Monday 1st April 2019 marked MND Scotland’s second anniversary as the official charity of the ScotRail Alliance – a partnership between ScotRail and Network Rail Scotland.
The ScotRail Alliance set a target of raising £50,000 for each year of the three-year agreement. The ScotRail Alliance has smashed that target, with over £198,307 raised in the first two years alone.
Over the past two years, people from the ScotRail Alliance have taken part in range of events, including sponsored skydives, abseils from the Forth Rail Bridge, walking on fire and broken glass, and ‘dress down’ days to help reach the figure.
Collections were held across the network, with more than 350 donation tins placed at stations raising £16,000.
The famous clock in Glasgow Central station was lit up blue with the MND Scotland cornflower logo, and the charity has also been given free access to advertising spaces on trains and at stations.
Last year, ScotRail announced that it would name one of its refurbished high-speed Inter7City trains after the late MND fundraiser and campaigner, Gordon Aikman. The train operator hopes to honour his memory, create a legacy, and continue to raise awareness far beyond the length of its partnership with MND Scotland. The train is set to be unveiled in the coming months.
ScotRail has also provided MND Scotland staff and volunteers with free on-duty travel passes to reduce their travel costs, allowing travel to support groups, political conferences, and fundraising and information events free of charge.
The funds raised by the partnership help MND Scotland to fund more research in Scotland to find a cure for Motor Neurone Disease; fund the practical, emotional, and financial support MND Scotland gives to people affected by Motor Neurone Disease and raise awareness to create a valuable legacy.
Craig Stockton, MND Scotland’s Chief Executive, said: “When ScotRail Alliance staff selected MND Scotland as their new charity partner two years ago, none of us could have expected we would be standing at a massive total of £200,000 after just two years.
“We’re already using the huge sum raised to fund vital support services for people affected by Motor Neurone Disease and to power cutting-edge MND research.
“None of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for the commitment of staff at the ScotRail Alliance who, over the past two years, have thrown themselves out of planes, hot-footed it across fiery coals, shaken buckets, and contributed to MND Scotland through payroll giving.
“The ScotRail Alliance executive team have also helped us reach higher, through invaluable in-kind support, which has enabled us to raise the profile of MND amongst the traveling public on trains and in stations across the country.
"We’re also extremely grateful to all ScotRail Alliance customers who have made donations and helped make this partnership a success.
“I can’t wait to see what’s to come in the year ahead.”
Angus Thom, ScotRail’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “I’m overwhelmed at the generosity of our customers and our people – to smash our three-year fundraising target in under two years is an incredible achievement, and I’d like to thank them all for their exceptional support.
“The work that MND Scotland does for patients and their families, and their research into a cure, is fantastic. We’re really looking forward to the year ahead, where we can raise more funds and awareness for this truly worthy cause.”
Angus Thom | ScotRail Alliance