HMS Ambush’s Sub-Lieutenant James Burton, Susan Davidson from Helensburgh and Lomond Foodbank, and Chief Petty Officer Richie Mackie.
By Gavin Carr
Big-hearted crew members from Royal Navy submarine HMS Ambush have recently raised £1,200 for Helensburgh and Lomond Foodbank.
The fund-raising was the brainchild of Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Richie Mackie, Senior Rates’ Mess President on board the Astute-class attack submarine, who wanted to do something to help families struggling during the current COVID crisis.
“I was watching the news and thinking about what we could do to help,” said Chief Mackie. “There are so many people experiencing hardship at the moment so I thought that HMS Ambush’s ship’s company could do something for those in need.
“In the end we raised half the money by selling branded cups and the other half through a ‘500 numbers’ game.”
Submariners at sea during Christmas patrol sometimes play a numbers game, with crew members paying £1 and the winning number paying out a cash prize. HMS Ambush decided to do the same for the food bank with 500 numbers going quickly among the crew, family members and friends raising £600 for the good cause.
The cheque for £1,200 was handed over to the Helensburgh and Lomond Foodbank at their headquarters at Red Cross Hall in Helensburgh on Monday.
Susan Davidson from Helensburgh and Lomond Foodbank said: “Our service has increased in use over the six years since starting, but in the last few months we have seen a much bigger increase in the [number of] bags we have given out.
“In the last quarter – March to May – we have issued 653 bags. Last year at the same time it was 495 from both our sites.
She added: “Huge thanks to Ambush for the cheque and for the way so much money was collected by the Submariners, family and friends.”
Staffed by volunteers, Helensburgh and Lomond Foodbank issues food donated by the local community to those experiencing food poverty in the area.
The group operates from Red Cross Hall at East Princes Street and also has a presence in Rosneath at Howie Park.
Money can be donated via direct debit, cheques and cash. Food donations can be handed into the Red Cross Hall, Helensburgh, and Howie Park, Rosneath. The foodbank also have collection boxes in the Co-op, McColls and Morrisons in Dumbarton. Local churches and schools also regularly contribute.
For more information on the foodbank and how you can help or use the service please visit their website at: www.helensburghlomondfoodbank.org.