A remarkable Serco NorthLink Ferries team member has raised more than £50,000 for 12 worthy charities over the past 11 years, after a successful Charity Night at the Races last month raised over £1,500 for Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Scotland.
Kathryn Fullerton from Shetland is Passenger Service Supervisor on board the passenger vessel MV Hjaltland. She selects a new charity each year to raise money for, enlisting the help of crew, passengers, and the local communities in her fundraising efforts.
Donations have been made to 12 charities over the years, culminating in Kathryn reaching the £50,000 milestone: Kidney Dialysis Unit of Gilbert Bain Hospital in Shetland; Mind Your Head; Pancreatic Cancer UK; Friends of ANCHOR; Bloodwise; Chest Heart & Stroke Society; Crohn’s & Colitis UK; The Archie Foundation; The Brain Tumor Charity; MS Scotland; Clan Cancer Support; and MND Scotland.
Kathryn said: “It all started when my mother passed away. She had been receiving kidney dialysis treatment at the Gilbert Bain Hospital at home in Shetland and I was blown away by how well she was treated by the staff at the hospital. It spurred me to action to raise money for the unit, so that others can continue benefitting from this same high level of service.
“I find it very rewarding to raise money for so many worthy charities. Each year I pick a new charity to support, and I always find a cause that’s close to a colleague or friend’s heart, which makes the fundraising efforts all the more special in my eyes.”
Kathryn has organised a range of novel and fun activities to raise money, including abseiling down the side of Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital in aid of The Archie Foundation and a sponsored head shave among the NorthLink Ferries crew for Pancreatic Cancer UK.
However, Kathryn’s annual sponsored walk is a calendar staple which typically sees a turnout of around 30 colleagues and friends. On board the ships, she always makes sure there are plenty of collection buckets dotted around and profits from the sale of hoodies, t-shirts, and mugs in the gift shops are all donated to charity.
In 2020, Kathryn was awarded a Serco Pulse Award for Care in recognition of all the time and hard work she has dedicated to fundraising over the years, after being nominated by Captain Sean Smith of NorthLink Ferries. The Pulse Awards celebrate the achievements of exceptional Serco employees from all over the world.
Stuart Garrett, Serco’s Managing Director for NorthLink Ferries, said: “Kathryn is a hugely valued member of our team, and we are very grateful to her for organising so many fantastic fundraising activities that all our crew, shore staff, and passengers can get involved in.
“The £50,000 milestone now reached is a testament to Kathryn’s hard work and dedication, and I congratulate her on this outstanding achievement.”
Asked if she plans to continue fundraising, Kathryn added: “Of course, there’s no way I’m stopping now. First and foremost, it’s important to raise money for these worthy charities, but I’ve also made so many friends through my fundraising over the years. I find it a great way to stay connected with the local communities. I get a lot out of it.”