Around 40 members of United Auctions staff are in training to take on the first-ever Virtual Great Glen Challenge this year.

Staff working from the yard to the boardroom will walk, cycle and run 500 miles in locations across Scotland on Friday, August 27, to raise money for the RSABI.

The Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RSABI) provides emotional, practical and financial support and last year helped over 700 people. Its helpline 03001114166 is open every day of the year from 7:00a.m to 11:00p.m and also offers a telephone call-out service for the lonely and vulnerable.

RSABI’s Great Glen Challenge

Since 2012, the RSABI’s Great Glen Challenge has raised more than £300,000 to help people struggling to cope in Scottish agriculture.

United Auctions have been keen supporters of the charity and have taken part in the Great Glen Challenge five times, raising more than £15,000 for the RSABI so far. They even won the Challenge in 2013 with the Rostrum Rascals and their memorable one-piece costumes.

Participants in this year’s virtual event include executive PA Carolyn Murrie, admin assistant Mary MacNab and pedigree administrator Margaret Owens-Smith, who will together complete a 10-mile walk of the Forth Trail around Stirling.

Group sales director John Roberts will trek 10 miles around Bridge of Allan, visiting six hostelries en route and group director Christopher Sharp will cycle a 50-mile circuit of Stirlingshire.

At Dalmally Mart despite it being a sale day, 10 members of staff, led by John ‘Jags’ McCormack, will aim to clock up eight miles per person with a mixture of all three activities. In addition, auctioneers Robbie Hamilton and Murray Steel will juggle their time in the rostrum with walking and running, respectively, to each achieve their 20-mile target before travelling to Lochboisdale immediately afterwards.

Participants’ mileage will be tracked using a running app with regular updates shared with customers to help with support and encouragement during the sale.

United Auction’s managing director George Purves said: “We’ve been working hard as a team throughout the lockdowns to keep the live sales going. We know our customers have missed the social aspect of the sales, as have we.

We can’t wait to get together socially and have some fun as we work on this physical challenge and raise money for this important cause. We’re also looking forward to reconnecting with our customers when, hopefully, we can return to physical sales in the autumn.”

RSABI chief executive Nina Clancy said: “We’re delighted that so many of the United Auctions team will be taking part in our first-ever Virtual Great Glen Challenge.

"As long-time supporters and previous participants in our traditional Great Glen, it’s fantastic to see United Auctions get behind our first-ever virtual event.

"We wish everyone taking part the best of luck and hope all have fun on the day all while raising funds. Money raised will help RSABI to provide vital practical, emotional and financial support to people in Scottish agriculture.”

The team can be sponsored at all of United Auctions’ marts as well as on their online fundraising page.