University staff raise over £7430 for Mikeysline

Staff from the University of the Highlands and Islands have handed over £7,430. 87 to Mikeysline following a year-long fundraising drive. Colleagues from the social committee organised a raffle, coffee mornings, a sweepstake, a bowling night and a mince pie and Christmas jumper day after the mental health organisation was selected as their 2019 charity of the year.

Employees also organised a tuck shop service and individual members of staff undertook personal challenges to contribute to the total too.

Tony Johnson, an IT technician from Inverness, raised over £2170.50 by having his head shaved by personnel administrator, Donna Clark. Despite the shave taking place in December, Maureen MacDonald, a nursing admissions assistant from Kirkhill, ensured Tony stayed warm by presenting him with a hand-knitted beanie hat, complete with the University of the Highlands and Islands logo.

Val Cooper, a graduate school training officer from Glenurquhart raised £400 by completing the 5 x 50 challenge, walking and cycling five kilometres a day for 50 days. Fiona Leiper, a research ethics officer from Cawdor, and Sophie Chisholm, a development officer who lives in Culloden, added over £500 to the total by taking part in running challenges, while Julie Cribb, a development programme manager from Inverness, contributed £50 by braving an ice water swim.

Family members also joined in with the fundraising efforts. Janis Mackay, a graduate school registry officer from Dingwall, and her daughters Catherine, Beth and Megan organised a festive coffee morning raising over £200.

The money will be used to support the work of Mikeysline, which provides a textline service for those experiencing thoughts of depression, anxiety, worry or stress as well as a crisis centre in Inverness.

Following his head shave, Tony said: “I’m absolutely blown away by the level of support and generosity of everyone who contributed and got involved for such a great cause. I never thought for one second that I’d manage to raise anywhere near my target never mind doubling it and some. From the bottom of my heart, thank you very much.”

Janis added: “We have arranged a Christmas coffee morning each year for a chosen charity which is close to my family’s heart. I told my daughters about Mikeysline and we all thought it would be lovely to raise a bit of money for them. At such a busy and costly time of year, we were very touched that so many friends and family came (and baked!) and we were delighted to raise so much for the charity.”

Welcoming the donation, Mikeysline chair, Donna Smith, said: “What a fantastic effort all of the University of the Highlands and Islands fundraisers have put into such a great variety of events. This sort of money makes a huge difference to us, to give it some context, this will cover the running costs of The Hive for a few months which is tremendous and will make a difference for many people who will use the service in that time. On behalf of all the staff and volunteers at Mikeysline, I’d like to sincerely thank everyone who either took part in an event or supported them by donating.”

University staff have chosen Alzheimer Scotland as their charity of the year for 2020. The organisation provides support and information to people with dementia, their carers and their families, campaigns for the rights of people with dementia and funds dementia research.