Macmillan Ambassador Robert Kilgour launches £2m Scottish Cancer Appeal
Serial Scottish entrepreneur Robert Kilgour knows all too well the pain of losing a loved one to cancer, which is why he is helping provide succour to others suffering the same trauma.
After accepting an invitation to become Macmillan Cancer Support’s first Ambassador, a UK-wide role, he recently launched an appeal to raise £2m from, among many others, the contacts he has made throughout his long business career as well as the many existing charitable trusts in Scotland or with Scottish connections.
To mark the official launch of the Appeal, The Scottish National Portrait Gallery in the centre of Edinburgh, venue for the event, was lit up with Macmillan logos.
He said: “My Mother had cancer and I currently have a close family member who is terminal with the disease, so I know how this dreadful illness can devastate.
“I was asked by Macmillan Cancer Support Chief Executive Lynda Thomas to become the charity’s first Ambassador, an invitation I was pleased to accept – and I’m excited by the role.
“My father told me that I should work hard, play hard and always give something back, and so I have committed to giving personal support to the appeal. I have pledged to match pound for pound the first £100,000 of donations to the appeal and I have been joined in this endeavour by an unnamed family charitable trust who have donated a further £25,000 on the same basis – so the first £125,000 of donations that are made by others to this Appeal will be doubled ”
The £2m raised by this Appeal will kickstart a programme of transformational change in cancer support across Scotland called ‘Taking The Big Leap In Scotland’. This includes:
• Personalised Cancer Care – aimed at ensuring everyone with a diagnosis in Scotland, over 32,000 people a year, can access the support they need.
• Macmillan Grants – which will be given to those in most financial need to help with additional costs faced as a result of their cancer.
• Macmillan Support Line – establishing Glasgow as a hub to provide clinical information and emotional support across the UK from 8am-8pm 365 days a year.
Kilgour, who is CEO of Dow Investments Plc and Executive Chairman of care homes company, Renaissance Care, continued: “In the coming weeks and months, I will have face to face meetings with some of the biggest names in Scottish business to explain what we are about with this Appeal and the good any money they might donate will do.
“But this Appeal isn’t just about the big names. I would encourage everyone in business in Scotland or who runs Scottish charitable trusts to consider supporting us.
“Cancer is no respecter of status, age or gender and more and more of us have friends, relatives or work colleagues who have survived, or sadly, not survived this terrible disease.
“Macmillan Cancer Support has an absolutely vital role to play and I’m asking the Scottish business and charitable trust communities to answer the Appeal’s call; “Help Macmillan Help Scotland.”
Kilgour has a track record with Macmillan Cancer Support which goes back to his being Chairman of a successful £1.75m appeal in his native Fife in the mid-1990s, which greatly improved hospice provision throughout the Kingdom.
He also donated money to make possible the opening of the first Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre in Harrow, London in 2007, and in 2009 he part-funded the 25th such centre which he officially opened at Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital. There are currently 161 Macmillan Information and Support Centres across the UK.
Head of Macmillan in Scotland, Janice Preston, said: “We are very grateful to Robert for hosting this fundraising event for us and for committing to raising such a fantastic amount of money to help fund our work. We hope the business community across Scotland will get behind Robert and help Macmillan be there for more people with cancer who need us.”
Chief Executive of Macmillan, Lynda Thomas, said: “Cancer can affect every aspect of people’s lives, causing emotional, financial and practical issues. Macmillan wants to be there from the moment of diagnosis to help people with their greatest needs. But we can’t do this without the support of our incredible fundraisers like Robert.
“We are excited about Robert’s campaign. We hope it is a great success which will allow us to fund vital support services for the people of Scotland.”