Charity hero honoured at Lord Provost Awards

John McGurk, who ran between Germany and Scotland to raise money for Children 1st, was proud to be honoured at Glasgow’s Lord Provost Awards on Friday evening.

John McGurk and Barbara Kidd

Director of Fundraising, Barbara Kidd, with John McGurk

Glaswegian John and his team raised an incredible £54,000 for Children 1st after completing a 560-mile run between the German city of Osnabruk and Glasgow in just five days last June.

Sporting his signature kilt which he wears for all his charity runs, John made a moving speech, describing the poverty and abuse which tarnished his childhood – experiences which motivated him to support children’s charities ever since.

John said: “Many a day I couldn’t go to school because of a lack of clothes and footwear, but I was happy.

“Unfortunately, things remained hard and society said it would be better for me to go into care. I would get everything a 9-year-old boy needs: protection, love and a dignified childhood. But sadly, my childhood died at the children’s home at the very hands of the man looking after me.

“I decided and swore 28 years ago, for as long as I live, to invest every free minute to help the needy and abused children and show them they are something wonderful and the true angels on earth.”

John, once a squaddie with the King’s Own Scottish Borderer’s regiment, set up a charitable association in Germany and has raised almost €1million for children’s organisations across the globe.

Children 1st Chief Executive Alison Todd, who nominated John for the award, said: “He is a remarkable man. He is determined to ensure no child should go through what he did and has made it his ambition to raise as much money as possible to support children. I know he would burst with pride to be honoured by his home town of Glasgow.”