IT was the first birthday of East Renfrewshire Good Causes in 2008 – and the organisation had a lot to celebrate.

Whether providing wheelchairs or helping teenagers go on an educational trip, the charity has been busy helping causes close to home.

One of the first endeavours involved supplying a new wheelchair to the East Renfrewshire Carers Project, for use in taking disabled carers out for some respite.

Among the other good deeds done was the provision of a sturdy, therapeutic garden swing for a young adult with severe autism, allowing exercise which we would help to calm the individual down without using medication.

East Renfrewshire Good Causes (ERGC) began as a way for local man Russell Macmillan, who is registered blind, to say thanks to society for a lifesaving double transplant that cured his kidney failure and diabetes.

His aim was to raise the standard of how a community can help those less fortunate.

At the end of its first year, more than 60 people had been helped by ERGC and over £10,000 had been spent, with 100 per cent of this directly supporting local people.

The charity’s work is made possible by the support of the ‘Friends of ER Good Causes’ group, consisting of local people and businesses who sign up to standing orders from as little as £5 a month.

As he celebrated that first anniversary back in 2008, Russell said: “The more people that join us, the more we can help our neighbours.”

The charity is still going strong today and anyone who would like more information should call Russell on 0141 639 8230.