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News / MRI appeal picks up pace

Katie Anderson and Aimee Laurenson handing over a cheque to NHS staff.

OVER £16,500 has now been raised for Shetland’s MRI scanner appeal.

The campaign was launched in July as the community bands together to raise £2 million for the machine.

There have been a number of fundraising tales in recent weeks, with a string of events held in Burra.

‘Big Robbie’ Cumming raised £2,500 for the appeal thanks to a dance held in Hamnavoe on 4 August.

He dedicated the proceeds to his great grandchild, who was recently diagnosed with a tumour.

“What has touched me is the incredible generosity of people in Shetland,” the Burra man said.

“When people heard what happened to our family they were so quick to give – from letting us use the hall for the concert to donating fish suppers, haircuts, toys, money and vouchers for prizes.

“I was flabbergasted at how people were prepared to give whatever they could to raise money for an MRI scanner.”

Burra couple Angus and Sandra Ward also raised £2,550 after holding a housewarming in Hamnavoe on the night of Big Robbie’s dance.

“People were coming from Big Robbie’s event down to our place afterwards and as they arrived we asked for a donation for the MRI scanner – people gave in £50, £20 and £10 notes. Folk were unbelievably generous,” Sandra said.

The fundraising in Burra doesn’t stop there, however. Twelve year old Katie Anderson and her cousin Aimee Laurenson, 13, handing over a cheque for £385 by selling ice cream.

“We had a lot of people come by for an ice cream, especially at the last location at the Pink Hall in Hamnavoe,” Aimee said.

“People knew we were selling ice-cream for the MRI scanner,” Katie added.

Another £100 was donated Diane Taylor from Virkie to mark the seventh anniversary of her business, Shetland Resolve, and her own 50th birthday.

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A video of Harriet Middleton knitting items for the appeal has also reached 9,000 views on Facebook. She travels to Aberdeen for a cancer scan every three months.

Lisa Ward, chairperson of the NHS Shetland endowment fund and one of the main drivers behind the MRI scanner appeal, said: “The MRI scanner is something we have needed for a very long time. The campaign is now well underway.”

Over 600 patients a year travel from Shetland to the Scottish mainland for MRI scans, which produce detailed images of the inside of the body.

It is expected that it could take around two years for the full £2 million for the scanner to be raised.

There have been calls for Shetland Charitable Trust to fund the scanner, with one local suggesting that NHS Shetland could then rent or buy the machine using the money saved on travel and accommodation for patients heading south.

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