Foodbank fundraising “buskathon” smashes through £6,000 barrier

Shetland Foodbank has been “overwhelmed” by a major piece of fundraising which has brought in over £6,000 – a staggering total far exceeding an initial £60 pledge.

Musician Jack Sandison’s online “buskathon”, which he organised in aid of the foodbank, has exceeded all expectations.

It came after The Shetland Times highlighted difficulties the foodbank was experiencing in light of the coronavirus pandemic, which had led to a fall in food donations and a high number of volunteer absences.

But by noon on Monday the online appeal had raised £6,300 – completely smashing initial expectations.

Project Manager at the foodbank David Grieve said: “These extremely generous donations will ensure that Shetland Foodbank remains able to meet the needs of those facing hunger in our local community well into the future.”

He added that the foodbank had been rising to the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have had to completely restructure the way the foodbank operates in order to create a safe, socially-distanced space from which to distribute food.”

The story began last month when Mr Grieve received a message from Mr Sandison – a musician and soon-to-be qualified music teacher.

Mr Sandison initially wanted to give the foodbank £60 he had raised from busking on Commercial Street in Lerwick.

But that was just the start of things. Soon, Mr Sandison decided to raise the bar a little and aimed to raise £500 by organising a few fellow Shetlanders to join in the “Buskathon” the
following Saturday.

He said: “I was looking for a way to help out and raise funds, as my partner’s mother volunteers at the foodbank.

“A friend of mine from Edinburgh started hosting online gigs for Scottish musicians in lieu of lost income, so I contacted him about the technicalities and decided to do something similar for Shetland.”

He also reached out to other local musicians Keirynn Topp, Seth Travins, Scott Moncrieff and Scott Tomlinson, offering them a 45-minute performance time slot.

Facebook users could log on, watch their performance and donate some money.


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