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Community / NHS staff to kayak for MRI appeal

AROUND 50 NHS Shetland staff members are set to kayak from Burra to Scalloway on Saturday to raise money for the MRI scanner appeal.

The four-mile Peerie Paddle is expected to start at Bridge End at 9am before arriving at the Scalloway Boating Club at 12.30pm, weather permitting.

People are invited to welcome the kayakers into Scalloway, while Connor the goat from the Love From Shetland shop and some of the Yell sea shanty singers are expected be on hand to greet the fundraisers too.

Sea Kayak Shetland has offered guides and equipment for the event along with the support of the local canoe club, and Shetland Flyer Aerial Media will be capturing drone footage from above.

The event has been organised by dietician Claire Bisset to support the fundraising appeal for a £2 million MRI scanner for Shetland.

Despite the recent weather, it looks like the elements will be favourable for the kayakers.

“It’s actually looking lovely for Saturday…it’s not set to be too bad, so it looks like someone is looking out for us,” Claire said.

The dietician added that an MRI scanner in Shetland is “going to be essential for care for all sorts of different scenarios”.

“It’s going to have a huge impact and could literally save lives. We see on a daily basis the impact that that can have on our patients, so it’s very close to all of our hearts,” she added.

Over 600 patients from Shetland travel off island to Aberdeen or Glasgow for MRI scans each year – a round trip of over 450 miles.

Claire said that some patients even decide against going for an MRI scan due to the time it may take to travel, or the stress of leaving Shetland.

Donations to the Peerie Paddle can be made online, with around £600 raised so far.