28 December 2019 04:59
As a raft of Scots are recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours, fundraising legend Tom Gilzean has received an MBE for his services to charity after raising more than £1 million. The indefatigable war veteran and former bus driver, now 99 years old, has become a prominent and loved figure on Princes Street sporting his tartan trews and numerous medals he's received over a lifetime of services during war and peace. "I'm very humbled to accept such an award" Tom said. The proceeds of Tom's fundraising over 24 years has gone to such causes as the Edinburgh Children's Hospital Charity and the Erskine care home for veterans. Despite being unable to maintain his routine of seven days fundraising a week, Tom has continued from the hospital foyer, bringing in over £2000 this year alone.
With the help of his physiotherapist Murray Fotheringham, Tom regularly makes his way down to the reception to carry on the good work. Tom received the news of his MBE on his way back from a service to commemorate the D-Day landings, held at the French Consulate on Thursday. And not content to rest after reaching the £1 million milestone, Tom hopes to continue gathering funds for the new Royal Hospital for Sick Children due to open on July 15. Fiona Anderson of Edinburgh Children's Hospital Charity, said: "He's a hero to us and watching him collect is a masterclass. And potentially adding to his gongs, Tom has also been nominated for Fundraiser of the Year at the Evening News Local Hero awards 2019, to be announced on June 21.
Ben Robinson, 73, first became chairman of the Brewers in December 1976 when the club was a non-league side and in the lowly seventh tier of English football. But as well as his involvement in the town's football club, Mr Robinson is involved in much community and charity work in the Burton area. That work has now been rewarded with an MBE for his "services to the community in Burton". An MBE, or Member of the British Empire, is a top honour handed out to people for outstanding service to the community that merits public recognition. Reacting to the news, Mr Robinson told Burton Live: "I am honoured and delighted to receive this award, especially as it recognises the community work which has always been so important to me. "Whether it has been through Burton Albion or the charities which I have had the pleasure to serve, trying to put something back into the community where I have always lived and worked has been at the heart of what I have tried to achieve and will continue to do." Mr Robinson was awarded the British Empire Medal back in 2012 for his services to East Staffordshire. The football club has its own dedicated charity arm, the Burton Albion Community Trust, while Mr Robinson is also the chairman of the Consolidated Charity of Burton, which offers vital financial support to groups across Burton. Leader of Staffordshire County Council Philip Atkins said: "I'm delighted for Ben Robinson, he has worked over decades to grow Burton Albion into an institution embedded at the heart of its community with the Burton Albion Community Trust, as well as a respected football club. "He has worked tirelessly for the local community as well as on the national football association stage. "Albion's rise offers both hope and a blueprint for all non-league clubs hoping to emulate their success." We want you to be able to get your Burton news whenever and however you want it. As well as our website, we have a Facebook page, a Twitter feed @BurtonMailNews, and for a daily snapshot of the top stories, you can sign up to receive our newsletters. A Sunderland hospital chaplain has been honoured for her outstanding communiuty service in the Queen's 2019 Birthday Honours. Linda Longstaff, 68, works for South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust. She has been nominated for an MBE after almost 30 years' service to the Catholic Church and for her support of a range of community projects. She learned British Sign Language to help her communicate with Charlotte and used this skill to create Signed with Love, a group for deaf and hearing children that mixed sign language with music and dance. The group became a huge success going out into the community and fundraising for local charities. Linda went on to work in local schools to support children with learning disabilities and in 1999 brought together 1,000 children at the Stadium of Light to sign songs for the Millennium celebrations. Linda has been in this role for the last 16 years and supports patients and their families in a range of situations, including end of life care, the loss of a baby or offering general visits and a listening ear. "Words cannot describe how surprised I was to receive the letter confirming that I had been nominated for an MBE," she said. "But I am extremely grateful and humbled to be nominated and am very much looking forward to travelling to the palace."