Big-hearted businessman steps up to replace stolen charity cash

Anne-Marie McMeekin with retired businessman  Jimmy Simpson who has offered to replace the stolen money.
Anne-Marie McMeekin with retired businessman Jimmy Simpson who has offered to replace the stolen money.

A kind-hearted Kirkcaldy businessman has dug deep to replace the money stolen from a community charity ...after reading about the theft in the Fife Free Press.

Retired James Simpson, who has spent his life in the town and still has a number of financial interests locally, walked into the Gallatown Community Hub unannounced on Tuesday and stunned volunteers with his offer to give them £2000, the total stolen during a break in last week.

The 80-year-old said he was moved to do so after reading about the plight of the various community groups, left penniless, in the newspaper.

“I was saddened and very moved by the story and thought about it and the difficulty it had left the likes of the children’s groups and volunteers in constantly throughout the weekend,” Mr Simpson told the Fife Free Press.

“I’m fortunate, through hard work and running my own businesses for over 50 years, to be financially secure, and with that in mind I thought of ways in which I could help.

“The most obvious was to donate the money that was taken and I was able to do that, so it seemed the best and most immediate gesture to help. I was happy to be able to do so.”

And the retired businessman hinted that he’d been thinking of ways in which he could put back into the community for some time.

“I’m coming to the end of my days, I don’t rely on the money so I figured it was better to put something back. The work the volunteers do benefits the community greatly and I’m happy to be able to support that in some small way.”

Mr Simpson’s offer had volunteers fighting back tears of joy after they had vowed to not be beaten by those responsible for the callous theft.

“It’s just wonderful that Mr Simpson wanted to do this for us, we can’t thank him enough,” said Anne Marie McMeekin, chairman of the Gallatown group.

“The support we have had from all sections of the community in the wake of the break-in has been amazing and Mr Simpson’s gesture just tops it off, there were a few of us close to tears when the offer was made.”