Published May 2024

Kilting up for wellbeing: Alana Sim

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Swapping her welly boots for trainers is something Young Farmer Alana Sim from Kinross does on a regular basis to help with her wellbeing…but this year, she is aiming to help others too. 

In September this year, Alana will walk the Edinburgh Kiltwalk, having ticked Dundee off the list in 2023. We caught up with her to find out why she is taking part and the reason she has decided to support Farmstrong Scotland.

Alana, 30, has lived on a farm all her life where her dad, Alan, is the Farm Manager running 950 Scotch Mule ewes. Growing up immersed in farm life, she has always had a passion for working with sheep, having bred her own Texel cross Beltex ewes and has now started to build up her own flock of pedigree Beltex. 

Whilst still at school, Alana had thought she would like to combine her interest in science with agriculture and work in genetics or disease research. She completed a Masters in Bio-medical Science at university and now works as a Cell Culture Analyst for a small company in Edinburgh. Although her work has not yet taken her into the field of agriculture, she is loving what she’s doing.

The 21-mile Kiltwalk is not new to Alana having completed the event last year, albeit in a different city, but preparation is still important. Now that we’re seeing lighter evenings, she is getting out for short walks after work and taking longer walks on her days off. 

She finds a walk helps her to unwind after a day at a desk or in the lab at work. The distance of the Kiltwalk appealed to Alana because she loves a challenge and much prefers to walk rather than run. Other ways Alana likes to relax is to bake and give her produce away to lucky friends and family, also helping ensure that she meets up with friends regularly.

She still tries to keep a social link with the agri-community by attending all the summer shows and has decided to fundraise for Farmstrong Scotland as part of her walk because she feels that it is an important resource to the farming and crofting community, to arm them with tips and tools to look after their wellbeing. She wants to support and get behind the organisation to help ensure charities like Farmstrong are always around for people in the industry to access.

Although she’s all set to complete the challenge alone, she’s still hoping she can persuade her sister or a friend to join her on the walk in Edinburgh which is happening on Sunday 15 September, and on different dates in Aberdeen and Dundee, with the Glasgow event already having taken place for 2024. 

Farmstrong Scotland is now registered with Kiltwalk, which you can find out more about here.

Alana's trio and tested

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  1. Alana enjoys baking as a way of de-stressing and then likes to give the baking away to friends, family and work colleagues.
  2. Socialising is important for Alana to stay connected to friends – attending shows, hosting dinner parties and gatherings for everyone to catch up.
  3. After a busy day at her desk or in the lab, Alana stays active by taking short walks in the evenings and more challenging ones at the weekend.

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