THE winner of the Sunday National’s Yessay contest has donated the prize money to a charity helping Afghan refugees.

The essay from Gerry Singh, 62, who now lives in Perthshire, was ranked top by both our judging panel and reader vote.

He made a passionate case for independence to undecided voters – drawing on impressive references and appeals to humane public services.

Now, Gerry has kindly opted to donate his £500 for winning the contest to Unicef’s Children’s Emergency Fund.

READ: Our Yessay winner - A nation again: Independence can bring peace to a troubled island

It comes amid the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan, with refugees arriving in Scotland to escape the Taliban.

Gerry told us: “The reason for giving the money to charity, specifically to Unicef’s Children’s Emergency Fund, is that although there are so many needy children in the world, including here at home, the particular plight of women and children in what is currently unfolding in Afghanistan should touch all of our hearts.

“The refugee crisis that has been escalating over recent years in so many parts of the world is one of the biggest humanitarian catastrophes facing us all and I am sure any small gesture we can make will be appreciated.

“Sad to say, the UK Government response has been pitiful in this regard and I am sure it does not reflect what ordinary people really think about this issue.

“This is what being a ‘global citizen’ really means.”

National editor Callum Baird praised the kind act.

He said: “Gerry has shown the Yes movement at its best – not only has he contributed an extremely valuable essay aimed at winning over new voters to Yes, he’s now backed it up with such a generous action.

“The UK Government have acted disgracefully, as ever, and made a bad crisis worse.

“Anything that can be done to help the refugees coming here is huge, and hopefully this donation inspires more good acts.”