Tom Gilzean makes surprise appearance at Lord Provost party

The Lord and Lady Provost with charity collector Tom Gilzean. Picture:   Neil Hanna
The Lord and Lady Provost with charity collector Tom Gilzean. Picture: Neil Hanna
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FUNDRAISING legend Tom Gilzean left his sickbed to make a surprise appearance at the Lord Provost’s community garden party.

The 96-year-old arrived in a wheelchair with his trademark collection bucket despite breaking bones in his neck, back and shoulder during a freak accident in May.

Every so often it’s nice to be able to recignise the work that volunteers do

Lord Provost Donald Wilson

Earlier this week, the Lord Provost, Councillor Donald Wilson, had vowed to hold a collection in Tom’s absence during the event at Lauriston Castle.

A number of charities and volunteers were rewarded for their contribution to the city, with Broomhouse-based The BIG Project presented with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

The organisation was set up in 2002 and provides support and services for young people aged five to 16.

Other invited guests included businessman Sir Tom Farmer and charity fundraiser Lynne McNicoll.

City councillors, who had been asked to nominate community champions from their own wards, were also joined by dedicated workers from the city’s third sector, Edinburgh British Empire medallists and local philanthropists.

In total, more than 500 guests attended the event, where they enjoyed afternoon tea on the lawn before performances from Edinburgh choir group The Aw Blacks, Chinese opera singers and pipe bands.

Cllr Wilson said: “Volunteers and community workers don’t give their time in the hope of receiving a reward, but every so often it’s nice to be able to recognise the work they do.”