It has been a busy 12 months for Captain Brian “Spats” Baxter late of the Black Watch, and fundraiser for the Perth & Kinross branch of SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity.

In December 2022, Spats led a team of nine 7 SCOTS Reservists in the Washington Marine Corps Marathon – an activity he has led since 2016 – raising more than £16,000 for the branch in just that year, and many thousands more over the 11 years he has volunteered for the charity.

In April, he was presented with a Sir James Gildea Award – named after the founder of SSAFA – which are given to recognise volunteers for their exceptional contribution and commitment to SSAFA’s activities and values.

After consideration, this has been elevated to the Global Sir James Gildea Award – the highest honour SSAFA can bestow – for Spats, and his citation reads: “[Spats] has consistently worked hard in an increasingly tight climate to secure funds for us, however he can and in many ways.

A force of nature, he is funny, cheeky, energetic and we are lucky to have him as our principal fundraiser, morale booster, compère and organiser at national conferences, and a fully engaged SSAFA volunteer.

Of his Global Sir James Gildea Award, Spats said: “I am chuffed to bits in not only being awarded the local Sir James Gildea recognition but to be elevated to the Global Award has taken me by surprise. By being recognised twice in one year has made me more determined to continue to fundraise and spread the word about our great charity that is SSAFA.”

For more information – including how to volunteer, access support, or fundraise – visit