SSE Renewables helps fundraisers exceed Shetland MRI Scanner Appeal target

Pictured at the Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick are (left to right): Chris Bunyan, Chair, Shetland Community Benefit Fund; Aaron Priest, SSE Renewables; Lincoln Carrol, Chair, Shetland Health Board Endowment Fund; Dennis Thomson, Director, Shetland Aerogenerators; Angus Ward, Director, Shetland Aerogenerators

14 October 2020: Fundraisers in Shetland have been celebrating the news that the Islands’ MRI Scanner Appeal has exceeded its £1.65 million appeal target following three donations totalling £300,000.

As well as £200,000 already committed from the Shetland Community Benefit Fund (SCBF) SSE Renewables has now donated a further £50,000, an amount which has been matched by local wind energy business, Shetland Aerogenerators Ltd (SAL).

The Shetland Charitable Trust had previously promised £500,000 towards the capital purchase of the MRI. This, alongside a remarkable drive in fundraising by the Shetland community over the past two years, and the three new donations means the end is now in sight.

Lincoln Carroll, Chair of the Endowment Fund responsible for the appeal said:

“Trustees were very pleased to receive these donations. After the Charitable Trust’s pledge, we moved into the procurement phase of the project, researching potential suppliers and looking to establish final costs and supply timescale.

“The new donations mean the appeal can confidently fund the staff and the training required to embed the scanner as a key piece of diagnostic equipment at the Gilbert Bain Hospital.”

The £200,000 donation from SCBF follows agreement by Viking Energy to give SCBF an advance on future annual community benefit payments from the Viking Wind Farm.

Aaron Priest, from SSE Renewables which owns Viking Energy said:

“Our donation to the MRI Scanner Appeal builds on the fantastic fundraising achievements of many hundreds of Shetlanders who have selflessly contributed their time and money over the last two years.

“Including local sub-contractors there are over 50 locally based staff currently working on the Viking Wind Farm, a number which will continue to grow, and we know how important the Appeal is to them, their families and their communities.

“Locating a scanner at the Gilbert Bain Hospital to bring quicker access to diagnostic tests and reduce unnecessary patient travel, stress and inconvenience is a perfect example of how we want to support people throughout Shetland.”

Derek Hart, MRI Scanner Appeal Fundraising Manager, said that everyone who had worked on the appeal was delighted and extremely grateful for the three new donations:

“These donations were most timely in light of the interruption to community fundraising as a result of the intervention of Covid-19. Many planned activities have been ‘lost’ during the spring and summer months, perhaps in excess of £200,000 of potential income.

“Hundreds of community events and individual fundraising efforts over more than two years have made the scanner a reality, and we want to thank everyone who has been involved in that effort.  However, until the final costs of the project are established, fundraising will continue.”

As well as the associated installation costs, the money will be used for revenue funding for the MRI Scanner, which means it will cover the cost of staff and training once the equipment is in place at the Gilbert Bain Hospital.