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Inspirational father wins posthumous Cancer Research UK award for ‘outstanding’ fundraising efforts


Stuart MacDonald recognised with Flame of Hope Award for efforts to raise thousands of pounds following cancer diagnosis

Stuart Portrait

A Glasgow father has been recognised with a posthumous Flame of Hope award from Cancer Research UK for his fundraising efforts.

Stuart MacDonald, from Newton Mearns, was first diagnosed in 2018 with cancer in both of his eyes after experiencing blurred vision. Despite initial treatment, he was 60 when he died in June last year after the cancer spread.

During his treatment journey, Stuart, who worked as an accountant for ScottishPower, was an enthusiastic supporter of the fundraising partnership between his employer and Cancer Research UK.

He was passionate about ensuring no one had to go through what he did and was a real champion of the partnership. During fundraising campaigns, he could often be seen dressed up, shaking Cancer Research UK collection buckets to raise as much money as possible.

In 2021, he took on his ‘10k in the Sands’ challenge, by tackling a 10k beach walk along the iconic Ayrshire coast to raise more than £2,700.

Last year, he was the face of Cancer Research UK’s World Cancer Day campaign, in which he shared his own story and encouraged people to buy Unity Bands which help to fund life-saving research, raise awareness and offer a way for people to show their support to help beat cancer, sooner.

Stuart was passionately committed to working with the partnership team to highlight what it’s like to return to work when you have cancer. Although a highly emotional time for him and his family, it underlined Stuart’s desire to raise awareness of the ScottishPower and Cancer Research UK partnership in any way he could.

Stuart was named Corporate Charity Fundraiser of the Year at Cancer Research UK’s annual Flame of Hope awards in Edinburgh on March 8. The awards celebrate the achievements of the charity’s most outstanding and inspiring volunteer fundraisers and 2023 marks 20 years of the recognition programme.  

Stuart’s wife Jane and his son Ross, 26, attended the Flame of Hope awards to receive the award.

Jane said: “When Stuart was first diagnosed with lymphoma it was obviously a huge shock but they treated it initially and he was able to get back to his work who were extremely supportive.

“He’d seen first-hand the incredible way that Cancer Research UK is dedicated to beating cancer through their research, influence and the information they provide and made it his mission to support them in any way he could.

“If there was a fundraiser, he’d be there, usually in some fancy dress, rallying the troops to raise as much money as possible and he was always willing to share his own story and lessons learned to raise awareness of the fundraising partnership, despite his own challenges.

“He was really touched to be the face of ScottishPower’s World Cancer Day campaign and have the chance to thank NHS workers who looked after him. His day taking on the walk along the beaches of Prestwick, Troon and Ayr was just an amazing effort. The support from his colleagues at ScottishPower was amazing and it’s a memory I’ll treasure.”

Ross and Jane Portrait

Caireen Devanney, Group Financial Controller at ScottishPower, said: “Stuart was such a fantastic colleague and we were all devastated when he passed. We all miss his humour and warmth but the legacy of his fundraising certainly lives on.

“Despite everything he faced both physically and emotionally, he was always a true champion for the partnership team, doing all he could to share his own story to inspire people to support Cancer Research UK and prevent others going through what he had to face.

“He helped and inspired so many people and the Flame of Hope Award is recognition of the man he was. Winning is recognition of his big heart and generosity and I can think of no better way of commemorating him.”

ScottishPower has supported Cancer Research UK since 2012 to help beat cancer sooner. To date, the partnership has raised more than £35m and isn’t stopping there.

Cancer Research UK’s Chief Executive, Michelle Mitchell, said: “Thanks to the dedication of almost 30,000 volunteers supporting us right across the charity- from fundraising and increasing awareness of cancer to helping run shops and events- Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of progress that has seen cancer survival in the UK double over the past 40 years.

“The Flame of Hope awards give us the opportunity to celebrate and say thank you to those who have made outstanding contributions and we’re proud to have presented almost 2,000 awards since the first ceremony back in 2003.”

To find out more about ScottishPower’s partnership and support of Cancer Research UK, please visit: Fundraising for Cancer Research UK | Gas and Electricity Company | ScottishPower