Charities given £100,000 boost by Borders rugby legend Doddie Weir

Borders rugby legend Doddie Weir has given two motor neurone disease charities a £100,000 boost to help them cope with the extra workload they face because of the current coronavirus pandemic.
Borders rugby legend Doddie Weir.Borders rugby legend Doddie Weir.
Borders rugby legend Doddie Weir.

That handout from the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, a charity launched by the former Scotland rugby international in November 2017 to fund research into possible cures for the disease and to offer support to fellow sufferers, will also help make up for income lost due to fundraising events being cancelled because of the current lockdown.

The foundation has handed over £30,000 to MND Scotland and £70,000 to the MND Association serving the rest of the UK.

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That’s on top of the £100,000 it gave to MND Scotland in January to help fund its grants programme for this year, taking its total contribution to the Glasgow-based charity to date to £280,000.

Doddie, diagnosed with MND in December 2016, said: “Having MND puts people in the high-risk category for coronavirus because our respiratory systems are already compromised.

“That means right now is a very worrying time for us.

“I am determined to do as much as I can to help alleviate some of those concerns.

“The money will be used by the MND Association in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and by MND Scotland to shore up the support they are offering people with MND at this time.”

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Craig Stockton, chief executive of MND Scotland, said: “People with MND are among the most vulnerable in our society, and, during this very uncertain time, they need us more than ever.

“We are working tirelessly to develop and change the ways in which we support families affected by MND in Scotland, and this boost from Doddie’s foundation will help us stay connected to people when they need us most.”

Sally Light, chief executive of the MND Association, added: “We are working really hard to ensure our vital work supporting people with MND continues during the current crisis while also seeing a dramatic fall in our income following the postponement of so many key events in our fundraising calender.

“We are so grateful to Doddie for this donation, which will enable us to continue and step up our support of people living with MND at this very worrying time.”

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Doddie, 49, of Blainslie, has also issued a plea to UK Government health secretary Matt Hancock for MND sufferers to be automatically included in the group of those judged to be at highest risk from Covid-19.

In a plea shared via Twitter, the former Newcastle Falcons star said: “MND is a terminal illness with horrific short and long-term issues, so I ask you why is MND not on the very vulnerable persons list?

“People with MND have a hard life in itself, never mind trying to fight coronavirus.”