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Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Scholarship fund in memory of MND campaigner Gordon Aikman seeking applications

Written by The Press Association

Applications are now open for a £50,000 scholarship fund set up in memory of a Scottish motor neurone disease (MND) campaigner.

The Gordon Aikman Scholarship will support research into the condition and develop practical improvements in the way people with MND are cared for.

Aikman was director of research for Better Together throughout the Scottish Independence Referendum.

During the campaign he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease and went on to raise awareness of the condition.

Craig Stockton, CEO of MND Scotland, said: "Gordon's wish was to improve the quality of life of people affected by MND. A total investment of £50,000 will enable health and social care professionals, and people affected by MND across Scotland, to investigate, develop and implement practical solutions that will improve the day to day lives of those living with this condition."

Funding will be split across two categories, with each receiving up to £25,000.

The first scholarship will support projects led by those affected by MND and/or their carers.

Meanwhile, the second will be open to those in the nursing, midwifery and allied health professions working in the NHS, higher education institutions, the third sector or social care.

Half of the scholarship money was put forward by the Scottish Government, while the rest was matched by MND Scotland.

Minister for Mental Health Maureen Watt said: "Gordon Aikman (pictured) was deeply committed to advancing the cause of people living with MND in Scotland - raising over half a million pounds for charity as well as persuading us to change the law around voice therapy and double the number of MND specialist nurses in Scotland and to fund them from the public purse.

"The scholarship will continue to drive forward the improvements to MND care that Gordon has kick-started in Scotland and will be a fitting tribute to a truly inspirational person.

"We are especially committed to learning from those affected by MND and a significant amount of the funding will be invested in funding projects led by those with MND or their carers.

"We want to make sure that the momentum that Gordon created - and the good work that followed - continues to be taken forward."

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