A Sheffield railway ticket officer who raised thousands for the British Legion has been awarded a British Empire Medal for services to charitable fundraising.
Ron Wiltshire, from Wincobank, Sheffield, has been collecting money for the Poppy Appeal for 10 years after surviving a heart attack in 2005 and deciding he wanted to give something back to charity.
The 63-year-old steamed past his incredible £100,000 fundraising target for the Poppy Appeal – winning support from soap actors, sport stars and former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg along the way.
In his first year of fundraising, he made around £400 but his efforts have grown every year – and he raised £75,000 in 2014.
Ron, who works for East Midlands Trains, takes two weeks off each year in late October from his job in the ticket office at Chesterfield station to travel up and down the country selling poppies to passengers.
Ron also sold special commemorative 1914-2014 metal poppy badges to mark the centenary of the start of World War I.
He promoted his fundraising efforts on Twitter, where he has received support from Coronation Street stars Les Dennis and Kym Marsh, as well as Sheffield sportsman Curtis Woodhouse.
He received the online backing of Deputy PM and Sheffield Hallam MP Nick Clegg after meeting the politician on a train journey.
Ron said: “I saw him on the train and asked him to buy a badge but he said he had no change. So I asked him if he could tweet something so he took a note of my name and did it. It was brilliant of him.”
Mr Clegg told his 193,000 followers about Ron’s campaign and said he was a ‘great guy raising money for an important cause’.