EMPLOYEES from the University of the Highlands and Islands have raised £6,530 to support people affected by dementia in the Highlands.
Staff selected Alzheimer Scotland as their charity of 2016 and embarked on a programme of fundraising activities throughout the year. Events included bake sales, a Euro 2016 sweepstake, a Christmas raffle and a Christmas jumper day.
A group of over 20 employees contributed £4165 to the total by taking part in the 5×50 challenge from 27 March to 15 May. Each team member walked, cycled, swam or ran for 5K every day for the 50 day challenge. The group included Janis Mackay, a graduate school registry officer from Dingwall, and Jeanne Boyd, a finance manager from Cradlehall, Inverness.
Speaking about the 5×50 challenge as well as her colleagues fundraising efforts as a whole, Janis said: “I took part in the 5×50 event for the first time as I was inspired by a close friend who carried out the challenge the previous year for the same charity in memory of her granny.
“Knowing that you were raising money for such a deserving cause was the only reason I was able to keep doing the walks, runs or cycles every day even though my tired body would rather have a break.
“I was lucky that my children wanted to help out and accompanied me on some of my activities, though they hadn’t realised how far a 5K is, particularly if it’s raining! The charity fundraising we do every year is a great way for colleagues to feel part of a team and to see colleagues you don’t work with every day.”
Jeanne added: “I really enjoyed taking part in the 5×50 challenge. It was a great incentive to take time away from my desk at lunchtimes and being part of a team taking part to raise money for Alzheimer’s Scotland kept the motivation up.
“I really felt the benefit of all those miles walking and running. I’ve already signed up for the 2017 challenge and hope we can raise even more this year.”
The university’s donation will be used to support the work of Alzheimer Scotland which provides a range of specialist services to people with dementia and their carers and their families.
Welcoming the contribution, Elma Mackay, an Inverness-based community fundraiser for Alzheimer Scotland, said: “Alzheimer Scotland aims to ensure nobody faces dementia alone.
“There are over 90,000 people living with dementia in Scotland and that figure is expected to double in the next 15 years or so. It is important for us to ensure we can continue to give the level of support we do and this donation goes someway to helping with this.
“Thank you to employees from the university for the commitment over the last year to fundraising for people living with dementia, their carers and families.
“We continue to need to raise vital funds and anyone who would like to fundraise for the charity or who would like to know more can contact me on 07796 673130.”
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