A salesman is stepping-out to help East Kilbride charities providing vital support to the most vulnerable during the pandemic.

Tom Lorimer, 37, has been doing a 10k a day throughout November to raise cash for East Kilbride Universal Connections and Waist Not Want Not.

He is looking to raise £1000 and believes the work both organisations do has been a lifeline for many.

Universal Connections is based at The Key in The Murray and delivers community learning and development activities for young people.

Meanwhile Waist Not Want Not, based in Strathmore House, runs an exchange initiative whereby people can take items in including clothes toys and home ware, get credits and exchange them for other items.

They also offer peer support, a third party and self-referral scheme and affordabley priced new items. The group also partners with Loaves and Fishes Food Bank who provide food.

The charity has just celebrated its first birthday and has seen more demand than ever throughout the pandemic for its services.

Tom, from Calderwood, told the News : “I have a relative who is involved with Universal Connections and my boy goes to some of the clubs.

“And I know Waist Not want Not help vulnerable people in helpless situations and I believe they have been struggling with funding.

“Both are fantastic organisations so I decided to see what I could to help them through Christmas.

“My aim is to raise money to provide vulnerable families in the East Kilbride area with a gift box full of toys suitable for all ages along with a small food hamper for the two groups.

“Universal Connections and Waist not Want not staff have gone way beyond all expectations during lockdown and beyond providing an outstanding service supporting vulnerable families in the community.

“Children are our future and my aim to walk 10k a day in November is to give these families a Christmas they won’t forget.”

Dad Tom admits the walking in and around the town hasn’t been without its challenges.

“I used to do a good bit of walking, but I haven’t done this much in a long time,” he added.

“It’s not always the easiest when its wet and cold and windy but my family have been a great support and I want to thank everyone who has got behind me so far.”

Jan Thomson, trustee and community engagement manager at Waist Not Want Not, said they are delighted with Tom’s support.

“We can’t thank him enough, it will mean families we haven’t got on our list already for this year will still be helped.

“It’s such a hard time for everyone and we have been inundated with families and individuals needing our help.

“We never imagined a year ago we would find ourselves in this position. There was the launch, getting our charity status and not long after lockdown hit.

“We haven’t been able to do fundraising due to COVID and we reopened last Monday only to have to close again because we are in tier 4. We had all the shop ready for Christmas and decorated.

“Our funding from the National Lottery also ends in January too and we will have to reapply.”

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But Jan said the charity has also been overwhelmed by donations and are working through them as quickly as possible.

They are also doing a virtual Christmas raffle with all funds raised going towards supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged families in the community as well as sustaining the project.

She added: “Although our premises are shut for three weeks we will still do whatever we can to help and are working away in the background - anyone needing us can contact us through out Facebook page or by calling 07930 380015.”

To support Tom’s fundraiser go to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/10kadayucwnwn