A CANCER charity has set sail with £3,500 thanks to kind workers from Ferguson Marine.

Each year, staff at the Port Glasgow shipyard make a generous donation to Ardgowan Hospice by giving up money from their own wages.

Lawrence Gemmell, who is a caulker/burner at the yard, was delighted to be able to hand over the this year's cheque to the hospice.

The staff pitched in again despite the pandemic and the shutdown.

He said: "We do this every year as staff are always happy to help Ardgowan Hospice.

"Myself and colleague Alec McNaught organise the handing over of funds.

"We didn't stop donating during the Covid-19 pandemic and the hospice need it more than ever."

Money was raised through the yard's long-running welfare fund, which sees a small amount taken off staff wages each month towards good causes.

Ferguson Marine, which is now owned by the Scottish Government, then topped the total up with another £500.

The workers have continued to operate the fund despite the hardships faced in Inverclyde during the coronavirus pandemic.

Elaine McNeill at Ardgowan Hospice extended her thanks to the staff who have now been supporting the local hospice for over 20 years.

Elaine, a fundraising officer, told the Tele: "We are so grateful to Ferguson Marine for this extremely kind donation, it is more than we had expected to receive.

"Each year the staff support us by donating from their wages - it is just another outstanding example of local people helping other local people."

The Tele revealed earlier this year how the hospice was staring a huge £100,000 cash crisis in the face after their lucrative events calendar was wiped out by the pandemic.

Elaine said: "It is no surprise that everything in our calendar has been cancelled as a result of Covid-19, so we cannot thank the staff at Ferguson's enough for this donation at a time where local support is crucial to the hospice's survival."