MSA Trust

Central Scotland school raises £9K for charity

For immediate release: Thursday 10 December 2015

Joan Foster, wife of late John Foster, the much-revered former Director of Sport at Dollar Academy, received a cheque for £9,000 on behalf of the Multiple System Atrophy Trust1 (MSA Trust) at a special school assembly yesterday2 (Wednesday, 9 December).

John Foster died from the rare neurological disease multiple system atrophy3 (MSA) in February 2015.

He worked at Dollar Academy for 28 years, first as a PE Teacher and then as Director of Sport. He led the school’s 1st XV rugby teams to three successive victories in the Scottish Schools Cup (2003-2005) and was described by the Scottish Rugby Union as one of Scotland’s most influential coaches (he received their Spirit of Rugby Award in 2011). He was also a boarding houseparent for twelve years.

Staff and students from the school undertook a sponsored walk to raise money for the MSA Trust in memory of John on Friday, 25 September 2015. The walk raised £54,634 in total that was divided between six causes4.

Head of Fundraising at the MSA Trust, Joan Smith, said:

“The Trust is absolutely delighted and honoured to receive this incredible donation from the Dollar Academy.

“We rely entirely on voluntary donations and without the amazing generosity of members and supporters we would be unable to continue to support people affected by MSA. Thank you so much to the Dollar Academy’s students and staff and, of course, to Joan, who knows first-hand about the enormous challenges of living with MSA.”

David Knapman, Rector from Dollar Academy commented:

“We are absolutely delighted to be able to contribute so substantially to this very important cause so near to the heart of everyone at Dollar Academy. This donation underscores how beloved John Foster was to our community, and how sharply we feel his loss. The sponsored walk was undertaken very much with Mr Foster in mind. MSA is a horrific disease, as we know only too well, and we are hopeful that this contribution will go toward helping those who suffer from MSA as well as helping to fund an eventual cure.”


―   ENDS   ―

Notes to editors:

The MSA Trust is the UK and Ireland’s leading charity supporting people affected by MSA. The Trust provides its services free of charge to people affected by MSA – they include MSA Nurse Specialists, a Support Group network and an email and telephone support service. The Trust also funds vital research to find the cause, and one day, cure for MSA.

Photograph of the cheque presentation with Joan Foster and pupils Hamish Hunter, Mark Bathgate and Harry Warr.

Dollar Academy

Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a rare neurological disease that leads to premature death – it causes brain cells to shrink resulting in severe problems with multiple bodily functions. People with MSA often end up in need of 24/7 care, doubly incontinent, and in some cases unable to communicate, swallow or move.

Some people with MSA say it feels like the disease traps them in their own bodies. There is no known cause or cure for MSA, which strikes at random, usually when people are in their fifties.


Franca Tranza:, 0333 323 4591, 0776 5273812
Head of Communications

Joan Smith:, 0203 621 1349
Head of Fundraising

Dollar Academy: 01259 742511

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