MORE than 1,000 people affected by motor neurone disease have been directly helped by the foundation founded by former rugby star Doddie Weir.

Since the 61-times-capped Scotland player founded his My Name’5 Doddie Foundation it has continued to provide valuable financial support for many who suffer from the terminal illness.

It has also provided additional funding to MND Scotland and the MND Association of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The announcement marks the start of a third year of support from Doddie's Foundation.

While much of the money raised is directed into research, a significant amount is pledged to directly help people who are living with the disease via the MND Association and MND Scotland.

Doddie’s Foundation has upped its donation to MND Scotland by £100,000 taking the total contribution to £250,000.

And it has also donated £400,000 in total to the MND Association.

Doddie told us: “We are delighted to know that we have been able to help so many families over the last two years.

"There are many challenges to living with MND and it has been my aim to help people in a similar situation to myself live as full a life as possible.

"The grant schemes are vital and we are only able to help in this way thanks to the amazing support we receive from our fundraisers and friends every day.”

People affected by MND in Scotland can apply to MND Scotland for care grants to help with the cost of home adaptations, such as ramps and stairlifts, as well as equipment such as specialist bathroom facilities and riser recliner chairs, and for respite activities for carers and families.

The equivalent is available from the MND Association for those living in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Craig Stockton, MND Scotland’s chief executive, said: “The support from the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation is helping us provide vital support to even more families across the country, when they need it the most.

"I’d like to thank Doddie and his foundation for their generosity, and commitment to improving the lives of those affected.

"Through our grants programme we are able to remove some of the additional stress that financial worries can cause, and allow people to concentrate on living their lives.”

MND Scotland helped 250 people affected by MND in 2019, through the charity’s grants programme, awarding almost £300,000 to families in Scotland.

The MND Association’s care grants programme totals more than £1million annually for the rest of UK and, in 2019, helped 1,425 people.

The MND Association’s chief executive Sally Light said: “We are so grateful for Doddie’s continuing support of the MND Association and his determination to make life better for people like himself who have received this devastating diagnosis.

"The generous donations from the Foundation and continued partnership with us will make a real difference to those living with MND as well as their carers and loved ones.”