AN ARMY veteran from the Vale of Leven has refused to let Covid-19 stop him raising significant sums in aid of his fellow former service personnel.

Captain Brian Warren, 82, who served in the Royal Army Service Corps and the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, has gone on raising money for Erskine, the charity for former service personnel, despite being forced to change his usual approach because of the pandemic.

The skirl of Brian’s pipes at Loch Lomond Shores has raised £23,000 for Erskine thanks to the generosity of visitors to the Balloch shopping complex who have dropped coins and notes into Brian’s collection buckets.

And though the coronavirus restrictions meant he hasn’t been able to play at the ‘bonnie banks’ this year, that hasn’t stopped Brian, from Bonhill, continuing to do his bit for the cause.

He has been present, without his pipes, outside the shopping complex for three days every week since the easing of lockdown limits enabled the shops at the centre to reopen, standing with collection buckets and leaflets and raising an impressive £4,620.35 for Erskine’s Reid Macewen Activity Centre.

Speaking of his admiration for Brian’s efforts, Erskine community fund-raiser Jim Watret said: “Hats off to Brian from everyone at Erskine for his dedication in supporting our residents.

"He is a remarkable man and we are in awe of the time and effort he puts into raising money for us.

“To raise over £4,500 during a global pandemic is such an incredible achievement and we cannot thank him enough.

“Thanks also to the management of Loch Lomond Shores for allowing Brian to fundraise on their premises.”

The Reid Macewen Activity Centre, where Brian enjoys spending time learning new skills, will benefit hugely from the fundraising. It currently provides social, recreation and training opportunities for the nearly 1,000 residents cared for by Erskine each year offering social, recreation and training facilities.

The centre has been closed since March because of the pandemic, but its staff are continuing to provide veterans with support using digital technology.

Manager, Debs Dickson said: “Before the pandemic, Brian enjoyed spending time with our IT tutor developing his skills on his iPad.

“A valued member of the centre, he always looked to contribute for example by playing the bagpipes at our Burns Supper and, most recently, recording a video at Loch Lomond for our Armed Forced Day Zoom celebration.

“It’s fantastic he is out there fund-raising for us and we are proud of his achievements.”

If you would like to help Erskine, visit