A DEDICATED charity campaigner who has spent hundreds of hours doing his utmost to help Barrhead and Neilston people over the last four years is set to appear on a national TV show.

Partially-sighted Russell MacMillan was already struggling with greatly impaired visibility when he found he needed a life-saving double operation four years ago.

In a gruelling operation lasting 11 hours he had both his kidney and pancreas transplanted, making him one of the few fully cured diabetics in the country.

He shrugged off the risk of complications to the operations that could have proved lethal and ploughed all his energy into the idea of "giving something back" by launching East Renfrewshire Good Causes (ERGC).

It has been a major success story, with countless people across every part of East Renfrewshire benefiting individually from ERGC's efforts.

Whether it's special orthopaedic equipment or special aids to help people live without pain, or to live more easily with a disability, Russell raises cash for the charity and tops it up with grants to give each ERGC beneficiary exactly what they need.

He has enlisted the help of politicians, Rotarians, friends and neighbours in his quest to bring aid to local people who need it most, and last year received a signal honour from the Rotary Club for his unstinting efforts.

But this week Russell, 46, got in touch to say he wanted to say a special thank you to the many people in Barrhead and Neilston who have helped him make others' lives more positive.

In this Sunday's Holding Out For a Hero - which is on ITV at 6.45pm and hosted by Gethin Jenkins - Russell will be taking part in a quiz show with a difference along with fellow East Renfrewshire man and supporter Stephen McCarrey.

Russell said: "Thanks to Barrhead News readers, among others, ER Good Causes managed to be one of 21 small local charities to be selected out of 400-plus researched by ITV London.

"I hope everyone who has helped us, or would like to, will tune in on Sunday night."