The founder of a southside charity wants to expand its services, and is calling on East Renfrewshire Council to help it by providing funding.
Russell Macmillan started East Renfrewshire Good Causes in 2007 following his lifesaving double pancreas/kidney transplant.
After reaching its target of raising and distributing £100,000 to repay society for the £70,000 cost to the NHS of his treatment, Russell decided to carry on with his good work.
He said: “I am calling on the local authority to start funding ERGC to enable it to go from a part time service provider, to a full time version.
“For every £1 the council provides to ER GoodCauses, ERGC will spend £2 on items to help the disabled, elderly and a variety of other needs within our own area.”
The charity is also calling on all East Renfrewshire candidates in the upcoming local council elections, to back the expansion of ERGoodCauses, from its current part time basis, to a fully fledged way for the community to pull together and help itself.
ER GoodCauses ran for the first four years with no paid staff, whilst Russell worked as a volunteer to repay his ‘self imposed’ debt to society.
Russell said: “In these prolonged days of austerity, we need our own community to pull together, to help mitigate at least some of the gaps arising as a result of an ageing population, and the ongoing need for the country to “live within its means.
“With the latest UK budget forecast, showing reductions in public spending for years to come, until the current budget deficit is cleared, its likely to be a long time until pressure eases on the public finances.
“I personally think we need a way to facilitate individuals, businesses and local media in our community who have additional resources and who wish to “love their neighbours” to come forward.
“ER GoodCauses now has a proven track record, and there’s absolutely no reason why it shouldn’t be expanded.
“It hurts me greatly when I get a request for assistance and have to refuse because it is from outwith the direct area ERGC was set up to serve.
“I want to expand the charity in East Renfrewshire and roll it out into other areas.”
In its first nine-and-a-half years of operating on a part-time basis, the organisation has distributed almost £300,000 of purchased goods and services and a further £300,000 worth of top quality donated goods & discounts from suppliers, helping more than 1600 individual people living within East Renfrewshire.
An East Renfrewshire Council spokesman said: “We work closely with a range of charities across East Renfrewshire and are committed to supporting their activities as far as possible, whilst ensuring fair and reasonable access to funds for a wide range of community groups and charities.
“Extensive financial support, totalling £35,000, has already been provided to East Renfrewshire Good Causes over a number of years to support the charity to establish a longer-term sustainable working model.”