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Health / One hundred years and counting for NHS endowment fund

THE NHS Shetland health board endowment fund, which takes in donations from the community, is celebrating its 100th anniversary.

Since the fund was registered as a charity on 31 October 1922, a significant amount of money has been donated by the local community.

During 2020/2021, for example, the community rallied around to donate thousands in response to the Covid-19 emergency.

Money donated to the endowment fund supports NHS staff, patients and volunteers in areas that are not covered under the core government funding that the board receives to deliver services.

An example includes dedicated in-memoriam funding for staff training, including the Cecil Cumming Staff Development Award and the John Sinclair Memorial Award.

Further funds were also donated via a share of Captain Tom’s fundraising appeal when he walked more than 100 laps of his garden to mark his 100th birthday in 2021.

Some of Captain Tom’s donation money was used to buy coffee machines for communal staff areas and gifts such as hand cream and food hampers to support staff wellbeing.

Lincoln Carroll, chair of the endowment fund committee, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank our community and all the other donors for their fundraising efforts during the last 100 years.

“So many remarkable community fundraising efforts have been achieved and the money has already had an enormous effect on so many different people.

“I’m sure you’ll agree that one of the most ambitious fundraising efforts the committee has had the pleasure of being involved in is the MRI scanner appeal.

In December 2015 NHS Shetland held its first Christmas charity masquerade ball at Mareel. The event raised more than £2,000 for the endowment fund (left to right): Pauline Moncrieff, Lisa Hawkins, Rona Sales, Colin Marsland, Malcolm Bell, and Mary Marsland

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“I hope in the not-so-distant future we will have this vital equipment at the Gilbert Bain Hospital.

“We know money is tight for everyone at the moment so we continue to be so thankful for all the generous donations made to the fund as they continue to benefit our staff, patients, and the wider community.”

The endowment fund received the £1 million donation from the Community Action for Trauma Support (CATS) group chaired by former councillor Peter Malcolmson that funded the original CT scanner at the Gilbert Bain back in 2009.

It has also been involved in fundraising for a £1.65 million MRI scanner for Shetland.

Meanwhile the tendering process to secure the MRI scanner should be concluded by the end of November with the plan for the MRI scanner to be installed and operational in 2023.

Around 600 people travel each year to Aberdeen or Glasgow for MRI scans. The MRI scanner’s arrival on island will reduce these journeys.

MRI scanners diagnose several conditions such as cancer and heart complications.

The endowment fund is a member of NHS Charities Together, which acts as an umbrella body for over 200 health board charities across the UK.

At NHS Shetland, the fund is managed by a board of trustees. Currently, the membership is the same as that of the health board itself.

For more information or to donate, visit: https://www.shb.scot.nhs.uk/board/endowments.asp

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