Queen’s approval for Forces charity shops

Armed Forces Support Store in Glenrothes Kingdom Centre. Front left: Blanche Strike, Harry Spittal, Jaki Lawrie, Nikki Yule. Back: Douglas Jack, Derek McDonough
Armed Forces Support Store in Glenrothes Kingdom Centre. Front left: Blanche Strike, Harry Spittal, Jaki Lawrie, Nikki Yule. Back: Douglas Jack, Derek McDonough

A charity dedicated to supporting bereaved military families has won a Queens Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category.

The founders of Forces Support, which has a shop in the Kingdom Shopping Centre, have been invited to Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen and receive royal congratulations.

The Queens Award for Enterprise is the most prestigious business award in the UK and has been awarded to the charity for their innovative approach to supporting bereaved military families and for becoming a self-funded organisation.

Father and son Bill and Billy McCance founded the charity supported by a national network, which is funded by its 22 shops throughout the UK.

The Glenrothes community readily support the Kingdom outlet where assistant manager Jaki Lawrie said there is always a healthy supply of donations for sale, and people who come to shop. “We have people who phone up needing help and although I can’t directly provide it, I try and talk to them and give any help I can before passing on their request.

“We care and that is why we are all here. We buy into the cause, it is not just a job.”

And helping support military charities is not the only success at the Glenrothes store.

Jaki started working at Forces Support as a volunteer and after increasing the number of days she helped out, now holds the assistant manager position. She said: “I was shy, I had anxiety and depression and it has helped me professionally and personally to grow in confidence. Never in a million years would I have imagined I would be where I am now.”

Although the Glenrothes store receives many generous donations, they are on the look out for more volunteers. To help please call 01592 769 916.

The charity is in its sixth year of business and has supported over 90 of the 457 families who have lost a loved one in Afghanistan and over 300 families over the past five years.

Dedicated to research they commissioned the first ever bereaved military families scoping study in the UK from which a paper was published. Billy McCance said: “It is heart-warming and satisfying that the charity is getting this recognition. It is an absolute honour and a privilege to be recognised by the Queen’s award for enterprise, especially as we carry out such a satisfying service for the families of our fallen heroes.”