A TOTAL of £450 was raised at a coffee morning at Helensburgh Parish Church last Saturday in aid of the Beacon Trust.

The proceeds will be used help meet the cost of a new van for the Helensburgh-based charity, which is essential to the organisation’s work in helping low income families in the area through donations of furniture, domestic appliances and other household goods.

Clive Charters has been their volunteer van driver for three years and said: “I had no idea just what great practical outcomes Beacon Trust achieved before I joined them as part of the team.

“I was amazed how many local people the Beacon Trust could help in a practical way. On my first day back in March 2018 we went to a flat where an 18-year-old single mother with an 18-month-old daughter had slept three nights on a pile of clothes in the corner of a quite literally floorboard-bare empty room.

“They were very grateful of our donations of a bed, duvet, pillows, sheets, armchair, rugs, kitchen utensils, fridge, cooker and other items.

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“They had no support network at all, and Universal Credit takes some weeks to activate.

“We directed the woman to the food bank and I gave them a wellbeing pack gifted by the church.

“This has been repeated on many occasions and is only possible with the support of donations and finance from churches and individuals.”

The group has so far raised £11,625 towards the total cost for a new van of £16,794 and is continuing to seek potential donors for the outstanding sum of £5,169.

Saturday’s event also featured a collection of donated clothes and sewing machines, which will be transported to the Edinburgh Direct Aid charity to support its work delivering aid to people in desperate need in countries around the world.