A HELENSBURGH special needs school was among the main benefactors of a significant donation from a supermarket’s community funding scheme recently.

The Helensburgh Co-op store, on Sinclair Street, held a celebratory event on Saturday, November 24 to hand over the generous contributions from their latest Local Community Fund.

Along with more than £8,000 going to Parklands School, more than £8,300 was raised for Helensburgh and Lomond Autism and more than £7,800 was given to the Tower Digital Arts Centre.

Gwen Gilmour, head teacher at Parklands, said: “It’s absolutely fabulous to have that much money.

“It opens up more opportunities for us to access technology and equipment which we have been looking to purchase but previously have been unable to afford.

“We were selected through a vote where members get to choose which organisations receive money, so it’s obvious a lot of people have us in their hearts and this will open up doors for the children.”

Parklands opened in 1993 and is a purpose-built facility for pupils with moderate, severe and profound learning difficulties and disabilities.

Customers got the chance to meet the three organisations on the day and familiarise themselves with the work they do, while the local causes said thank you to all Co-op customers who supported them.

The Co-op store in Rosneath also held a similar event on Saturday, handing out cheques to prominent local causes in the area, including almost £4,500 to both the Rosneath Peninsula West Community Development Trust and St Modan’s Parish Church.

More than £13,000 was raised in total by loyal Co-op customers in Rosneath.

Tom O’Brien-Barden, secretary of the Rosneath and Clynder community council, praised the efforts of local shoppers in a social media post and thanked them for their contributions.

Through the Co-op Local Community Fund, one per cent of all money spent by members at the store goes towards supporting local causes. Around £19 million has been raised nationwide for local causes since the initiative began in 2017.

Rebecca Birkbeck, director of community engagement at the Co-op, said: “Since the launch of the local community fund our members have helped 12,000 organisations to make a positive difference in their neighbourhoods, and in the last 12 months alone we have invested £19m in local causes.

“The fund is now supporting a wide variety of local organisations, from village halls and support groups to education providers and neighbourhood watch schemes, all of which are helping to make Helensburgh a better, happier, and healthier place to live.”