AN East Renfrewshire charity which helps vulnerable people has reached a major milestone.

The amount of cash distributed by East Renfrewshire Good Causes (ERGC) has now passed the £2million mark.

Among those to benefit recently is a pensioner who was given a mobility scooter for greater independence after suffering with balance problems as a result of a brain tumour.

Elsewhere, a single parent with two young children was presented with a double buggy to replace a pram which was destroyed in a fire.

There has also been cash to pay for a first aid course for a school pupil with additional support needs who hopes to train as a paramedic.

And ERGC also funded a British sign language course for parents of a deaf baby to help them communicate in the years ahead.

The charity was launched in 2007 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.

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

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

Since the charity was launched, it has helped more than 7,000 people across East Renfrewshire and beyond.

In the past six months alone, ERGC has distributed around£120,000 worth of goods and services, supporting almost 700 people along the way.

Russell, 59, told the Barrhead News: “As a person with a strong Christian faith, it has been way beyond my wildest dreams that we could have loved so many of our neighbours and thanked all the people involved in saving my life.

"The charity starts providing resources to individuals from where the welfare state stops. ERGC only takes referrals from trained frontline workers, like teachers, housing, health and social workers, from both the state and third sector groups, as this avoids the need for wasteful duplicate assessments.

"This allows the charity to guarantee that one hundred per cent of personal donations are spent directly on acts of kindness to individuals."

For more information about the charity, click HERE