A CHARITY at the heart of Clydebank has raised a massive £75,500 in order to provide a permanent place they can call their own.

Golden Friendships set an ambitious target of £80,000 to purchase the 543 Club in Dalmuir – where they have been operating out of for more than two years.

After being offered the chance to buy the building in March this year, founder of the group Jim McLaren said he was confident the funds would be raised in time to buy the building on July 1.

So far, the club have £75,500 thanks to those in the community, and beyond, rallying round to support the cause.

Jim told the Post: “I’m so grateful to the 543 board for giving us this opportunity to move forward, and to all the people who have donated to the club by putting their hand in their pocket or buying raffle tickets, it is all equally important. By helping the Golden Friendships charity, you are helping change lives.

“The commitment from the volunteers and helpers at the club has been amazing. We will be fundraising for the foreseeable future to get the building as good as we can get it. We want a safe and comfortable environment for all our friends with special needs and disabilities.

Read more: Golden Friendships buys 543 Club as permanent base

“We want to tackle loneliness in our community, and we will do all we need to for this challenge. We want people out their houses and into the company of others.”

Several events were organised including a disability sponsored walk, race nights, tribute act nights, bag packing, a charity ball, and a family magic show, by both the club and its supporters.

Jim said having the building as a permanent base will make it easier to run Golden Friendships, as there will be more concrete plans able to be put in place, and the hall wont need set up, and all the equipment put away, every time it’s being used.

Another £4,500 is needed, but Jim confirmed that the purchase of the 543 Club will go ahead either way - but hopefully debt free.

A grand opening day will be held on Saturday, July 6 between 11am-3pm where there will be a raffle draw.

Mathew Kelly and Cameron McIlroy, both members of the club, have gathered donations including food vouchers for McMonagle’s and Nandos, tickets for two at a Celtic Park game, and a voucher for a tour of Parkhead.

If anyone would like to donate to help reach the final target, please get in touch with Jim on 07957568330.