by Tara Fitzpatrick 

THE West Dunbartonshire Community Foodshare (WDCF) have launched a creative new fundraising campaign to support the people who use the service throughout the area.

Beermats will be distributed to local pubs and restaurants in the area with the organisation's donation number written across them.

The group have approached local businesses including The Lucky Break, The Bay Inn & The Albion Club to support them in using Foodshare beermats in their establishments.

The beermats say "There is enough food for everyone" and appeal to patrons to text the price of a starter whilst they enjoy a drink.

Clair Coyle, trustee at WDCF, said: "When people are having a meal or a drink it will hopefully remind them of the work we do.

"£4 covers the cost of a starter so we thought that would be a good amount to encourage people to donate."

The group have made an order for 5000 beermats and hope the idea will lead to more businesses getting involved.

They have been working with the voluntary organisation Pub Watch to contact local establishments.

The organisation was set up three years ago and helps people from across the area by providing food parcels and other living essentials to those in need.

Last month the group launched a uniform bank to help families with the cost of new school uniforms in the back-to-school period.

Clair said: "Last year we had 161 children who needed uniforms but this year it was 125 which we see as a success however we will still have orders coming in throughout the month."

The group are organising collection days over the coming months in Dumbarton.

The first will be held at Morrisons on Dumbarton Road on September 16 between 10-3pm and second will be held at ASDA on October 14 at the same time.

Volunteers are welcome to get involved throughout the day by handing out leaflets and encouraging shoppers to donate to the trolley collection at the supermarket door.

"We're hoping for a really positive reaction," said Clair. "In the past we haven't advertised the events in advance but people on the day have been really generous."

The group also made holiday hunger bags for across the summer which helped 436 children across West Dunbartonshire who would normally have received free school meals during term-time.

The bags contained milk, bread, crisps and a chocolate bar and were funded by the remainder of a Cash For Kids grant which the group received in the winter.

"We will be putting in an application again this year," said Clair. "We had £750 left for the summer which helped with the holiday hunger bags but we have decided that we want to be able to cover all school holidays.

"We find that in the winter, colder months we can be a lot busier."

If any pubs or restaurants would like to get involved in the beermats campaign or you wish to help at a food collection day contact WDCF on or Adele on 07483 136410.