A donations page set up following the death of the late Charlie Summers has raised more than £1,700 for the Gilbert Bain Hospital.
Charlie, who lived in Lerwick and was perhaps best known for working as a janitor at the Anderson High School, died aged 89 following a short illness last month.
His family were unable to hold a full funeral due to the current situation regarding Covid-19. A private family service was instead held at the Chapel of Rest.
The family decided to set up the Just Giving page as a way of replicating the collection they would have had at the funeral, and as a way of thanking staff at the Lerwick hospital, who cared for Charlie on different occasions.
They had initially asked for people to raise £100 to go towards the hospital, but eventually raised well over 17 times that amount in an incredible fundraising push.
Charlie’s son Colin said that donating the money to the Gilbert Bain Hospital was “an easy choice”, particularly when NHS staff were turning up every day “to help save lives during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic”.
“Dad always spoke highly about the staff and how well he was cared for during his times in the hospital.”
The Summers family has already been using the money to buy products that hospital staff have told them they need, while also supporting local businesses.
They have bought two CD/radios and two TVs from George Robertson Ltd, and two single folding beds with mattresses from Home Furnishing, to donate to Ward 3 in the hospital. They have also bought a range of soap from the Shetland Soap Co. to go to doctors and nurses working in A&E.
They also hope to purchase a tablet to help families keep in touch with loved ones in the hospital.
Colin thanked those who had donated to the page, and said they had received donations from “Baltasound to the sooth end”.
“We are all very fortunate to live in such a kind, caring and generous community. Even though we are facing many unknowns and challenges, the community rallies around and that’s what makes this place so special.”
He said that at a time when family and friends “are struggling” with financial uncertainty, it was “even more special” for the family to have such an incredible response.
NHS Shetland chief executive Michael Dickson said this was a “wonderful gesture” from the Summers family and “very welcome” at such a difficult time.
Colin added that Charlie “would have loved” the fundraising effort, and “would have been very proud”.
“Growing up we had many political debates with him, but one thing he always hammered home to us was how important the NHS was, and that we need to do everything we can to protect it – now and into the future.”
Full version in this week’s edition of The Shetland Times.