A pilgrimage to remember those who died during the pandemic begins from outside The Scottish Parliament on Saturday and will make its way to Iona by the following Friday.

The journey will be a reflective one, making its way on foot and by road across Scotland, pausing for reflection at each location. Anyone is welcome to join at any time and otherwise, if people cannot join then they are invited to send details of anyone they know who died from Covid so that they are remembered.

One of those taking part is Helen Wass-O’Donnell from Clermiston who will walk a great deal of the route, but when she and her partner, Ros Wass-O’Donnell reach Mull they will definitely walk the 35 miles across the island from Craignure to Fionnphort.

Although the purpose of this pilgrimage is not for fundraising, Helen is a seasoned fundraiser. She travelled up and down at Cramond with her specially adapted walking bike to raise money for those with Muscular Dystrophy (MS) and now she is taking part in the Pilgrimage to Iona. This time however she will walk with two sticks, no mean feat for her.

The pilgrimage begins on Saturday at The Scottish Parliament at 10.30am and makes its way to Greyfriars Church for noon. It will then convene at the Glasgow Central Mosque at 5pm and will reach Iona on 13 May.

In August 2020 Helen undertook a 120 mile challenge with her Road Runner raising £3663 for the MS Therapy Centre Lothian. She undertook the challenge in place of climbing Kilimanjaro. Read more about her here crossing the finishing line at Cramond accompanied by friends and supporters.

Helen has Multiple Sclerosis and Brainstem Encephalitis, so this was a real challenge for her. She had been due to travel to Africa to climb Kilimanjaro, but due to a serious fall and Covid-19 that was put on the back burner. Her partner Ros has had her own health issues and is currently recovering from Stage 4 ovarian cancer.

They promise to send us photos from the route. If you are interested in finding out more then email


Helen Wass-O’Donnell at the end of her Kilimanjaro Challenge 7 September 2020 with partner Ros Wass-O’Donnell ©2020 The Edinburgh Reporter