Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Charity collector Thomas Gilzean wins Edinburgh Award

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionA 94-year-old charity fundraiser wins the 2014 Edinburgh Award

A 94-year-old war veteran who has raised thousands of pounds for charity is to receive the 2014 Edinburgh Award.

Thomas Gilzean can regularly be seen with his collecting tin on the Royal Mile, wearing his trademark tartan trousers.

Mr Gilzean follows in the footsteps of previous winners including JK Rowling and Sir Chris Hoy.

Members of the public voted for him from a shortlist of 25 nominees. He will receive the award next year.

His handprints will be immortalised on a flagstone, alongside previous winners.

'Extremely fortunate'

Mr Gilzean told BBC Scotland: "It is a very Merry Christmas, a very Happy Christmas for me. I never thought in my whole world that I would get the Edinburgh Award for my charity work.

"It's mostly for the people of Edinburgh because they helped me in every way to get my money for my charity.

"It means all the world to me that I know that all the four charities I collect for are getting money and help to the people who really need help."

Donald Wilson, Edinburgh's Lord Provost, said Mr Gilzean was an inspiring man.

Mr Wilson added: "The Edinburgh Award enables the people of Edinburgh to pay a lasting tribute to someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the city.

"To date, the accolade has been given to people who have contributed to the arts, literature, sport and science - but local charitable work deserves to be held in just as high regard.

"Tom Gilzean is an inspiring man who devotes his life to raising fantastic amounts of money for charity, and we are extremely fortunate in this city to have people like him who so selflessly give up their time for the good of their community.

"It gives me great pleasure to announce Tom as the eighth person to be presented with the Edinburgh Award.

"Having received more nominations than any other individual, he is a local champion for the people of Edinburgh."

Mr Gilzean has raised over £100,000 for the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh since 2008 and this year alone his fundraising total sits at £45,000 which will be shared between a number of causes.

Image caption Thomas Gilzean can regularly be seen with his collecting tin on the Royal Mile, wearing his trademark tartan trousers

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites