The MRI Scanner Appeal has passed the half-million pound mark and is now almost one third of the way to reaching the final goal of £1.65m.
A surge in donations over the last month has pushed fundraising to a new level with cheques coming in from a host of initiatives. These include more than £6,000 from Shetland schools, where pupils have been selling daffodil and tulip bulbs, £2,500 from PJ Hurson Garage Services in Ollaberry, £4,000 from the Whalsay Gala, the sale of MRI Christmas cards, donations from several milestone birthdays and wedding anniversaries, funeral donations and, of course, the sale of knitted products by the MRI Maakers and Harriet Middleton’s six patterns.
A donation of £100,000, from seven Whalsay pelagic fishing families, made an enormous impact in propelling the initiative forward and has inspired many others to become involved.
Derek Hart, the new MRI Scanner Fundraising Manager, who joined the Appeal earlier this month from Marie Curie, said he was stunned by the generosity of the Shetland community and businesses and thanked everybody for what they were doing.
“This is £504,148 that has been raised by local individuals, groups and businesses and shows a deep commitment to this project and what it will mean for people living in the islands. Our next step is to engage with large-scale funders after which we will take stock and see who else we can approach and what more needs to be done.”
Mr Hart said what was impressive was the variety of ideas to raise money and the involvement of so many businesses and every part of the community from very young children selling bulbs to the elderly ladies in the care home in Whalsay who were knitting products for the MRI Maakers to sell.
Colin Marsland, finance director for the NHS Shetland Health Board, said, “Thank-you to everyone who is fundraising – all these efforts mean we are well on our way to achieving a very big goal.”