The ScotRail Alliance – a partnership between ScotRail and Network Rail – has donated £280,000 to MND Scotland as part of its charity partnership.
MND Scotland were announced as ScotRail’s charity partner in 2017 and since then, together with Network Rail Scotland, an incredible £280,000 has been donated to the charity through staff fundraising, customer donations, and gifts-in kind, such as free advertising at stations and on ScotRail trains.
The partnership has helped 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 the disease; and raise awareness through the partnership’s ‘Journey To A Cure’ campaign.
The initial three-year partnership aimed to raise £150,000, but generous donations and fundraising helped smash through that target in 2019 - during the second year of the partnership. It was announced in 2020 that the partnership would be extended by a further two years to 2022.
Over the course of the partnership, railway staff took part in a range of activities including sponsored skydives, a trek across the Great Wall of China, abseils from the Forth Rail Bridge, walking on fire and broken glass, and ‘dress down’ days to help raise funds for the charity.
The famous clock in Glasgow Central station was lit up blue with the MND cornflower logo, while ScotRail trains were also branded with the cornflower logo to help raise awareness.
On-train advertising space was gifted free of charge and during the refurbishment of Edinburgh Waverley station, hoarding boards presented eye-catching and hard-hitting visuals to demonstrate the impacts of MND and how people can donate or access support.
The partnership also helped MND Scotland reach out to a brand-new audience through ScotRail’s social media channels with the train operator’s 400,000 followers.
In June 2021, the life and legacy of MND campaigner, Gordon Aikman BEM, was honoured with ScotRail naming one of its iconic Inter7City high-speed trains in his memory. The plaque is a tribute to everything Gordon achieved, and it will remain on the train indefinitely – a lasting legacy for Gordon and MND Scotland.
Alex Hynes, Scotland’s Railway Managing Director, said:
“It’s been overwhelming to see the generosity of our customers and our staff throughout our partnership with MND Scotland.
“I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to donate £280,000 to MND Scotland over the past five years, but our partnership has been about so much more.
“Through promotion of the fantastic work that MND Scotland do; by providing the charity with a visible presence in our stations through billboards and posters; branding our trains with the MND cornflower; and by proudly naming one of our iconic Inter7City high speed trains in honour of Gordon Aikman, we’ve helped to ensure that everyone in Scotland knows the life-changing impact MND has and what we can all do to make a difference.
“Although our charity partnership with MND Scotland may have come to an end, the journey to a cure is ongoing.”
Rachel Maitland, MND Scotland Chief Executive Officer, said:
“Sadly, all good things must come to an end and on behalf of MND Scotland, I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in the ScotRail Alliance for their hard work and commitment over the past five years, which has helped to make our partnership together a resounding success.
“Being able to reach and inform a larger audience about motor neurone disease is something that MND Scotland is constantly striving to achieve, and the amount of awareness raised around MND as a direct result of our partnership alone has been phenomenal.
“As well as helping to increase awareness, the donation of £280,000 is a truly amazing amount of money and a fantastic way to quantify the success that the ScotRail Alliance has achieved. MND Scotland is powered solely by the generosity of donors, and we would like to say well done to everyone at the ScotRail Alliance, along with their engaged community of customers, for raising such a fantastic total.”