BY Ryan McDougall | April 26 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

xmssociety1 Olive (Centre) Kirsty Stephens (right)

Dunfermline parishioner is a fundraising superstar

A fundraising ‘superstar’ from a Dunfermline parish has been recognised by a charity to which she has devoted over 20 years of time and effort.

Olive Patterson, 85, is a member of the Most Holy Trinity Parish in Dunfermline, and, in 21 years, she has raised £22,000 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

At a talk held by Kirsty Stevens of the MS Society at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, parishioners raised a further £275, of which £150 was raised by Mrs Patterson through a raffle and a donation from the church women’s group.

Mrs Patterson described the milestone as ‘a great feeling.’



“I never thought I’d reach £22,000,” she said. “Unfortunately, all my pals who helped me fundraise over the years are gone now, but I’m trying to keep going for as long as I can.”

She said parishioners at Holy Trinity had congratulated her on her fundraising efforts.

She added: “My husband would be proud. He gave me 10 pence to start me off when I first began!”

Olive began her mission shortly after her son was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1996.

Her daughter was then diagnosed around two years later.



Reflecting on the last 21 years of fundraising, she said: “I would organise things like cheese and wine parties, coffee mornings and bottle stalls, and now I collect coins in coffee jars and have an MS box in the church shop that I run.

“On my big birthdays I hold fundraisers too. I tell my friends and family not to give me presents, but to donate to the MS society instead.

“I don’t think the government helps people with MS as much as they should, it’s only really fundraising that can make a difference.”


A debilitating disease

Multiple Sclerosis is a disease of the brain and spinal cord that can causes complications in many areas of the body. It is reported to affect approximately 100,000 people in the UK, 10 per cent of whom are in Scotland.

Symptoms include, but are not limited to, cognitive dysfunction, chronic pain, fatigue and sometimes vision problems.

The MS Society formed in 1953 and fund research into finding a cure, establish support groups for people with the condition and aim to improve the quality of life of individuals who suffer from the disease.


MS Society response

In response to Olive’s £22,000 milestone and long-term support, Morna Simpkins, director of the MS Society of Scotland, praised her work.

She said: “The dedication and commitment Olive has shown in raising money for the fight to stop MS is truly inspiring.

“To raise such a hugely significant amount in such a short time is incredible and will make a real difference for people affected by MS across the country.

“Over 11,000 people in Scotland have MS and it’s only with the support of our MS superstars that we will be able to keep pushing forward and find new—and better—treatments.”


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