THANKS TO Extra readers, Newton Mearns man Russell Macmillan has reached the £100,000 target he set for his charity, East Renfrewshire Good Causes.
The philanthropist started ERGC back in 2007 and is “delighted” at the role readers of The Extra have played.
He commented that the help of those who pay a £5 or £10 a month subscription is vital, and added:
“A massive thank you must go to the Extra readers who have taken out a monthly standing order to help us, even more so than the fundraising events – they are the ones who are keeping us going.
“The next target is to reach 1,000 contributors so we can help even more people”.
The 46-year-old founded the organisation with his wife Yvonne as a way of “giving back” after a life-saving operation to replace his kidney and pancreas five years ago, and as a way to encourage people to register as organ donors.
Since then, the charity has helped over 500 individuals facing a variety of problems, from providing technological help for children with learning difficulties to funding a light-weight wheelchair for an elderly woman to prevent her and her husband (whom she cares for) being housebound.
But Russell is keen to acknowledge that meaningful assistance doesn’t have to be costly.
He explained: “There was an underprivileged family in the area planning to use some free swimming lessons organised for them by the local authority in the summer holidays.
“It was only at the last minute they realised the three children didn’t even have swimming costumes.
“They approached us and for about £22 we were able to get the costumes and really brighten up the kids’ summer”.
He also feels the charity is a way for the community to come together – and by engaging front line medical staff who have a knowledge of care (i.e. what help is needed and by whom) it can also help relieve the burden of an NHS in the middle of severe cutbacks.
Despite a long-term struggle with type one diabetes and being registered blind, Russell works tirelessly for the cause.
“Although I am a volunteer it’s a full-time job in itself.
“I spend almost 40 hours a week on the charity and the more we’ve done the more we’ve realised that there is a real need for this type of help.
“That’s why we need as many people to subscribe as we can, to let us keep going”.
To find out more, visit www.ergoodcauses.co.uk, or call Russell on 639 8230.