Going for gold

Scottish Rugby’s points-record holder Chris Paterson MBE and award-winning author Alexander McCall Smith CBE have joined forces ahead of The Eric Liddell Centre’s inaugural fundraising dinner. 

The pair met ahead of The Going for Gold Fundraising Gala, which is taking place on Tuesday 5 December at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Edinburgh, and saw, up close the medals of Olympic hero and Scotland wing, Eric Liddell. 

The bronze and gold 1924 Olympic medals and medal for participation were on display for the day at the Eric Liddell Centre to launch the dinner which will see a host of special guests come together to raise funds for the major Edinburgh care charity and community hub. 

Along with Chris Paterson and Alexander McCall Smith, comedian and columnist Susan Morrison will be compering, St Mary’s Music School will provide evening entertainment and a silent and online auction will help raise funds for the centre to increase its wide range of services for Edinburgh’s community groups. 

Chris Paterson, said: “Being part of the Eric Liddell Centre’s inaugural fundraising gala is a privilege. Eric Liddell was an Olympic hero, as well as winning seven international caps for Scotland, so to be able to keep his name alive and be part of an evening where we can raise money to keep it going, is fantastic. 

“It’s going to be a great night for a great cause and I can’t wait to meet all the guests on the evening and help the centre raise funds to sustain its inspiring work in communities.” 

The Eric Liddell Centre is a registered care charity that specialises in care for the elderly and dementia services with the aim of support people to remain in their own homes for as long as possible. 

Alexander McCall Smith added: “Every single day the Eric Liddell Centre helps people with dementia. Every single day the staff in this wonderful place support the carers who look after them. And if that were not enough, at the same time the Centre hosts a whole raft of community activities for all ages.  

“The dinner will help all this to continue - and to grow. A good dinner, tempting prizes, entertainment - this should be a fine occasion, for the very best of causes." 

John MacMillan, CEO of The Eric Liddell Centre, said: “We are thrilled to announce our inaugural fundraising gala. We want to continue inspiring, empowering and supporting people of all ages and look forward to welcoming everyone along for the dinner next month. 

“The evening itself is set to be exceptional. We have an array of special guests, evening entertainment and some first-class auction items that we hope will help raise money to allow us to continue to grow and expand the services we offer across the city.”

If you would like to purchase tickets to the event, or place a bid ahead of the auction, please visit: www.goingforgold.ericliddell.org

Notes to editors

  • The Eric Liddell Centre is a registered care charity and major community hub which provides a wide range of services for the capital’s community groups with the aim of inspiring, empowering and supporting people of all ages.
  • Located in a large, repurposed historic former church in Edinburgh, The Centre specialises in care for the elderly and dementia services with the aim of supporting people to remain in their own homes for as long as possible.
  • Provides a person-centred day care service to 70 clients per week with a diagnosis of dementia by a dedicated team of highly qualified staff and experienced and skilled volunteers which aims to reduce social isolation and promote independence.
  • The dementia day care service receives part funding from City of Edinburgh Council/Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership and has been registered with the Care Inspectorate since 2007. The charity is reliant on the support of grant making organisations and individuals to fill the funding gap and provide additional services.
  • The day care service provides respite for carers and the centre offers befriending and wellness classes that also aim to reduce stress and provide a break from this challenging role.
  • The centre supports an average of 2000 weekly visitors to wide range of community based activities including respite for carers, yoga, Pilates, martial arts and music and gymnastics for toddlers. 
  • Founded in 1980, the Centre was renamed in 1992 in memory of the 1924 Olympic 400m Olympic gold medalist, Eric Liddell who was the central character of the highly successful film Chariots of Fire. The Centre remains true to the beliefs of his inspiring life and Lord David Puttnam CBE, FRSA, the Oscar-winning producer of Chariots of Fire is one of the Centre’s patrons as is Eric Liddell’s niece Sue Liddell Caton and Professor Alexander McCall-Smith CBE, FRSA.