A NEW community shop has been welcomed as it helps dozens of people from the former deli where Paige Doherty died.

The Help 4 The Homeless (H4TH) Community Shop has taken on the space in Fleming Avenue, Whitecrook.

It has lain empty for more than five years since 15-year-old schoolgirl Paige was killed in 2016.

H4TH, which is offering five free items a week to any person in need, said they have been warmly welcomed by the community.

Founder Melody Whitley told the Post: “The community have been fantastic - really welcoming. I feel really positive about it.

“The community has been lovely about it - they’ve said it’s just what they need. A lot of people have been offering to volunteer, to donate.

Melody Whitley has transformed the space in Fleming Avenue into a community shop for H4TH

Melody Whitley has transformed the space in Fleming Avenue into a community shop for H4TH

“It’s a great start. It’s the power of people making it happen. We get everything for free and people give it to us to give to others.”

Paige’s family and the owner of the row of shops, Mr Singh, had struggled to identify how best to use the space since her death.

But earlier this year, the Post facilitated contact between Ms Whitley and Paige’s mum, Pamela, who was understood to offer her support.

A plaque on the outside of the shop dedicated to Paige has been temporarily removed during repainting and will be restored soon.

About 40 people, from Clydebank, Dumbarton, Drumchapel and Partick were given items in the first three days the shop was open.

These included childrens’ toys, towels, parts of school uniforms, shoes, and more.

Ms Whitley said they could access other items beyond what’s in the shop, which has no storage space for larger items or what’s on display.

Beyond donations, members of the Drumchapel mental health charity Men Matter will be volunteering with the space as part of their work.

MSP Marie McNair said: “I welcome what has been achieved at the community shop in Fleming Avenue. As the local councillor for many years I am very much aware of the community spirit that exists and it is not a surprise that so many people have already been helped by a dedicated bunch of volunteers.

“I thank them so much for everything they are doing to help those in need. The venue as it was had such terrible memories for us all, so it is good to see being used now for such a positive initiative and I wish it every success.”

Ms Whitley and her team have transformed the space, including removing a wall and adding a new one, decorating, and carpet donated by Joe Walker Flooring.

There will be a formal ribbon cutting event when the sign is up and the shutter opened. H4TH is looking for help with a new motor to get the front shutters up.

A £500 “Magic Little Grant” from LocalGiving helped pay for paint, and H4TH can been supported through their donation page on the site.

The H4TH Community Shop is currently open 10am to 4pm on Monday and Wednesday, and 10am to 5pm on Saturday. They hope to open one evening for those who are working.

To donate items, contact the group’s Facebook page first.