Community comes together for Darius

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A Barrhead family are able to enjoy holidays once again, thanks to the efforts of the East Renfrewshire community.

The latest project from East Renfrewshire Good Causes — a charity that funds odd jobs for vulnerable neighbours — was given a boost by individuals, groups and businesses all lending a hand for Darius Mclean.

Darius (20), a wheelchair user with complex disabilities, was in need of a ramp to allow safe entry to the family caravan in Wemyss Bay.

Until now, grandparents Eddie and Mary Gallagher had to lift Darius up and down the steps — but when councillor Tommy Reilly approached ERGC’s Russell Macmillan, the family became a fundraising focal point.

Russell told The Extra: “This is one of the many types of projects we are delighted to have become involved in.

“Eddie and Mary Gallagher, both in their late 60s, provide dedicated and loving support for Darius after the tragic death of his mum, from a cancerous melanoma, which took Mhairi Mclean’s life at the age of 28.

“If ever there was a case that deserved us all to pull together to love one of our neighbours, this was it.”

A target of £5,000 — £480 off the original cost, thanks to a discount from suppliers Modway Ltd and the waiving of fees by site manager Andrew McWilliams — was met by donations from a long list of benefactors.

Russell added thanks to ER Carers Centre, councillor Reilly, Compass Cars, St Vincent De Paul at St John’s and Paisley archdiocese, Barnes Street Properties, Allan Hamilton, Tommy O’Rourke, Adam Aidie and an anonymous individual donor.

He commented: “We live in such a fantastic, caring community, and reaching this target proved easier than we could have imagined — we thank our great neighbours for making it happen.”

On visiting the newly-kitted caravan, Eddie Gallagher said: “My wife Mary and I have been overwhelmed by the community effort, which has enabled us to keep bringing Darius to one of his favourite places. We as a family would like to say a big thankyou to all.”

For more info on ER Good Causes or to make a donation, call 639 8230 or email