Bottle man Rab is Central FM’s ultimate Local Hero

Rab Simpson is presented with first Local Hero award by legendary Scotland goalkeeper Alan Rough at Airth Castle.
Rab Simpson is presented with first Local Hero award by legendary Scotland goalkeeper Alan Rough at Airth Castle.
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He’s the retired window cleaner who’s raised more than £100,000 for Strathcarron Hospice by collecting empty ginger bottles.

Rab Simpson’s remarkable effort on behalf of the Denny facility was formally recognised last week when he was named charity hero of the year at the 2013 Local Hero Awards at Airth Castle.

The annual event, organised by Central FM, celebrates people from across the Forth Valley who go that extra mile on behalf of others.

Those that make the awards shortlist have all been nominated by members of the public.

Rab (77) was also bestowed with the title of Ultimate Local Hero, which is decided from the list of winners on the night – although he had already headed home by the time his name was read out!

Angela Gillies, fundraising manager at Strathcarron Hospice, said: “The hospice nominated Rab for this award to recognise his extraordinary efforts in raising more than £100,000 for the hospice over the past 20 years.

“We can’t thank him enough for everything that he’s done.”

Rab started collecting empty glass Barr’s bottles in 1990 and regularly donated the money generated to the hospice in Fankerton.

He even invested in a small truck so he could drive around the country to collect donations, regularly travelling as far as Glasgow.

His achievements were officially recognised in 2011 when he was presented with a mounted stone ginger beer bottle from 1905 by Robin Barr, former chairman of AG Barr.

Another Local Hero winner was Ria Marshall, who took home the Make a Difference in the Community award.

The 31-year-old from Falkirk was nominated by some of the hundreds of people who regularly use her ‘Falkirk for Mums’ website, which offers free and practical advice to mothers from across the district.

Ria said: “I was absolutely thrilled to win. I started the site a year-and-a-half ago to offer support for single mums and victims of domestic abuse.

“When you help these people you don’t expect anything in return, but I’m really touched that so many of them took the time to nominate me.”