Scotland's third sector came together on Thursday night to recognise charities and people across the country
MND Scotland has been named Scottish Charity of the Year at the 2015 Scottish Charity Awards.
The charity won praise for increasing the profile of motor neurone disease (MND) over the last 12 months alongside successfully campaigning on a number of issues to improve the lives of those living with the condition.
In June 2014 the charity launched its successful Personal Care Charging Campaign which highlighted the postcode lottery of care charging in Scotland.
MND Scotland also helped campaigner Gordon Aikman, who was diagnosed with MND in May 2014, develop his Gordon’s Fightback campaign.
That not only raised £225,000 for research but is also credited with resulting in the Scottish Government committing to pay for a doubling of the number of MND specialist nurses in Scotland.
Established in 1981, MND Scotland also enjoyed a spectacular fundraising year after its small team of staff quickly positioned it to benefit from the worldwide ice-bucket challenge phenomena.
Thanks to high profile supporters such as then First Minister Alex Salmond and actor James McAvoy, it raised £450,000 through the challenge.
We are delighted to win this prestigious award in what’s been a phenomenal year for us
A further partnership saw MND Scotland team up with Rangers FC to organise the Fernando Ricksen tribute match.
As well as being awarded a share in ticket sales from the game, which attracted a crowd of around 50,000, MND Scotland chief executive Craig Stockton was interviewed in a documentary which featured on Sky Sports.
“We are delighted to win this prestigious award in what’s been a phenomenal year for us,” Stockton said.
“The ice bucket challenge took the world by storm and brought MND awareness into gardens, parks and iPhones across the country.
“MND campaigner Gordon Aikman helped secure public funding for MND nurses – and doubled the current number of existing nurses. Fernando Ricksen showed huge courage in opening up about how MND has affected him.
“We would like to dedicate this award to the fantastic supporters, volunteers and staff who give up their time and talents to improve the lives of those affected – and help us work towards a world without MND.”
The Scottish Charity Awards 2015 were held in Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms on Thursday night and recognised charities and people right across the country.
Organised by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, the awards honoured groups in seven categories.
As well as winning the Charity of the Year category, MND Scotland also scooped the People’s Choice award – which saw around 20,000 members of the public vote for their favourite finalist.
Prostate Cancer UK won the Cracking Campaign award for its Men United v Prostate Cancer: 5 Inequalities, 5 Solutions campaign to make Scotland a better place for the one in eight men who are affected by prostate cancer.
The Perfect Partnership award went to Scottish Huntington’s Association and the University of Stirling for the creation of the world’s first accredited course for health and social care staff to improve their knowledge and confidence to care for people with Huntington’s disease.
And in a new award Glasgow-based Visibility saw its digital participation project pick up the Digital Dynamo award. The peer-support project helped address low take-up of technology among people with visual impairments.