North-east firefighters have raised nearly £10,000 from a Christmas charity collection.
Ellon crews have carryied out door-to-door collections for the past 20 years, but the 2013 total eclipsed them all thanks to the generosity of local communities.
For the first time the fire appliance, which was decked out in Christmas lights, visited Balmedie. It also called at Pitmedden and surrounding areas.
Ellon watch manager Ron Beedie admitted the team of up to 15 firefighters would have been happy to match last year’s total of £6,300, but £9,200 was “beyond everyone’s wildest dreams”.
Ron said: “The generosity of our communities has blown us away to be honest. We thought if we could match last year’s total that would be a great achievement, but the total just kept going up and up.
“It was beyond our wildest dreams when the collections ended on December 23 and we realised how much we had actually raised. We would like to extend a massive thank-you to everyone who contributed to the collection.”
Aberdeenshire and Moray local senior officer David Rout said: “Once again I am astounded by the kindness and generous donations provided by the public in our local communities towards such worthwhile causes.”
Ellon and District SNP Councillor Richard Thomson said: “This is a fantastic total and I’d like to offer my own congratulations to the Ellon firefighters on their efforts. They really are a credit to their service and to the communities they serve.”
A total of £5000 will go to the Firefighters’ Charity, £1000 to MacMillan Nurses (Cancer Support) and the rest will be divided between the Northsound Cash for Kids campaign, Kayleigh’s Wee Stars, S.A.N.D.S (Stillbirth and neo-natal death charity) and various other local charities.