Despite the weather, it was lovely to be at Rouken Glen Park earlier with my colleague, Councillor Tony Buchanan, to meet with Russell and Yvonne McMillan of the amazing local charity, East Renfrewshire Good Causes (ERGC), and Maggie Farrell of Chilren 1st, whose clients have received support from ERGC.
Astonishingly, ERGC has attained the fantastic milestone of raising £1 million over the past 13 years.
Russell MacMillan, who is registered blind, set up the charity after receiving an organ transplant that saved his life and motivated him to give something back in return for this second chance.
By the beginning of the pandemic, ERGC had already helped over 2,500 people in East Renfrewshire over its 13-year history. ERGC carries out a lot of partnership working and joint funding with other local and national organisations.
The charity accepts donations of a wide range of goods, as well as cash, and passes these on to local groups or residents in need of support.
I recently laid doen a parliamentary motion commending ERGC for their continued support for our community. I know what a difference they make, and it was brilliant to see Russell and Yvonne - albeit at a social distance, to hand over a copy of this to them.
The range of support they have provided during the pandemic is hugely impressive, and testament to their commitment, determination and care.
TEXT OF THE Early Day Motion: “That this House applauds the outstanding fundraising and community focus of East Renfrewshire Good Causes (ERGC); notes that that community focused charity was set up by Russell Macmillan of Newton Mearns; understands that Russell, who is registered blind, set up that charity following a life-saving, pancreas and kidney transplant at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in January 2007; appreciates that Russell felt guided by his personal Christian faith to ensure that following that surgery he focused on community work with the ethos of loving our neighbours; congratulates Russell, and all involved in that charity, on reaching the extraordinary milestone of £1 million in donations of goods and services; notes that more than 2,600 individuals have been helped by that charity; welcomes the inclusive approach ERGC has taken in working with a large number of community groups and organisations, churches, businesses, and individuals to help those who need support in difficult times; acknowledges the innovative and flexible approach ERGC has taken to meeting need and supporting the community in flexible and innovative ways, driven by an understanding of individual circumstances; further appreciates the positive difference that work has made to many people in East Renfrewshire; and thanks Russell and everyone involved in ERGC for their continued focus on supporting all our neighbours and making East Renfrewshire a caring and inclusive community."