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Milestone for music fans - £100k raised over 10 years for Diabetes UK

Rock fans Colin Rodger (pictured left) and Martin Higgins have turned their love of music and passion for Seattle rock band Pearl Jam into a movement whose mission is to raise awareness about diabetes and vital funds for Diabetes UK.

The Pearl Jam Scotland Fundraising Fan Group spans the globe and over the past 10 years has raised over £100,000 for Diabetes UK.

Colin Rodger and Martin Higgins from Glasgow both have family members who live with type 1 diabetes.

Martin explained how the pair got started with the Pearl Jam Scotland and fundraising:

“The foundation of what Colin and I do is music related. Colin is lead singer in a grunge and rock band, The Lost Dogs, and I am a huge music fan, and fan of Pearl Jam in particular.

“Colin and I were both involved separately in fundraising. Motivated and united behind us both having family members who live with type 1 diabetes, we decided to combine our respective skills to create a fundraising community - and so the Pearl Jam Scotland Fundraising Fan Group was born.”

Over a 10-year period, the Pearl Jam Scotland Fundraising Fan Group has grown to 3,300 members who follow Colin and Martin on Facebook, made up of people from all walks of life, who live all over the world.

Members connect online and get together in person to talk, listen to, play and celebrate music – but with a difference. Colin and Martin use the platform and what they do to tie in opportunities to carry out charitable work, not only to support us, but more broadly, reaching out to assist people in need, and freely volunteering their time to do so.

When it comes to fundraising, the pair are always looking for ways to innovate. They host live music events, sell branded music clothing and memorabilia, and hold raffles. They have even created and sold a charity album.

Their biggest event is called Grungefest which takes place every year in September. This is a live music event in Glasgow and bands and music fans travel from all over the UK to attend it.

“We like to be as creative as possible. We have music fans from all over the world in our community group. What’s important to us is raising money to go to good causes and that we are also raising awareness of diabetes, a condition close to both of our hearts," Colin said. 

Pearl Jam has not played in Scotland since 2000 however the US band is playing in Manchester this June. To mark the occasion, and a decade of fundraising, Colin and Martin are hosting a charity pre-party event in Manchester ahead of their idol’s concert in the city later that evening.

The Fundraising Fan Group is proudly presenting a Pearl Jam Manchester pre-show gathering at the Hard Rock Cafe Manchester on 25 June, 12-5pm. The ticket price guarantees entry, two raffle tickets for a prize draw, live music and Pearl Jam memorabilia that you can have your photo taken with. Martin and Colin have extended an invitation to Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder.

Martin explained: “We know what we are doing has reached the attention of Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder and other people in the music industry. At some of their concerts they have acknowledged how we have helped some people in need of a little help in life. The pre-show event is shaping up to be a fantastic afternoon and the perfect preparation and warm up for the concert in the evening. If Eddie manages along, that’d be the icing on the cake.”

Colin and Martin have been shortlisted for Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year in National Fundraising Awards 2024. Hosted by the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, the National Fundraising Awards celebrate and recognise the achievements of truly remarkable fundraisers who, in extraordinary ways, have made the world a better place.   

Winners of the National Fundraising Awards 2024 will be announced at a ceremony in July in London.

Fiona Stewart, Community Fundraiser, Diabetes Scotland said:

“Diabetes UK’s work is much needed and wouldn’t be possible without the dedication and generosity of our incredible fundraisers. 

“We are extremely grateful to Colin and Martin for everything they have done over the past 10 years and for the remarkable amount of money Pearl Jam Scotland members have raised. Reaching the milestone of raising £100,000 is testament to the unwavering commitment, passion, and the countless hours they have both devoted to our cause. Being shortlisted for Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year in the National Fundraising Awards 2024 is hugely well deserved.

“Demand for our services is increasing all the time. Funds raised go towards Diabetes UK care and support services, advice and guidance, and pioneering research that help change the lives of those living with diabetes.”

Here’s how to get involved with the Pearl Jam Scotland Fundraising Fan Group.

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