HAVING aided around 900 residents and issued funding of more than £150,000, a charity leader is now urging Barrhead News readers to help their community.

Russell Macmillan inaugurated East Renfrewshire Good Causes (ERGC) in 2007, after undergoing life-saving double transplant surgery.

The kidney and pancreas transplant cost £70,000 and Russell vowed, there and then, to repay society.

Since starting the charity, Russell and his team have aided 887 residents across the area, with many from the town.

And now the charity has made the shortlist for the Bank of Scotland Community Fund 2013, which could see it land £3,000.

To land the prize, voters must help ERGC finish in the top two, and if they seal the funding, Russell has vowed to spend it on good causes in Barrhead.

He told the Barrhead News: “This money can help ensure more resources go to the frontline staff like teachers, health visitors and care workers.

“It is these frontline professionals who apply to ERGC for additional support, outwith what is available from the state.

“These people know who needs help within Barrhead and I would encourage readers to vote for ERGC so we can land the £3,000 which will allow us to further help the residents of Barrhead.

“A very large percentage of this £3,000 will be spent on Barrhead residents, so I would encourage readers to help those in need within the town and vote to get more resources for our frontline workers.” Reflecting on his own personal battle, he added: “When I got the double operation, I was helped by that organ donor, and this charity is set-up in memory of that person, because that transplant saved my life.

“From then I have wanted to re-pay the community and that is what this charity does, it helps the community when they are in need, through no fault of their own.

“Neighbours should help neighbours, and that is what can happen if readers vote for ERGC to get the £3,000.

“I want to put money back into the town and help those who need assistance, and you, the readers can help me do that and help your community.” Voting is free via www.bankofscotland.co.uk/communityfund or by visiting any of the following Bank of Scotland branches: Clarkston, Giffnock, Glasgow Mount Florida, Glasgow Muirend or Newton Mearns.

Alternatively you can vote by texting VOTE KZPA to 82332 and voting ends on Friday, November 1.