Local Man Simon Smashes Fundraising Target for Poppyscotland

Simon Bennett organised a series of activities over the course of the past year as part of The 1918 Poppy Pledge aimed at raising vital funds for the leading Armed Forces charity.

The 1918 Poppy Pledge, which could take any fundraising form the participants saw fit, was created to provide a lasting tribute to those who fell in the First World War in this poignant centenary year. Importantly, it will now allow Poppyscotland to make a step change in the scale of support it is able to provide those in the Armed Forces community who rely on the charity’s support today.

To complete their ‘Pledge’, those taking part were tasked with raising £1,918 in whatever way they could. But Simon, who has lived in East Kilbride for 25 years, surpassed that target and was today able to hand over a cheque for an incredible £2,727.

To raise the money, Simon, 55, organised a race night, held at the Calderwood Inn earlier this year, and, together with a raffle, company dress down days and personal donations, the funds poured in. He said: “I originally thought that anything more than £1,500 raised would be a good result and while I hoped this might get up towards the target of £1,918, I have been humbled by the generosity of so many people who have supported me.

“I want to say a huge thank you to all of the local businesses, restaurants and individuals who have contributed, and to the Calderwood Inn which kindly hosted the sell-out race night in May. It was a memorable night for everyone who came.”

Simon, a General Manager with a hydraulic products business, continued: “My Dad was in the Army when I was growing up and when he left he spent a further 30 years with the Army Cadets, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel with the Duke of Wellingtons Regiment. I was an Army Cadet myself and while I didn’t follow him with a career in the Forces, the majority of my friends did, so Poppyscotland is a cause that is very close to my heart.

“They do really important work to support the Armed Forces community so it has been great to raise such a large amount, which I know will be very well spent helping those who deserve it the most.”

Simon today returned to the Calderwood Inn to present the cheque to Poppyscotland’s Events Fundraising Manager, Katriona Harding. Katriona said: “We wanted to say a massive ‘thank you’ to Simon and everyone else that helped to raise this incredible total.

“The 1918 Poppy Pledge really captured people’s imaginations in this centenary year and we are hopeful it will have raised more than £300,000 in total. This means Poppyscotland will be able to support those who have served, those still serving and their families in many more ways in the future. This simply wouldn’t be possible without the tireless support of people like Simon.”


Notes to editors

  • Poppyscotland provides life-changing support to the Armed Forces community. Money raised from the Scottish Poppy Appeal and Poppyscotland’s year-round fundraising enables them to deliver support to members of the Armed Forces community in Scotland by providing tailored funding and assistance. The charity also funds services in advice, employment, housing, mental health, mobility and respite. Please note that we are known as “Poppyscotland”, and not “PoppyScotland” or “Poppy Scotland”. For more information, please visit us at: poppyscotland.org.uk.
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