The Herald newspaper’s campaign to create a memorial garden to Scotland’s coronavirus victims has received a £10,000 boost from The Watson Foundation.
Just days after the newspaper revealed it had now passed the £10,000 milestone on its journey to the £50,000 target, the Foundation has doubled the sum raised so far to £20,000.
John’s charitable Watson Foundation has helped a wide range of charities since he retired as Chairman and Chief Executive of the Glasgow-based printing dynasty John Watson and Company.
He told the Herald: “I am deeply impressed by the willingness of The Herald to launch a campaign to create a Memorial Garden and provide a lasting tribute to those we have lost during this unprecedented health emergency.
“Every one of those who have died is simply irreplaceable and the enduring grief of their loved ones may lessen in time but will never truly go away.
“Full marks to The Herald for leading the way on this initiative and I would encourage businesses and Glaswegians alike to get behind this campaign. No matter how small your donation is, it will make a big difference and it is our way of saying we care for the families of those we have lost.
“A great city like Glasgow needs a lasting memorial to remember the fight against coronavirus. I have always believed anything can be achieved when Glasgow comes together.”
The Herald has set a target through a GoFundMe page of £50,000 to build the fitting memorial.
Soon after the campaign was launched, Glasgow City Council came forward with the offer of a site in Pollok Country Park.
John Watson has been at the forefront of the Scottish business scene for several decades and sold his highly-successful printing business to the world’s largest label manufacturer US-based Multi-Color Corporation in 2013.
It was a condition of the sale that no existing member of staff would lose their job and his retirement allowed him to turn his attention to philanthropy – notably in a link-up with the charity Social Bite which he has supported strongly.
He also served on the fundraising board of the Marie Curie Hospice at Stobhill and stepped in last month to provide a “substantial donation” to the iconic Clyde steamer TS Queen Mary – berthed at Pacific Quay – whose funding from tours of the ship dried up as a result of the pandemic.
The Watson Foundation is also working with Ardenglen Housing Association in Castlemilk on its trail-blazing plans for a community food pantry offering low-cost nutritious food in a bid to fight food inequality and poverty.
Donald martin, editor of The Herald said: “This is an incredibly generous gift from Mr Watson and his charitable foundation. We are delighted he has shown such an interest in our campaign and the donation will go a long way in helping us create a fitting memorial for Scotland’s coronavirus victims. It is a major boost to our campaign.”
STORY FROM THE HERALD REPRODUCED BY KIND PERMISSION OF THE HERALD www.heraldscotland.com