We offer our warmest congratulations to Royal Caledonian Education Trust Vice President, Lt Col Andy Middlemiss, who has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.
The honour bestowed recognises Andy’s commitment supporting the ex-services community in Scotland, achieved through his work as Vice President of Royal Caledonian Education Trust, Chairman of the Perth Branch of SSAFA – The Armed Forces Charity as well as running Poppy Scotland’s Poppy Appeal in Kinross.
The British Empire Medal was established in 1922 and awarded for meritorious civil or military service, worthy of recognition by the Crown, until 1992. It was later reinstated in 2012, as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, to honour those who work within the charitable and voluntary sector.
Andy reflects upon having received his recognition by the Queen.
“I am honoured, humbled, surprised and very touched to be recognised by this remarkable lady, whom I have worked for since I was eighteen, Her Majesty, The Queen, for doing something close to my heart, all my life. That is the care and support of my fellow members of HM Forces, and crucially their families. My wife Jo always says men may be the soldiers, but the wives are the warriors – which is so true!
“It’s important to also recognise that there are countless extraordinary volunteers out there, working for services’ charities and I wish every one of them could get a BEM – they all deserve it. There is no I in team, so this fantastic BEM award is for you – SSAFA, Royal Caledonian Education Trust and Poppy Scotland Teams.”
Andy has enjoyed a long and successful association with Royal Caledonian Education Trust, who continues.
“This is especially true of the wonderful ‘Caley Trust’, who I have worked with for thirty years, since I was the Colonel of the Scottish Division in Edinburgh Castle – and membership of the Caley Board came along with the job.
“I found it so inspiring and so valuable a charity for Scottish Armed Forces families and children. The work of the charity captured my interest and I started to help the charity in any way I could. I helped Hugh run the Scottish Support Committee for years until Royal Caledonian Education Trust very wisely moved North of the border, to where the action is! Two of my sons were Caley Scholars and one is now a Lt Col in the Scots Guards – so he got a great start in his military life thanks to the Trust.”
Andy has also been actively involved in fundraising for Royal Caledonian Education Trust. He has been joined in his fundraising efforts by his wife, Jo, whom he has taken great inspiration form.
“Under Chairman Malcolm’s leadership and gentle cajoling, my wife Jo and I have completed several sponsored long-distance walks on the Camino de Santiago for Royal Caledonian Education Trust. They have been fantastic experiences full of reflection, fun, laughter, some vin rouge yes as well as some blisters; all in the spirit of good fundraising.
“I was also thrilled when my wife, Jo, was awarded a MBE a year ago, for her unbelievable work in a little clinic in a very remote part of Ethiopia, for well over ten years. She is the epitome of a servant leader – a giver not a taker, a doer, not a sitter, and I have tried hard to emulate her example for 45 years!”
Laura Falconer, CEO of Royal Caledonian Education Trust said: “We offer our warmest congratulations to Andy for his recognition in the New Year’s Honours List, which is so richly deserved. Andy has dedicated his life to serving his country as well as supporting the Armed Forces community across Scotland through his work with Royal Caledonian Education Trust, SSAFA and Poppy Scotland. Andy continues to serve as one of our Vice Presidents, who has made an invaluable contribution to supporting our work for over thirty years. He continues to give generously his passion, knowledge and experience towards achieving our strategic aims supporting Armed Forces Children and their families across Scotland.”
Once again, we offer our congratulations and sincere thanks to Andy for his commitment to Royal Caledonian Education Trust as well as his wider work supporting the Armed Forces community across Scotland, through SSAFA and Poppy Scotland.