aN ex-military man has launched a major Mauchline music event after being unable to turn down help to ‘anyone that asks’.

Selfless Tom Murray, 56, who works at a whisky distillery, is on a mission to help as many people as possible through live music.

He launched TomFest in 2016 and has been left stunned at how much it has grown in the last few years.

The concert brings people from across Ayrshire to Mauchline as they enjoy a mix of music from live bands.

This year the gig brought in a massive £ £4,089 for MS Society Scotland’s Ayrshire and Arran Group so far, with more expected to be added to the total.

Tom said: “When I was asked to do Alzheimer’s by someone suffering at Alzheimers and I said ‘yep, I can do that for you’.

“Then someone asked ‘could you do it for me and my charity for Parkinsons?’ and I said yes again, and it snowballed from there.

“Imagine someone looks you in the eye and says I have this affliction can you help me how do you say no to that?

“It started off I had to beg bands to come play but now I’m getting messages on a daily basis with different bands wanting to play the event because it has a great reputation for being well run and well organised which I’m really proud of.

“I was in the pub with my mate and thought I will run a music festival how hard can it be? I soon found out!

“Musicians come up to me now so I must be doing something right, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, but I’ve got something right here.

“Every year I say I’m never doing it again, it is super stressful, I’m a single parent with a house to run and a full time job on top of this.

“But you know what happens, at about 10pm at night after I have been there all day I look around and I see everyone having a great time and know all the money we have brought in and I get a real pleasure from that.

“I feel strongly about raising money to support people in Ayrshire, I grew up in the area and wanted people attending TomFest 2019 to know they are directly helping people around them who are affected by MS.

“I really like helping people I am even going to University to train as a Counselor, I just want to make a difference in the world.

“We had 250 people at this year’s event which was absolutely fantastic. A lot of people are affected by MS in Scotland and this event has helped to raise awareness and funding for people who need support locally.”

Over 11,000 people in Scotland live with MS which damages nerves in your body and makes it harder to do everyday things, like walk, talk, eat and think.

The Lord Provost of East Ayrshire Jim Todd showed his support by opening TomFest 2019.