A Dundee charity is doing its part to spread some cheer this winter by donating almost 130 bags of essentials to the homeless.
Besty’s, a local charity founded by 37-year-old Greg Burke after his wife, Tracey, died of cervical cancer in 2018, has donated the bags to Transform – a group dedicated to improving the lives of homeless people across Dundee and Angus.
The bags were handed over on Thursday afternoon at Tracey’s auntie’s house.
Greg and his team are also planning to donate 50 bags of toys and games to school pupils in the city.
Besty’s was officially registered as a charity in January last year only months after Greg’s wife lost her three-year fight with cervical cancer.
Locals had raised £100,000 in just six weeks to fly Tracey to Germany for specialist private treatment – but at the age of 30 her fight came to an end.
‘Nice to give back’
Inspired by Tracey’s battle against cancer and his late mum Margaret’s fundraising efforts – which earned her an MBE – Greg wanted to help the community which supported him in his darkest hour.
Greg said: “It’s just really nice to give back, especially at this time of year.
“We had a bit of money saved up, so we decided to give back to the community. We contacted Transform and a couple of local schools, Craigowl Primary and St Andrews Primary.
“The headmasters gave us some advice on what families at the school were really needing, which was helpful.
“The bags have got little games, toys, things like that which are always good at this time of year.
“The bags for the homeless have got lots of important things in them too, more essential things like toothbrushes, soaps, smelly stuff.
“It just feels like it’s something that we should be doing this year.”
Greg, who works as a heating engineer, was also eager to acknowledge the hard work done by Besty’s staff, saying: “I need to give a massive shout out to the girls and everything that they did.
“Obviously, my work is a lot busier at this time of year so having them to help out was just amazing, they did all the work buying items and organising things.
“I also want to give my thanks to Mary and her husband, Ronnie, at our shop on Commercial Street, they did a really great job raising money for us.
“I think it’s a great feeling for everyone involved, it’s always nice to give something back.
While they have already made some huge donations, the team at Besty’s aren’t quite done yet.
Greg saying: “We’ve still got around £1,000 which we want to donate to one of our local food banks, we just haven’t decided which one yet.”