Cairncross Award for Outstanding Work in the Community

The Cairncross Award

Cairncross Award

This year’s Cairncross Award for Outstanding Work in the Community was awarded on 2nd May 2024 to Kenneth (Kenny) Simpson MBE TD for his work with TASH4UKRAINE (Tayside and Strathearn Help for Ukraine).

The award has been given by the Rotary Club of Perth as recognition of his outstanding efforts through TASH4UKRAINE in helping the people in Scotland and Ukraine affected by the on-going conflict. 

The charity was formed by a group of five Polish and Scottish volunteers on 28th February, 2022.  The purpose of the group was to find practical ways to support Ukrainians affected by the conflict.  It started to collaborate with the Polish Scout Association in Perth and Morris Leslie asked Kenny Simpson to join the group and act as co-ordinator.  Morris Leslie Car Auctions at Errol provided free of charge warehousing for donated items. At the outset they also joined with Siobhan's Trust (now known as Hopeful Trust) and Polish volunteers working near the border at Medyka to help Ukrainians.   

Local Perthshire businesses and individuals were keen to donate and support the people of Ukraine.  Their support and that of those across the country has been huge and enduring.  TASH4U soon became a large organising and distribution hub based at Errol Airfield with many volunteers working to receive, sort, box and load donations into containers for transport to Ukraine.  With experience in the military and of complex logistics Kenny was able to steer the charity as it grew in size and complexity.  It collects donations from businesses and individuals in local communities all across Scotland through its large network of volunteers.  It has sent an impressive 2,500 pallets of donated items in 79 container trucks and 23 vans to Poland where they are decanted into smaller vehicles for transport over the border to Ukraine.

The scope of the charity has never stopped expanding with:

·       organised support and aid to Ukrainians settled in Scotland, 

·       transportation of a donated ambulance,

·       delivery of a dental treatment van, and

·       delivery of fork lift trucks,

All these and the donated household items have provided real and practical assistance to Ukrainians in the east and west of the country.

Yet, despite the size of its operation and its undoubted invaluable support for the people in Ukraine, it has remained very much a community project and entirely volunteer managed.  It is now the largest Scottish, volunteer only, aid organisation.  Only two weeks ago it formally became a registered charity. 

Kenneth Simpson received his MBE in the 1990s for his work in the military.  He has worked tirelessly with TASH4U from the outset in 2022 and has nominated this charity to receive the £250 cash award that goes along with the Cairncross Award Quaich.

President Bill McDonald said: 

“Our members have supported the charity TASH4U through donations and been close to its operation.  We have been impressed by their management of the transportation of such volumes of donations; by the dedication of the volunteers and the charity’s use of partners in Poland and Ukraine so the aid gets to those who need it.  Kenny has been a key person in this operation and its success.”

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