PEOPLE in Helensburgh have harnessed the power of social media as a force for good this week to rally round and help a Big Issue seller in the town.

Selina Lingurar, who sells the magazine outside the Tesco store in Sinclair Street, was at the centre of an appeal on Facebook after one Helensburgh resident noticed the heavily pregnant 23-year-old looking particularly tired.

Rosemary Drylie posted her appeal on the 'Helensburgh's Community Opinion' Facebook page asking if anyone had a seat to ensure that Selina, who is expecting her second child in seven weeks' time, didn't have to stand up all day while selling the magazine.

And that appeal has since grown arms and legs: not only was a suitable chair donated, but a local independent business on the same street offered to store the seat overnight.

And other kind-hearted members on the page have since weighed in with donations of other items, including clothes, a steriliser, a baby blanket, nappies, a cot, a buggy, baby bottles, a high chair, a baby bath and a nappy bin.

Others have offered to take all the donated items to Glasgow, where Selina lives with her mother and four-year-old son, in time for the baby's birth.

Rosemary told the Advertiser: “I've been talking to Selina for a long, long time and I've seen in the last few weeks that she's become noticeably more tired.

“I know Selina travels from Glasgow to Helensburgh by bus every day, so even if she had a seat, I knew carrying it on the bus would be difficult, and I was delighted when Gary Wallace from Callaghan's butchers agreed to store the seat.

“It all escalated from there. It's amazing how people have rallied round, donating baby clothes, cash and vouchers for Boots.

“Selina is so genuine and friendly. She can't believe how kind people have been. I'm thrilled at how it's all taken off.”

Selina, who was born in Romania, came to live in Scotland seven years ago and has been travelling from Glasgow to Helensburgh to sell The Big Issue for four years.

She said: “I'm so happy that people have helped me. I've said a prayer for them all.

“I like coming to Helensburgh very much. Lots of people stop and speak and are very kind towards me. I'm so happy with how things are working out.”

Gary Wallace from Callaghan's said: “I was tagged on the Facebook appeal and I thought 'why not'?

“Storing the seat was no problem. It's all escalated brilliantly. Every little helps.”

Jody Hopper, who posted on Helensburgh's Community Opinion asking people to consider donating other items, said she wouldn't have known Selina was pregnant if it hadn't been for Rosemary's post on the page.

Jody said: “The response has been amazing. So many people know Selina – she's such a lovely, friendly girl, and a well known face around the town, even if she isn't from Helensburgh.

“Some people use social media to be negative but I think most people instinctively want to help. One person posted a negative comment but I just replied to him saying how sorry I was for him.

"It's nice to be nice, and to put your nice words into action, and this amazing response proves how nice most people are.”

Ian MacQuire, who founded the Helensburgh's Community Opinion page, said: “I didn't have anything to do with the appeal but it was a very positive thing to see.

"That's what the page was set up to do – bring the community together – and it's been great to see.”