Fundraise Your Way

Brynja Duthie

When her favourite teacher, Mr G, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease, Brynja organised a fun run, getting over 1,000 people involved.

Name Brynja Duthie
Cause fundraised for Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic and my teacher, Mr Donald Grewar
Method of fundraising Fun Run, Bag Pack and Street Collection
Photograph of teacher Mr G and fundraiser Brynja
Mr G and Brynja

Why did you decide to fundraise for your chosen cause?

I decided to raise money for Motor Neurone Disease (MND) when I discovered one of my favourite teachers at my School, Madras College, was diagnosed with the condition last year.

Up until he was diagnosed he had been incredibly fit, taking part in marathons and cycling a lot. He had been a massive support to me, both academically and also when my Gramps was diagnosed and then died with Prostate Cancer in 2013.

I wanted to give him something back. Show him how much I, and others, cared about him and wanted to support him. I also hoped we could raise money for research into finding a cure for MND a horrible debilitating and aggressive disease. Mr Grewar chose the Anne Rowling Clinic because of its research into MND and other neurological diseases.

How did you raise money?

I came up with the idea of a fun run because Mr Grewar loved running before he was diagnosed. I thought this was appropriate and would be fun way to raise money and also for Mr Grewar to get involved.

My fundraising started with me first meeting with Mr Grewar and his family to discuss what we would do. We nominated a charity and then set up a committee of people who would help us achieve the fun run.

One of the first things we did was to set up a Facebook page. This was a great way to get people involved, spread the word and keep everyone updated, as well as thanking everyone. We also informed the press and got in touch with the Facebook page Humans of Dundee. Spreading the word was really important to gain support. We also kindly and generously had a graphic designer create our logo, which would be used on all material going out and medals.

We only really had two and a bit months to get it all organised so we had to act very quickly. My Mum, Dad and Mr Grewar’s family; Mindy his wife, Mairi his daughter, Calum his Son and Martin his daughter’s boyfriend helped with all the organising. Frank MacLaren from FIFE AC also was a massive help. I had never organised a run before so his experience was really helpful. He gave us so much advice and support, coming to every meeting to keep us right and setting up the event on the day also. The University of St Andrews were also great. I wrote to Ian Gaunt, Deputy Director of University of St Andrews Sports who immediately got in touch and offered his support, help and the playing field grounds and facilities for the event.

My Mum and I wrote to lots of people and businesses to see if they would support us with prizes, sponsorship, water, medals etc. The local businesses and people were so supportive and helpful. It was incredible.

I also took the advice of Kerry Mackay, the Individual Giving Officer for Edinburgh University and did a weekend of bag packing and street collecting in St Andrews town centre. This was possible thanks to the help of friends, family and students from my school.

Finally on the 13 September our dream to hold Mr G’s MND Fun Run was finally realised. The sun shone, it was a beautiful and sometimes emotional day. So many people turned up, over 1000, and took part in the run as well as buying from the many stalls and activities, including a bake stall run by the local Scout Leader, Chris Linton, her family and Scouts.

At the end of the race we had an awards ceremony, silent auction and raffle. We raised such a lot of money and everyone had so much fun. Mr Grewar, although exhausted, loved every minute. I feel we achieved our goal a) to raise money, b) for everyone to have fun and c) to show Mr Grewar just how much we care for him and want to help him and others with MND.

This event will now become annual thanks to the support of St Andrews University.  Mr Grewar is delighted.

Fundraising wisdom

If you have a cause or person that you hold close to you, believe in it or them. Never hesitate, there are always others who have that same cause or hold the same person close to them too.

They will support and help you. No matter how big or small or how much time you have available just go for it, the money you raise, big or small, will help to make a difference and hopefully inspire others also to get involved or do something similar.  

Related links

Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic

Euan MacDonald Centre for MND Research