IN A show of festive goodwill, three Arbroath charities have benefitted to the tune of £10,000.
‘The Giving Back to the Community’ funds were dispersed on Monday night following the campaign in the Arbroath Herald which was the brainchild of brothers Valy and Shiraz Ossman.
Hundreds of votes poured in, with the League of Friends of Arbroath Infirmary and Little Cairnie Hospital presented with the top cheque of £5,000.
Angus Dog Rescue was close behind, receiving £3,000, while Arbroath Skatepark Project netted £2,000.
For the brothers, funding the three causes while also raising the profile of almost a dozen local groups was their way of saying thank you to Arbroath for supporting their businesses.
Valy said: “This is where we first started, we’ve never not been in business in Arbroath.
“I completely believe in Arbroath. It’s an up and coming town, and I’ve put my money where my mouth is with the Marine Court flats and the harbourside development.”
He was delighted with the outcome of the campaign, adding: “I’m really, really pleased with the way it has turned out.
“I think we’ve covered all the bases here, with money going to the infirm, the young and the animals.
“From the beginning I wanted the town to vote for the causes it wanted to support.”
Jacqualine Cargill, president of the League of Friends was on holiday when she got the word.
She said: “I was in a taxi in Cyprus when I heard. I was absolutely delighted, we can do an awful lot of good with it.
“It’s the biggest single-sum donation that we’ve ever had.”
A meeting of the League of Friends committee will be held in the New Year to decide on how the money will be used, but Jacqualine explained that already requests have been made for medical equipment such as cardiac monitors, neonatal saturation monitors and bedding.
She said: “The more we do the bigger the list we get. It’s not the nice things in life we get asked for any more. We used to fund parties and concerts, but now we are down to the nitty gritty, but that’s what’s needed and it helps so many people.”
Ian Robb of Angus Dog Rescue said: “Everyone is just so delighted and I think all the volunteers are more thrilled because it was the community that did the voting.
“This will make a big difference to us and to the others. Because of the economic climate we are preparing ourselves for a big influx of animals over the new year period.”
Jillian Low of the Arbroath Skatepark Project said: “This is just brilliant. We are so pleased the community is supporting us.
“We will soon be meeting with designers Gravity Skateparks so this will go towards that. It means an awful lot to us.”
South Angus MSP Graeme Dey, who was on the original judges’ panel also attended.
He said: “I want to pay tribute to Valy, this is obviously a fantastic gesture. I think we live in a particularly cynical world and when we see gestures like this it really warms the heart.”
Valy concluded: “I just want to wish everyone in the town a merry Christmas and a fantastic New Year.”