Sam’s incredible fundraising efforts makes her Local Hero choice

Sam with Richard Lochhead after learning she was to be Moray's Local Hero at Holyrood.
Sam with Richard Lochhead after learning she was to be Moray’s Local Hero at Holyrood.

MORAY’S ‘LOCAL HERO’ representative at the opening of the Scottish Parliament is to be Sam Simpson from Newmill near Keith.

Richard Lochhead MSP revealed that Sam was the standout candidate following his call for nominations for the honour.

When her daughter Isla was diagnosed with cancer Mrs Simpson, a learning support teacher at Buckie High School and Newmill Primary School, raised over £100,000 for charities – including Lossiemouth-based Logan’s Fund.

It was five years ago when Andy Souness, a colleague of Sam’s RAF husband, took on a 100-mile trek carrying a 45lb backpack to raise funds for then two-year-old Sam, who suffered from neuroblastoma from five months old.

It was the inspirational fundraising efforts on behalf of Isla that led Sam to her own fundraising efforts on behalf of other families after he daughter went into remission two years ago – and that led to her nomination and selection by the Moray MSP.

Sam with Isla
Sam with Isla, husband Andy and RAF Corporal Andy Souness in 2011. (Pic: Stuart Crowther/STV)

Mr Lochhead said: “As the fifth session of the Scottish Parliament gets underway, it’s right that the people of Scotland are placed at the heart of our events and to recognise the local heroes in every constituency.

“After I issued the public appeal for nominations, I was inundated with incredible stories about people who have contributed so much to life in Moray.

“But I was struck by the nomination for Mrs Simpson, who is clearly a special lady and who has done a great deal for charity following the illness of her own daughter Isla. Her personal qualities certainly sum up the best of Moray.”

Sam will now attend the opening of Parliament, joining in the ‘Riding’ procession on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile and attending Holyrood’s ‘Big Day Out’ celebrating the opening of Parliament.