THE organisers of Helensburgh's festive lights display have issued an urgent plea for financial and volunteer help after the Christmas tree in Colquhoun Square was badly damaged by bad weather.

Hundreds of people turned out on Saturday to see the town's lights switched on in Colquhoun Square after weeks of work by the Helensburgh Festive Lighting Charitable Trust (HFLCT).

But high winds on Wednesday left the tree broken, its star "trashed", and the string lights damaged.

It's estimated that the damage will cost between £750 and £1,500 to fix.

Nicky Watt, an HFLCT trustee, has launched an online fund-raiser appealing for funds to fix the tree in time for this weekend's Winter Festival – and has appealed for volunteers to help repair the damage.

On the appeal's JustGiving page, Nicky said: "The Christmas tree in Colquhoun Square last night (Wednesday, November 28) suffered severe damage from the storm winds.

"This has resulted in the tree being broken, about six feet from the top, the star has been trashed, and the string lights have been damaged.

"Bottom line is that we need your help. We desperately need funds to replace and repair the tree, a cherry picker and volunteers.

"We urgently need three or four volunteers to help take down the lights (we have professional people to make them safe), reel them in, repair the tree and re-string the lights back onto the tree, all to be done in time for the winter market.

"Please help if you can. Many thanks in anticipation."

Donations will be used to hire a cherry-picker to repair the damage.

Another HFLCT trustee, Davi Stewart, said trustees would be in Colquhoun Square from 7am on Friday for people to give donations.

Contributions can also be handed in to the Terrace Coffee House in Colquhoun Square during opening hours.

Donate online here.