Two armed forces veterans have told of their pride after taking part in the Scottish leg of an 800-mile charity challenge to mark the anniversary of VE Day.

Michelle Dougan and Robert Lappin were among a four-strong team tasked with transporting a small silver ‘Tommy’ statue to those completing the English leg of the event.

Tommy’s Race to Victory Relay is raising funds for Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI), which provides jobs to veterans and helps those struggling to adjust to civilian life.

Michelle and Robert, both from Neilston, began their two-day journey at Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company (SBMC), in Bishopton.

SBMC is a social enterprise where veterans produce signage, panels and digital printing for the private and public sectors.

After being waved off by staff from the factory, they cycled to Musselburgh, on Scotland’s east coast.

Following an overnight stay in Edinburgh, they were back on their bikes by 6.30am the next morning and arrived in Coldstream, in the Scottish Borders, later that day before handing Tommy over to those tackling the English leg.

The statue ended up at the Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company in Aylesford, Kent, on Saturday – just in time for celebrations to mark the anniversary of the Allied forces’ victory in Europe back in 1945, as the Second World War drew to a close.

Michelle, 32, said: “I only found out about ten days before the event that I was going to be on the team.

“As a result, I only did minimal training, so it was quite hard on the legs, but it was great to be part of it.”

Michelle joined the Royal Corps of Signals in 2005 and was later deployed in Afghanistan before taking redundancy in 2015.

Robert, veteran welfare development manager at SBMC, served in the Royal Engineers and worked his way up to the rank of Major before retiring.

The duo have thanked all those who have sponsored the event. To make a donation, visit