Jackie Foy is a busy, working mum-of-two who will be walking tall in tartan next month for a charity close to her heart.
And striding beside her will be around 30 colleagues from Tesco stores across the central belt, including staff from Cumbernauld.
For Jackie is raising funds for Rascals, an after school club in Cumbernauld for children aged four to 18 with additional support needs which is run by ENABLE Scotland.
Jackie and her husband Martin know only too well how much Rascals means to the people who use it.
The couple, from Gartcosh, have two children, Jennifer (13) and Patrick (8).
Their son has autism and global developmental delay, which means Patrick will not reach the same developmental milestones as other children his age.
He was diagnosed at the age of two after Jackie and Martin raised concerns about him not yet talking.
Jackie (42) said: “He was referred to Yorkhill for a hearing test initially but his hearing was fine so a speech and language therapist was then sent to the house.
“She told me that day that she thought Patrick had autism. I didn’t know much about it so, stupidly, I went onto Google.
“When Martin came home later and I told him, I warned him not to go onto the internet as it was a minefield.”
Eventually, the Foys were referred to the Scottish Autism Association at Yorkhill which helped support them.
Patrick still does not use words to communicate. However, his family is in little doubt about what he wants and when!
Jackie said: “He gets on very well for a boy who doesn’t speak.
“We’ve all learned how to adapt and to comprehend what Patrick wants.
“We haven’t given up hope that one day he might speak. If he woke up one day and was able to, it would be amazing.
“However, he can and does communicate to us what he wants and he doesn’t know any different so we get along just fine.”
There is little doubt, however, that there are additional challenges for all the family.
Patrick attended Baird Memorial Nursery in Cumbernauld and it was one of the teachers there who told Jackie about Rascals.
He was on the waiting list for one year before getting a place at Rascals – but it was worth the wait.
Jackie explained: “Patrick now goes to Redburn Primary School in Cumbernauld and to Rascals twice a week after school.
“It’s a real lifesaver during the holidays as he goes there every day from 9am to 3pm.
“The worry is that the service ran at a £16,000 deficit last year and there is a big waiting list just now.
“If it were to close, it would be devastating – not only for us but all the families who use the service.
“Patrick goes nowhere else and there is nothing else out there for him.
“Rascals is his recreation and it’s his time to be with other children his age.
“There are services which offer one-to-one care but it’s good for him to mix with children of his own age.”
Patrick has been going to Rascals for four years and has come on leaps and bounds ever since.
It’s also been a huge boost for the rest of the family.
“There’s been a huge difference in his behaviour,” said Jackie. “I never knew what was down to his autism and what was him just being a wee boy.
“Rascals staff have been fantastic with him, teaching him to sit up and drink out of a cup and taking him to places we wouldn’t have the confidence to alone.
“They are so good with the kids and we trust them 100 per cent with Patrick. You can’t buy that sort of service.”
And it’s for that reason Jackie has roped in around 30 of her colleagues from stores across the central belt to take part in Glasgow’s Kiltwalk on Sunday, April 30.
She said: “There are about five managers from Milngavie, where I work, along with others from Kirkintilloch, Springburn, Maryhill, Cumbernauld and several Glasgow stores.
“We’ve raised around £650 so far but I’d love to reach the £5000 mark.”
The money would make a huge difference to the staff at Rascals, which is where the funds will be going.
Jackie added: “Rascals helped transform our world. If we hadn’t found it, I don’t want to think about where we’d be. So doing the Kiltwalk is my way of thanking the staff and ENABLE for their support.”
To donate to the cause, visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Rascals.
110 per cent will go to charity
For every pound Jackie and her group of walkers raises, £1.10 will go to ENABLE Scotland. For Sir Tom Hunter and the Hunter Foundation has generously pledged that 110 per cent of all fundraising at each of the four 2017 Royal Bank of Scotland Kiltwalk events will go to charity.
Whether a walker raises £10 or £100 or more the Hunter Foundation will add 10 per cent to their fundraising total, with absolutely no limit.
Paul Cooney, chief executive of the Kiltwalk, said: “We commend Jackie on signing up for the Kiltwalk and for rallying 30 of her colleagues to walk with her to raise money for such a worthy cause.
“What makes the Royal Bank of Scotland Kiltwalk so special is the fact that walkers can choose any charity to fundraise for.
“Our ambition is for Kiltwalk to be the lowest cost, best and most effective platform for every charity in Scotland to raise funds.
“Last year, 8000 people took part and raised almost £900,000, which was outstanding.
“This year, we want to raise more money and we want more people to take part, so we can help even more of those in Scotland most in need.
“Whatever your reason, whatever cause is close to your heart, sign-up for Kiltwalk and join us.”
Funds raised at the Royal Bank of Scotland Kiltwalk went to 282 Scottish children’s charities in 2016. This year, the Kiltwalk is open to every Scottish charity.
All you need to do is register to take part in any 2017 Royal Bank of Scotland Kiltwalk – in Glasgow on April 30, Aberdeen on June 4, Dundee on August 20 and Edinburgh on September 17.
To register for a kiltwalk, visit www.thekiltwalk.co.uk.