£85,000 raised at Sports event handed over to local charities

The Forget Me Not walking football team with Nick Dalgarno (Simmons), Martin Pope and his son John Pope, Barry Duncan (CNR).
The Forget Me Not walking football team with Nick Dalgarno (Simmons), Martin Pope and his son John Pope, Barry Duncan (CNR).

Sportschallenge, the North-east’s premier sports-themed fundraising dinner, has provided an £85,000 new year boost to local charities.

The charity event, organised by the recently rebranded, Simmons Energy, has shared all funds raised with long-term beneficiaries, Maggie’s and Children’s Aid (Scotland), as well as two smaller, North east charities.

These include Banchory-based charity, The Forget-Me-Not Club, which helps individuals and families of those with dementia, and the Grampian MS Therapy Centre in Dyce, who provide therapy services for those with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and other similar conditions.

On September 13 2018, teams from businesses across Aberdeen and the North-east battled it out across five rounds of sports trivia as they competed in the Question of Sport-style quiz, hosted by sports personalities Ally McCoist and Andy Nicol at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC).

Nick Dalgarno, managing director of Simmons Energy, said: “Now in its sixth year, Sportschallenge has cemented itself as one of the highlights of the North-east’s social calendar, and with the success of the 2018 event, we are now able to support charities who work tirelessly across local communities and provide them with much needed funds.

“For smaller, local charities it is an on-going challenge to secure new avenues of funding. Both Forget-Me-Not and Grampian MS are truly amazing organisations, providing life-changing services across the North-east and we are pleased that they are also benefiting from the proceeds of Sportschallenge, which has now raised more than half a million pounds for different local charities since its inception.”

Lesley Fletcher, development manager at Forget-Me-Not said: “We are a charity who are wholly reliant on donations, grants, fundraising and support from the local council, therefore to be chosen as one of the beneficiaries of Sportschallenge is a great privilege and very promising for the charities growth.

“We were delighted to have one of our Trustees, John Pope, speak on the evening about the charity, which is especially close to his heart, due to his father’s involvement with Forget-Me-Not as a previous chairman, before his own diagnosis of dementia.

The significant donation from Sportschallenge will be used to directly fund more hours of Active Forget Me Not sessions. Operating from Knockburn sports loch, the club is designed to provide confidence and independence to those living with dementia and give them the opportunity to remain active, within a safe and appropriate environment.

This new style of innovative therapy is ideal for charity users such as John’s father, Martin Pope and former Dons ace, Chic McLelland, who have both been able to continue to enjoy the ‘beautiful game’ with thanks to walking football.

Mr Dalgarno, a lifelong AFC fan explained, “It’s fantastic to see the money raised via a sports themed quiz, going back into an active charity initiative, inspired by the benefits and love of a fit and healthy lifestyle. Activities such as walking football, dementia-friendly cycling and kite flying make up a programme more suited to those still physically fit who unfortunately suffer from the heart-breaking disease. The prospect of losing the ability to participate in sport is something I feel particularly strongly about, and I am thrilled to support Forget-Me-Not in continuing this hugely worthwhile programme.”

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