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Health / MRI appeal raises one quarter of target

Presenting £100,000 to Lorraine Hall of NHS Shetland (centre) in August are from left to right: Tommy Eunson (Serene); George William Anderson (Adenia); Davie Hutchison (Charisma); Una Simpson, (SFPO); Gary Williamson (Research), Allister Irvine (Zephyr); Raymond Stewart (Antarctic II); Lowrie Irvine (Antares) and Brian Isbister (SFPO). Photo: SFPO

THE FUNDRAISING appeal for an MRI scanner in Shetland has reached the quarter-way mark.

A total of £418,808 has now been raised for the appeal, which launched last year in a bid to bring a scanner to the isles.

The initial target of £2 million was recently revised down to £1.65 million.

The campaign has enjoyed a recent surge in donations, with the MRI Maakers knitting group bypassing the £50,000 milestone.

Other donations included £2,500 from the Yell Health Centre support group, £1,100 from the Bon Accord Motorcycle Club in Aberdeen and £2,723 from a clothes swap at the Sound Hall.

Over £3,000 was raised through a Whalsay Gold Club charity event, while £6,228 was raised by the Filipino community in Shetland.

There have also been a number of donations collected from wedding anniversaries.

In August the families who own the seven Whalsay based pelagic midwater trawlers – Adenia, Antarctic II, Antares, Charisma, Research, Serene and Zephyr – came together to donate £100,000 to the appeal, as pictured above.

Shetland Health Board Endowment Fund trustee Colin Marsland said deposits were coming into the fund for the MRI Scanner on a daily basis.

It is hoped, meanwhile, that the strength of community support shown for the project will encourage organisations to consider providing grants.

“The quarter way point is an important milestone as it reflects Shetland people’s sustained commitment to this project” Marsland said.

“To raise this amount has taken an enormous amount of effort by the local community. For this we are incredibly grateful. The MRI Scanner Appeal team is continuing to approach organisations that make grants to charities to request they consider awarding a generous donation to our fundraising campaign, to add to the magnificent amount already raised locally.”

MRI scanners can diagnose cancer, strokes, heart conditions and many other conditions and it would complement a CT scanner that was bought for Shetland in 2007 following a massive public drive.

Having the MRI scanner at Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick should help cut out journeys to Aberdeen for the 675 Shetland patients per year who must travel south to have an MRI scan.