Tonight, Jamieson’s of Shetland opened late to host a book launch of a book of designs made from their Spindrift range called Meadow by Marie Wallin. The launch which was timed to coincide with Shetland Wool Week also brings with it a very welcome boost for the Shetland MRI Scanner Appeal.
Marie Wallin made contact with the Billy Middleton quite early on in their fundraising efforts pledging to donate £1 from every copy sold. Since then, she has arranged to include a special feature on the appeal, along with what the MRI Maakers have been doing to raise funds for it.
Unfortunately, Marie wasn’t able to be in Shetland for its debut here herself. However, aside from her designs being made from Jamieson’s of Shetland yarn, she has a close relationship with the Jamieson family, in particular Elaine Jamieson. These ties have existed since before the release of one of Marie’s earlier highly successful books – Shetland.
In readiness for the book being available, the Jamieson’s had pre-ordered copies, including those to be shipped to their distributor in the USA. These totalled 3200 copies, and the donation by Marie has already been sent to the Scanner Appeal.
Since Marie couldn’t be here herself, and given the close ties, she asked Elaine and Garry Jamieson to hand over the cheque on her behalf. Harriet Middleton and her son Billy received it at their shop on Commercial Street moments before the doors opened to a long queue of eagerly waiting shoppers.
The cheque for £3200 brings the total raised for the Shetland MRI Scanner Appeal through the MRI Maakers close to £50,000. A milestone which is sure to be surpassed in the coming days with Shetland Wool Week in full swing.
Harriet is overwhelmed by the support she and the MRI Maakers have received, from all over the world saying “Not bad for something that began with a peerie toorie.”
Shetland Wool Week have been very supportive of the project, giving them access to the opening night and a space at the Hub in the Shetland Museum and Archives in Da Gaddery. Through it they have brought together people who have been supporting them from afar. Speaking of the atmosphere, Harriet says, “It’s heart warming to see so many people caring for a cause that will make such a big difference to us here in Shetland. They’ve been genuinely interested and keen to support us and it’s so nice to see some in person who have been following what we’re doing on the internet.”
Billy, who has been behind much of the online presence, feels the same. “It’s quite surreal how much support we’ve had, with so many from so far away. Any time we’ve needed help with anything locally, the community have stepped up and helped. So many people here have a personal reason for being behind the fundraising effort. But what sometimes touches you more is how much help is offered by so many with no particular personal reason to, other than simply being nice people and caring. This initial donation from Marie Wallin is a perfect example and we’re extremely grateful to her for everything she’s done.”