BEM for 94-year-old poppy seller Janet

Janet (left) receiving a Presidents' Award at the Scottish Parliament
Janet (left) receiving a Presidents' Award at the Scottish Parliament

After 64 years of fundraising for leading Armed Forces charity Poppyscotland, 94-year-old Janet Gillespie has been awarded a British Empire Medal in the New Year Honours.

Mrs Gillespie spent more than 60 years as the Scottish Poppy Appeal Area Organiser for Crossmichael and Parton in Dumfries and Galloway, having begun selling poppies in 1952. In addition to ensuring her local area always had poppies and tins each November, Janet also opened her garden to the public to show off a mass of snowdrops, raising even more for Poppyscotland in the process.

Mrs Gillespie retired as Area Organiser last year and was awarded the Poppyscotland President’s Award in November 2015. Despite turning 94 earlier this year she continues to help her successor raise vital funds for the Armed Forces community in Scotland.

Poppyscotland’s Head of Fundraising Gordon Michie said:

“This is richly deserved recognition for one of our longest serving and most remarkable volunteers. The Scottish Poppy Appeal simply couldn’t happen without the dedicated support of our army of volunteer collectors and Area Organisers. Janet is an example to us all having dedicated much of her adult life to ensure those left disadvantaged by their Service receive the life-changing support they urgently need.

“Although a new Area Organiser has taken on the role in Crossmichael and Parton, there are many other areas of Scotland where we desperately need new volunteers to come forward. We hope Janet’s incredible story will inspire others to get involved so we can continue to provide the vital support many in our Armed Forces community need.”

For more information on volunteering with Poppyscotland visit