Cash raised in Nick’s name forwards vital work in Sheffield

A charity set up in memory of a father of two who died from motor neurone disease in December, 2017, has donated £50,000, to medical research.

Tuesday, 16th April 2019, 10:29 am
Updated Tuesday, 16th April 2019, 10:49 am
Sheffield presentation

The Nick Smith Foundation was set up in honour of the 38-year old former Sheffield Hallam university student and Sheffield Eagles player, by his family and friends.

They set out to support the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience and its work to find out more about motor neurone disease, in a bid to find treatments and, ultimately, a cure.

Ahead of the charity’s first anniversary, Nick’s wife Rachel visited the Glossop Road research centre with Foundation trustees, to hand over the money and find out how it will help.

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The donation will mean that a new state-of-the-art machine used for research, a Nanostring Ncounter, can be bought. 

Professor Dame Pamela Shaw, director and founder of SITraN, said: “This wonderful donation from The Nick Smith Foundation is being used to provide cutting edge scientific equipment for the research teams within the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience.

“The Nanostring machine enables us to message the level of expression of many different genes in MND cells compared to healthy cells which gives us a very important picture of the disease process.”

Stephen Naylor, Nick’s brother-in-law, chairs The Nick Smith Foundation. He said:

“In the 18 months since Nick died, we have had a shared determination to ensure his legacy lives on. This charity, in his memory and his name, is making a difference.

“On behalf of Nick’s wife Rachel, and all the Trustees, I want to thank every single person, organisation and company who has  supported us. Much more is planned and the continued support for The Nick Smith Foundation, and our family, is appreciated more than we can say.”

More information about the charity can be found online at