A tireless fundraiser, Morag has achieved some impressive feats in her support of various charities over the years. This time, Alzheimer Scotland is her chosen beneficiary, and she has an activity in her sights that will really test her mettle…
"I am a Chair of The Fuze Foundation which provides legal Humanist marriages across Scotland. We have a strong corporate social responsibility agenda and do what we can to ‘give back’ to communities across the country. Each year, different charities are selected to become our focus for fundraising activities and for 2023, we are supporting Alzheimer Scotland. We also donate a percentage of the cost of our marriage ceremonies to boost any funds we raise in other, more exciting ways!
"As part of my role as a celebrant, I worked closely with the families of those who are getting married. Sometimes, I met people who are living with dementia and so, to increase my own understanding, I completed Alzheimer Scotland’s ‘Dementia Friends’ training. I found this invaluable; I now understand a little more of what it’s like to live with dementia – and I can turn that knowledge into action.
"Growing up, I had an awareness of dementia because my parents both held senior positions in psychiatric geriatric wards. As part of their work, they assisted people who were living with the condition, so I always had an idea that there was some support out there. I just never realised how much it has evolved. When I paid a visit to Alzheimer Scotland’s Brain Health and Dementia Resource Centre in Alloa, I was amazed by the dedication of the staff and how welcoming the environment is for people who are living with dementia and their families– I found it very reassuring and comforting. So much so, I felt inspired to do more – I wanted to raise even more funds, over and above those raised by The Fuze Foundation and the work I did as a celebrant and now as Chair of the company.
"In my 11 years in the role as a celebrant, I have undertaken a multitude of fundraising activities – most of them with gusto! I’ve snowboarded at the Nevis Range in a wedding dress, completed The Kiltwalk, ran marathons and tackled various other fitness challenges. I also took part in Alzheimer Scotland’s ‘Forget Me Not’ appeal at my local Morrison’s supermarket, as I felt it was a great way to engage with members of the public and raise awareness on behalf of the charity. It was lovely to hear stories from other volunteers and from members of the public about how Alzheimer Scotland has positively impacted them or a loved one. But as wide as my experience is of fundraising, and I’ve always said I’ll do ‘anything’ to help raise money for charity, I’ve always thought, ‘please, just don’t ask me to jump out of a plane!’
"So, when a skydive was brought up in conversation as a ‘fundraising’ idea, I’d said yes before I even knew what I’d agreed to! I’m not a great flier, made worse by the fact I suffer from vertigo. But, sitting in the Dementia Resource Centre in Alloa, seeing firsthand the service on offer, I understood the positive difference a donation could make – so I’ve put my fears aside and am telling myself, ‘I can do this!’
"Bad weather hampered my first jump attempt, but the preparations for that day did enable me to meet with other people who are also planning to take the leap for Alzheimer Scotland. Listening to their experiences and their personal reasons for fundraising has convinced me that I can conquer my fears. My jump has been rescheduled for January 2024, so I’ve got a little more time to raise awareness – fingers crossed everything goes ahead as planned this time! "
We wish Morag good luck and hope the weather is on her side with the Skydive scheduled for January 2024! The Fuze Foundation are proud charity partners of Alzheimer Scotland. Find out more about The Fuze Foundation here.