Glasgow insurance stalwart treks 775km for charity

The brokerage employee raised £12,000 for a cancer non-profit

Glasgow insurance stalwart treks 775km for charity

Non-Profits & Charities

By Kenneth Araullo

Graham Reid (pictured above), a 72-year-old employee of TL Dallas, an insurance brokerage in Glasgow, has successfully raised £12,000 for charity by completing the Camino de Santiago trek, a pilgrimage spanning 775 kilometres to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. It was completed over a period of 45 days.

Reid's interest in the Camino de Santiago began 12 years ago after a conversation with Sister Margaretta from the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary, based near Glasgow. Having previously walked the West Highland Way from Glasgow to Fort William, Reid was inspired to take on the more challenging Camino de Santiago.

The funds raised are in aid of the Beatson Cancer charity, which holds personal significance for Reid. Both he and his wife, Jane, received treatment for lymphoma and bowel cancer, respectively, at Beatson Cancer.

Grateful for the support received, Reid was motivated to give back to the charity. His colleague, Lorraine Scott, set up a Just Giving page to facilitate donations. The £6,000 raised was matched by TL Dallas, contributing an additional £6,000 to the firm’s Charitable Trust, which supports various charities across the country.

A historic trek for charity

Reid's journey began in September, starting from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the French side of the Pyrenees and traversing through major cities like Pamplona, Logroño, Burgos, and León before reaching Santiago de Compostela. Throughout the trek, Reid maintained communication with his supporters via WhatsApp and postcards, the latter specifically for Sister Margaretta.

“I created a WhatsApp group so I could send updates and pictures of my progress. Unfortunately, Sister Margaretta isn’t on WhatsApp, so I sent her postcards instead! I used a local travel agent, Macs Travel in Glasgow, to plan and book the 40 hotels that I would stay in along the way. My wife kindly escorted me through Glasgow airport – my first challenge - and accompanied me for the first week and then flew back out for the last two days to fetch me home,” Reid said.

“One of the trickiest parts of the trek was getting up each morning with my bags packed and delivering them to reception in time for them to be dispatched to the next hotel,” he said.

He covered a daily distance of 15 to 20 miles, with some days reduced to five to nine miles due to challenging terrain. Reid allowed himself four rest days and enjoyed “pilgrim's meals” each evening, a three-course meal typically priced between 15 to 20 euros.

Having completed the trek without any injuries, Reid plans to return in spring to walk the Camino Finisterre, a 90-kilometer trail leading to Finisterre on the western coast of Spain.

Reid has been with TL Dallas Group for 12 years. TL Dallas, a family and employee-owned business, has offices across the UK, including in Edinburgh, Falkirk, Shetland, and several other locations.

The Beatson Cancer Charity provides a range of services, including complementary therapies, health and work support, and activities facilitated by staff and volunteers. The charity aims to enhance the wellbeing of individuals affected by cancer.

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