COMRIE’S First Response has been given a huge boost this week.
Talking exclusively to Herald reporter Lynn Duke, Responder Manager Alan Moffat has revealed that Hollywood superstar Gerard Butler has agreed to be the charity’s patron.
Film favourite and regular visitor to the Shaky Village, Gerard has seen the benefits the service has provided locally since its inception and was keen to give his support.
In a recent interview with an entertainment website, the actor admitted to having been â€œa bit of a rogue in the pastâ€ but that his Hollywood success has helped him find contentment and along with that an â€œincreasing desire to give back to othersâ€.
On Friday, in between learning the lines of a new script, Gerard tried on a First Response jacket for size and checked out the vehicle before being taken for a trip round the village in it. He was also â€œchuffedâ€ to be shown the first copy of the new First Response headed notepaper, which now displays his name.
â€œGerard has been a generous contributor in the past,â€ said Alan Moffat. â€œWe are delighted to welcome him on board and have him associated with us, especially now that we are a totally Scottish charity.â€
Indeed, there are big changes afoot for First Response as on June 1, the back up emergency service became devolved from the UK wide organisation and is now a Scottish charity in its own right.
Alan added: â€œThis means that fundraising should be easier as we can now apply for grants under the banner of a solely Scottish charity although that won’t necessarily be an easy task in the current climate. We will still have to rely on local support. However, we will be controllers of our own destiny and development.
â€œWe are very excited for the future of the service in the Strathearn area and would love to see a unit based in Auchterarder.
â€œAnd, with the help of Scottish Ambulance, we would also like to be able to support small communities in enabling them to form their own responder teams.”
Alan also expressed his gratitude for the ongoing support the charity receives from Comrie, without which the service could not continue.
A flurry of fundraising activity has been taking place in the Strath recently for First Response.
Supporters rallied round following the recent theft of the flashing amber beacon from the top of the emergency vehicle. Thanks to a donation from Comrie’s 50 Plus Club for the whole cost, a new lamp is already back in place.
Friends John King and Alex Dillon have just returned from their mammoth 14-day coast-to-coast trek to raise funds for the unit, and local resident John Brymer handed over a cheque for Â£400 at a recent volunteers’ training session.