THE volunteer group behind Helensburgh's Christmas lights display say they were "completely disheartened" after taking in less than £300 in donations on the day of the switch-on.

More than 3,000 people gathered in Colquhoun Square on November 23 to see the lights turned on for the first time.

But members of the Helensburgh Festive Lighting Charitable Trust (HFLCT) say the project is "not sustainable" if such a low level of donations continues in the future.

READ MORE: Pictures from Helensburgh's Christmas lights switch-on ceremony

A spokesperson for the 'elves' behind the display said: “The town had a great buzz about it and it was good to see lots of happy wee faces enjoying family time on a really good day.

“We’ve had hundreds of messages of thanks, and these are much appreciated, but we cannot pay our bills on compliments, nice as they are to receive.

“The elves were completely disheartened and shocked when they opened the donation box from Saturday, containing £275.90 and five foreign coins from a crowd of over 3,000.

“The elves now know how it feels to be a turkey and have the stuffing knocked out of them.

READ MORE: Helensburgh's festive lights find a new home after council 'eviction'

“A few people have donated in other ways and we are really grateful for that support, but the project is not sustainable on donations from two per cent of the population and business community."

The Trust – whose volunteers were out in force at the Winter Festival at the weekend appealing for more donations – says members of the public can still hand in donations to the Terrace Coffee House in Colquhoun Square or donate to the Trust's bank account at the Royal Bank of Scotland, also in Colquhoun Square (sort code 83-23-03, account number 00624980).

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