September 16th – 22nd 2020


As I am sure you are aware, I rather stupidly said I would do something different for Charity in my Master’s year.

Well, this year has certainly been different from anything I could possibly have imagined, but our Livery Company’s charity response has helped soften some of the disappointment – and hopefully will continue to do so for this initiative.

In that regard, either through bravado, or else after an additional glass at the end of one of our functions (or perhaps both!), I rather foolishly suggested cycling from Scotland to London to raise money for charity, knowing that it would challenge me personally  (as I approached my 60th birthday) and might encourage others to do the same.

Over one year on, with COVID-19 delays and subsequent uncertainty, we are now GREEN FOR GO. It’s a month before those legs (hopefully) take me from my home in Auchterarder to the City of London. Over 2000 miles of training, including 60 miles on my 60th birthday and I still feel a little under-prepared, but I am ready as I ever will be for this challenge of a lifetime!

Four other stalwart riders from the Livery (James Higgins, Ed Macey-Dare, David Wilson and Alan Montague-Dennis) and another three from within the drinks industry (Anne Medlock, Scott Allen and Simon Swift) have accepted the challenge to ride with me. There is no hiding place as the ride will be filmed all the way with daily blogs on our social media platforms, ending with a video of the ride on our new You Tube Channel. Do follow our progress and stories! More later.

50% of all the money raised will go to the Lord Mayor’s Appeal (Future Youth Zone, a charity in Barking & Dagenham that is part of the national OnSide Youth Zone network). I am passionate about the work they do across the country’s most disadvantaged areas. They give hope to young people in deprived areas, providing them with somewhere safe and inspiring to spend their free time, in order to help them achieve their full potential.

Gavin Evans CEO of Future Youth Zone commented: “We are so grateful for the Worshipful Company of Distillers for supporting Future as Founder Patrons, and to Master Kenny MacKay for taking on this incredible challenge to raise much needed funds for our work”.

Click the link to learn more:

In addition, each rider has also nominated their own personal charity, to which an equal share of the remaining 50% will be donated. Those charities are: Saints & Sinners Club of Scotland, The St Nicolas Nairobi Fund, Woodland Trust, Royal Marines Charity, Scottish Association for Mental Health, Parkinsons, The Stonyhurst Foundation and Action Against Hunger.

All fundraising will be routed through the Distillers’ Charity.

Donating is easy and can be done in 3 simple ways
(each one will enable us to claim gift aid):

  1. Transfer money to our Bank at C Hoare & Co. Sort Code 15:99:00. A/C number 19276390. A/C name: Distillers’ Charity account. IBAN: GB20 HOAB 1599 0019 2763 90. BIC: HOABGB21.
  2. Send a cheque to Kim Lyons, payable to “The Distillers’ Charity”, to 1 The Sanctuary, Westminster, London SW1P 3JT.
  3. Via the Just giving link:

We plan to arrive in London on City Giving Day September 22nd, which is part of the Lord Mayor’s Appeal.  We are very pleased that the Lord Mayor himself has agreed to welcome us all on arrival at Guildhall Yard, where we can hopefully present him with a substantial cheque for Future Youth Zone.

We also hope that Liverymen, friends and family will be there at the end to join us in Guildhall Yard and also for a limited number there will be a (socially distanced!) finishing party at London Scottish Regimental Headquarters in Horseferry Road. More details to follow in due course.

Kenny MacKay