Ian said: “Race Across Scotland is one of the toughest Ultras in the UK and I have the opportunity to represent a charity very close to my heart. Willow Burn has been very special to me for several years, the team has provided exceptional palliative care to both my family and friends, and I wanted to say thank you for that, which is why I started fundraising and volunteering for the hospice.
This isn’t the first running challenge Ian has taken on for Willow Burn. Over the last 3 years he has completed 11 races, raising thousands of pounds for end-of-life care in Derwentside.
“Race Across Scotland is unlike any event I have ever participated in before, but I am really looking forward to it. It is daunting and I have no doubt, at times, it will get tough up there but I’m going to give it everything I have. For me the biggest challenge is going to be the mental side of things; there will be a lot of mind games with my brain telling my legs to stop but I will keep going. I will have a great support crew with me who know what I need and lots of encouragement from my family, friends and the team at Willow Burn.”
Ian is a familiar face at Willow Burn and on the charity’s social media pages, not only does he take on regular personal challenges to fundraise but he also volunteers with his daughter, Emily Lowther, 12 and pops into the Hospice with family to offer his support.
Head of Fundraising and Marketing, Willow Burn, Rachel Todd, has worked with Ian for many years now and is extremely proud to have him as part of Team Willow Burn: “Ian is an absolute hero to us all at Willow Burn. We have all been in awe of each challenge he has taken on and what’s even more humbling, is that on so many occasions, he turns up at events the following weekend to help to fundraise with Emily.”
Each year it costs £1.2million to operate Willow Burn, the team at the hospice is responsible for generating 60% of this income through donations, grants and trusts, fundraising and retail.
“Willow Burn wouldn’t exist without people like Ian, who do extraordinary things day after day to help us to raise enough money to provide vital end of life and palliative services to people who need them the most. We are incredibly grateful for Ian’s continued efforts to not only fundraise vital income but also to raise awareness of Willow Burn its importance to the local community. This challenge is really something special and we are all behind Ian every step of the way."
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Erwin Hymer Group for match funding, which will really boost Ian’s fundraising total and contribute considerably to the care we provide at the hospice.”
Chris Short, Managing Director at Erwin Hymer Group’s Consett manufacturing facility says: “When we have a colleague like Ian, who works so tirelessly for charity, we want to support them – not only financially, in terms of match funding, but also emotionally.
“Race Across Scotland will be a herculean task, but Ian is approaching this endurance race with the same steadfast perseverance, hard work and calm approach that we see in his role at Erwin Hymer Group. We are fully behind Ian every step of the way and hugely proud of what he is doing!”
Ian’s challenge takes place in on 13 August 2022. If you would like to fundraise or offer him support visit: Facebook Group: Ian Lowther’s Ultra Race Across Scotland 2022 or www.willowburnhospice.enthuse.com/pf/ian-lowther-race-across-scotland-ultra