Sponsored walk for Newtongrange man diagnosed with motor neurone disease is thirsty work

Friends of a Newtongrange man who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease last year have raised more than £8,000 for him by going on a pub crawl/ sponsored walk.

Friday, 11th June 2021, 7:00 am
The charity pub crawl/ sponsored walk.

John ‘Jock’ Livingstone (58) suffers from the fatal, rapidly progressing neurological disease, after being diagnosed with the condition last summer. Earlier this month a group of friends came together to help Jock, raising an incredible £8,230 for him to make his home more accessible.

One of his friends, Alan Urquhart from Gorebridge talked about the walk, which went round Midlothian, taking in drinking establishments including the Corner Pocket, Salters Pub, Easthouses Miners Club and Newbattle Bowline Club.

He said: “He can’t walk himself, but he is still himself, we still have banter. He needs his home adapted to meet his needs so all the money raised is going towards that.

Jock receives the cheque.

"On the walk we also took buckets to collect cash for motor neurone charities, on top of the money we raised for Jock. We started at 10am and finished at 5pm, stopping at each pub on the way for about an hour.

"Jock couldn’t come to the pubs due to his condition unfortunately. But we were able to meet him at the end and hand over the cheque.

"It was a pub crawl/ sponsored walk and the weather was lovely so everyone had a great time.”

Alan revealed the shock when Jock was diagnosed.

He said: "I have known him all my life. He is a Nitten guy through and through and everyone there knows him.

"We had a great turnout for the walk, about 30-50 people, it was a great day, and great to raise so much money for Jock and the charities.

"We had some fancy hats to wear walking down the road, in groups of eight, sticking to the Covid rules of course.

"He worked for a hygiene company, PHS for over 25 years. They put him on furlough due to the pandemic last autumn. But due to his condition I don’t think he’ll go back.

"He was a really fit guy, but he had a stroke about eight years ago which knocked him, but even then he was still active, out running and swimming.

"So it was quite sudden when he got motor neurone disease last summer, a big shock to everyone.”

Jock’s daughter, Zoe Livingstone said: “ We would like to thank Action (Alan Urquhart) for all his help in organising the 500 Mile freedom walk - The Nitten way which took place on Saturday 5th June 2021, it was a great turnout by the community all pulling together for a great cause and we are all truly thankful for everyone who has made donations into the Go Fund me page.

“The total raised was just over £8,000.00 which is outstanding. The funds are going to help adapt their home and garden to make it more accessible for wheelchair use.

“On the day of the walk, we raised a total of £600 which is going to be donated to MND, we would like to thank all the public who contributed.

“We would also like to thank John's sisters Ann Livingstone and Diane Aitken who carried out an Easter raffle in Tesco's Hardengreen and raised a total of £1,500.”