Charities hosting events at the Forth Bridge have benefitted to the tune of £640,000 during 2018, the largest annual sum recorded by Network Rail, the owners and operators of the Forth Bridge.
Two abseiling events in June and October, run by Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, raised £200,000 for the charity and the same total again for other participating charities. The local Rotary Club of South Queensferry raised in excess of £178,000 for local and international causes during their ninth annual abseil in July. Barnardo’s raised £65,000 for their YourView trips to the top of the bridge in September. All events were facilitated by Network Rail's Forth Bridge contractors, Balfour Beatty.
Since 2012, Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland alone has raised £1.7m from abseil events. The Rotary Club expects to exceed £1m in 2019. In two years of fundraising, Barnardo’s has raised in excess of £90,000.
Jamie Mclaren, Network Rail asset engineer for the bridge, said: “The Forth Bridge is arguably Scotland’s most recognisable landmark and these figures demonstrate the value that people place on being able to access the structure. We’re enormously proud to have been able to help our charity partners and we’d like to thank our site team for their continuing support. These events have become a vital part of the fundraising calendar for our charities partners in Scotland and we look forward to building on this success next year.”
Jane-Claire Judson, Chief Executive of Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, said: “As a Scottish charity that supports people the length and breadth of Scotland it is an honour to be able to work with Network Rail and Balfour Beatty to share this incredible event at the iconic bridge with our supporters.
“The money we have raised from our abseil event has been vital in helping us continue to support the one in five people affected by chest, heart and stroke conditions throughout Scotland. We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported the event over the years, whether they have taken part, volunteered or supported friends and family on the day. With your support we can be there for people when they need us. “
Martin Crewe, Director for Barnardo’s Scotland, said: “On behalf of Barnardo’s Scotland I would like to say a huge thank you to all those who supported Your View 2018.
“The success of the event allowed us to take 1,250 supporters up onto the viewing platform on the North Cantilever of the Bridge, raising over £65,000. The money raised will go towards supporting services like our Edinburgh 16+, that supports young people moving from care to independent living. This service helps to secure appropriate accommodation, assist with the development of independent living skills such as cooking and budgeting, and also offers crucial emotional and wellbeing support to the young people we work with.”
Graham Clarkson, a spokesman for Rotary Club of South Queensferry, said: “By permitting us to run an annual abseil from the Forth Bridge, Network Rail offers the club a perfect opportunity to show Rotary in action, benefiting numerous charities and giving people from all over the country a unique experience at a World Heritage site.
“We adopt two charities for a period of two years. This year's adopted charities were the Edinburgh Children's Hospital Charity, who intend to use part of the money to furnish a room for relatives in the new hospital, and The Yard, who are using the money to expand their network of indoor and outdoor facilities for disabled children.”