Monterey Jack’s partners with Clackmannanshire’s Whisky Festival to support Neil’s Hugs Foundation

A restaurant and bar company that was born in Stirling has today marked the announcement of their ninth location soon to open with the presentation of a cheque to support a male suicide prevention charity.

Monterey Jack’s, which opened its first restaurant in Stirling in 2012, will open the doors to their newest location within The Hub shopping centre in East Kilbride in April 2022. To mark the news, the company handed over a cheque for £1000 to Neil’s Hugs Foundation, the first donation as part of a partnership with Clackmannanshire’s Whisky Festival, to support positive mental health work in the Forth Valley area.

Neil’s Hugs Foundation was founded by Donna Paterson-Harvie who lost her only son, Neil to suicide in September 2011. The charity currently run support groups across West Lothian and Clackmannanshire and  works to raise awareness of suicide prevention support available.

The charity is the chosen recipient of funds raised by Clackmannanshire’s Whisky Festival that takes place at Alloa Town Hall next week, 2-3 April 2022. The unique three-pronged festival concept will be a first for Scotland with the event celebrating whisky and the extensive heritage of its production, operations and innovation particularly in the Clackmannanshire area over the past 300 years. 

Supported by Monterey Jack’s, who will also be in attendance over the event weekend amongst more than 20 other exhibitors, the festival will raise funds and promote wellness by raising awareness of suicide prevention help available to men in crisis and families who have lost a loved one to suicide.

Speaking about the partnership, Scott Beatson from Monterey Jack’s bar and restaurant group said: “Monterey Jack’s is really pleased to be continuing our charitable giving work by partnering with Clackmannanshire’s Whisky Festival and Neil’s Hugs Foundation. With over 200 staff across the country, we are acutely aware of the importance of positive mental health in our workforce, especially in these uncertain times. By kick-starting the fundraising efforts of the festival, we hope others will follow and together we can support the work of Neil’s Hugs Foundation so they can be there in times of need.”

Donna Paterson-Harvie from Neil’s Hugs Foundation said: “We are delighted to be working with Clackmannanshire’s Whisky Festival and the event’s partners and sponsors to raise awareness of our work and we are over the moon to receive this very generous donation from Scott and the staff at Monterey Jack’s.”

Scott Abercrombie, Co-founder of Clackmannanshire’s Whisky Festival said: “Combining this celebration of whisky and heritage with our work promoting wellness will deliver a truly memorable festival concept that is unique to Scotland. Our team has built this event around the core wish to raise awareness of suicide and we will do all we can to support the work of Neil’s Hugs Foundation through our partnership with Monterey Jack’s.”

Tickets for the packed two-day event can be purchased online at

Businesses who would like to find out more about supporting the charity work of the festival are asked to contact the organisers by email or to visit for more information.