HELENSBURGH'S brand new Morrisons supermarket is on course to open in less than a month's time - and the retail giant is looking for local causes to support.

The groceries store is set to welcome its inaugural customers during the first week of December and although an official date for the ribbon-cutting ceremony has yet to be confirmed preparations are well and truly under way.

Management staff said they were "blown away" by the response to the recruitment process as more than 1,400 people applied for jobs at the new Cardross Road premises, on the site of the former Waitrose store, with around 700 candidates interviewed for the 200 vacancies.

Among the roles advertised were the positions of community champions, one of which has been filled by Alison Sturgeon, who previously worked at the town's Cancer Research UK shop in Sinclair Street.

Over the past few weeks Alison has been meeting up with local charities, community groups, schools, nurseries and care homes to offer them the store's backing.

And she has encouraged any other organisations to get in touch.

She told the Advertiser: "So far I have had the pleasure of meeting up with Grey Matters, Helensburgh and Lomond Carers, Poppy Scotland, Helensburgh and Lomond Foodbank, Hermitage Primary School, Jean’s Bothy, Helensburgh Golf Club, Males Tales, Helensburgh For Homeless People and Visiting Friends.

"It has been inspiring to meet so many fantastic staff and volunteers who are extremely active in our community.

"I have also been in contact with a large number of other local charities, care homes, schools, youth groups and nurseries and would love to hear from any others that could benefit from our support.

"We are in the process of fulfilling a large number of requests to support local organisations from donating everything from a school Christmas tree to Colgrain Primary, a raffle hamper and shopping vouchers to the Helensburgh Christmas 2020 Calendar, daffodil bulbs to Friends of Hermitage Park, care packages to nursing homes, refreshments to Males Tales and many more.

"We are particularly looking forward to working closely with the Helensburgh and Lomond Foodbank to support their fantastic work, which customers will be able to help by purchasing our 'grab bags' in store and donating products of their choice to our donation station in the store foyer."

Last week Alison, on behalf of Helensburgh Morrisons, presented prizes to the winners of the store's Hallowe'en art competition at Hermitage Primary. The lucky winners were pupils Gwen Fang and Jay Sloane, who won prizes for themselves and their classmates by drawing pictures depicting their idea of what happens inside a Morrisons supermarket on Hallowe'en night.

The store is also supporting the Royal Bank of Scotland Christmas Toy Appeal 2020 by asking customers and colleagues to donate brand new, unwrapped toys, gift sets and sleepwear to local children.

Collection points are located at RBS in Colquhoun Square (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4.30pm, except Wednesdays, 10am to 4.30pm); Morrisons Resourcing Centre, 7 Colquhoun Square (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm); and the Eden shop in West Clyde St (Tuesday to Saturday, 12pm to 4pm).

Details can be found on the Morrisons Helensburgh Customer and Community Facebook page and Alison can be contacted on champion.helensburgh@morrisonsplc.co.uk.

Alison added: "We are very much looking forward to welcoming everyone to our store in early December and to work hand in hand with our local community."