BRAVE employees from Tesco in Helensburgh are going under the needle to raise money for a cancer charity.

The volunteers are each getting a tattoo of the cancer ribbon to raise money for CLIC Sargent (Caring for Children and Young People with Cancer).

Every year the Tesco workers take part in the Race for Life and four to five weeks before the race in June they try to do different things to raise money for different cancer charities.

Julie Stokes, events co-ordinator for Helensburgh Tesco, first got the idea when she saw a newspaper article about ID Customs Tattoo Studios in Alexandria.

She said: "I saw that a tattoo studio were doing free tattoos in aid of charity and I though it was a good idea." Each of the volunteers will pay £40 for the tattoo which will be donated to CLIC and staff who don't want to get the tattoo have donated money to the charity.

There are about 17 people signed up so far, the majority of which are from Tesco, but Julie is hoping for more.

Getting the tattoo done is something which is sentimental to Julie and all involved.

She said: "My friend passed away from breast cancer nearly three years ago and my sister's friend a few weeks later.

"Lot's of people in the store have also passed away through cancer so it is quite close to our hearts.

"Once you get it done it will be there as a constant reminder." Julie has always wanted a tattoo on her wrist but getting it done is not going to be a piece of cake as she will have to face her fears.

She said: "I have a huge needle phobia to the extent that I have to get sedated when I am having anything done at the dentist.

"All of the staff are behind me and I'm determined to be the first to get it done.

"I'm bricking it but I'm so excited because of the response. I think the adrenaline will get me through.

"The feel good factor after it will be amazing." Julie and her colleagues received an award two years ago for raising the most money for Race for Life from a Tesco Metro store. She said that they could not have achieved what they have done in the past if it wasn't for the support of the customers.

"The customers in Helensburgh are fantastic and they always support us no matter what we are doing." Julie is also willing to go one step further and get the gold cancer ribbon on her other wrist on the same day if people are willing to sponser her.

ID Customs Tattoo Studios, owned by Derek Young and Jeff Grimet, came up with the idea after a few people wanted tattoos of the cancer ribbon.

Derek said: "Everybody has been touched by cancer at some point whether it was themselves or a member of their family so we thought that this was a good way to do something.

"Members of my family have been doing the Race for Life and I thought that this would be something nice to do.

"We have picked out a few designs and people can just come in and pick what they want." But the tattoo artist revealed that he has not got a tattoo of the cancer ribbon yet.

"I haven't got one myself but if I did I would need to customise it." There are CLIC buckets available in the Tesco store for customers to donate and Julie also welcomes more volunteers if you fancy getting a tattoo done yourself.