HUNDREDS are expected to descend upon Princes Street Gardens this summer to practice their Tai Chi moves in a bid to raise money for charity.
The mass event, dubbed Chi in the Park, is being brought to the Capital by the Thistle Foundation who support individuals with long term health conditions at their centre in Craigmillar.
Chi in the Park, which will take place on June 28 from 11am-1pm, will be led by Margaret Hendry – one of the charities most active volunteers.
The 64-year-old, who lives on Greendykes Road, suffers from chronic back pain but that hasn’t stopped her trying to improve the lives of others.
She said: “Seven years ago my life wasn’t worth living. I was living with chronic pain in my back and drinking myself to death as it was the only way I could cope.
“Thistle helped me to turn my life around and that’s why I wanted to do this event – to thank them and to raise funds so that other people like me can also get support.
“Without the charity, I wouldn’t be alive today.”
She added: “At first I hated Tai Chi but the more I did it, I fell in love with it and now it is my passion. I’m so excited for Chi in the Park and I’d like to welcome everyone along – we have space for everyone.
“It’s something slightly different but I know it will be a fun afternoon.”
Tai Chi is a chinese martial art that is practised for both defence training and health benefits.
There will be space for up to 1000 people to gather on the day in a bid to raise £50,000 for the charity.
Among the participants will be River City star Tam Dean Burn, who brands himself a Tai Chi enthusiast.
He said: “I’m thrilled to be helping out at the event.
“It’s an incredible cause and what Margaret has done for others deserves all the praise it can get.”
Diana Noel-Paton, CEO of the Thistle Foundation said: ‘Margaret is one of Thistle’s most active volunteers.
“What she contributes to our community is invaluable. She is the life and soul of Thistle, always in the Hub at our Centre of Wellbeing welcoming new people.
“She also leads two Tai Chi classes a week to over 30 people per class – they have become so popular we are introducing another.
“We are so excited that Margaret is now bringing her Tai Chi class to the city centre with this fantastic fundraising event.
“All of our health and wellbeing programmes are free – we know that if we introduced a charge it would create a barrier – so we rely on the support of our fundraisers and donors to keep doing what we do.
“Raising £50,000 through this event means we can support even more people struggling to cope with a long term condition.”
To take part, visit: www.thistle.org.uk/chi-in-the-park