Ally Burns recently embarked on a daring fundraising challenge for VOCAL, cycling a staggering 200 miles from Edinburgh to the Mull of Galloway. Ally had the Robert Stevenson Pilgrimage in his sights for a while, driven by his interest in lighthouses and love of bikes and adventure. He explains:

“The seed was planted when I discovered that Robert Stevenson’s grave is next to where I live. I enjoy a themed cycle as it has more of a story and purpose. It was my girlfriend who said: ‘Why don’t you do it for charity?’ and I thought it was a great idea. It gave it extra meaning and would help me through if the going got tough!”

VOCAL’s cause resonated with Ally, especially as he is an unpaid carer for his mum who was recently diagnosed with dementia. Ally met the VOCAL team by chance, whilst taking his mum to an event organised by Duncan Place Community Centre. Ally already realised he was doing a lot more than average for a family member, and was encouraged to receive support from the team:

“It is hard physically and emotionally and knowing that VOCAL help local carers in many ways made me want to support them even more. I expect as the years go on, I will need more support and training from VOCAL and other organisations, so supporting them felt the right thing to do.”

Ally embarked on his fundraising challenge on 14 July, and unfortunately faced a very soggy few days of cycling! Thankfully the clouds ran out of rain, and his last two days were picture perfect. Ally completed his impressive feat on 21 July and faced a lovely welcome at the end of his journey.

Ally has raised over £500 for VOCAL so far, and we are so thankful to him for his efforts! A big thank you also goes to the people Ally met on his travels who welcomed him with open arms (and warm cuppas) along the way.

You can still support Ally through his JustGiving page. If you feel inspired to take on your own adventure, we would love to hear from you! Please email Andrew for more information: