AN East Renfrewshire charity which helps vulnerable people has hit a major donations landmark.

Last week, the number of people who have benefitted from East Renfrewshire Good Causes (ERCG) passed the 4,000 mark.

The charity also had its best six months since it was launched in 2007, with 685 people receiving £172,360 worth of help in the form of goods and cash.

Barrhead was also boosted with three separate donations in that period, including thousands of pounds worth of L’Oreal hand sanitiser distributed to local people, a £1,000 recliner chair for a disabled pensioner and a motorised wheelchair for an amputee.

However, people across the local authority area, including Neilston, Newton Mearns and Giffnock, also benefited.

The 4,000 landmark was passed on September 21 and the total number of those helped now stands at around 4,200.

ERGC was launched by Russell Macmillan, who is registered blind, following a lifesaving pancreas and kidney transplant.

He decided he wanted to use his second chance at life to help others.

The organisation takes referrals directly from frontline workers, including Police Scotland, Women’s Aid and Citizens Advice, to ensure the money is well spent and goes to the right people.

In 2011, Russell won £121,000 in television game show Holding Out For A Hero, which he then donated to ERGC.

He told the Barrhead News: “To the end of September 21, the club had distributed a total of £1,372,261, helping more than 4,000 individuals.

“I never would have thought that 4,000 people could benefit as a direct result of my operation.

“The charity is distributing an average of £270,000 worth of goods and services a year and we have £200,000 in the bank.

“We are always looking for referrals from frontline workers to help deserving individuals in our community.”

For more information about the charity, visit