KIND hearted Co-op shoppers are making dreams come true this Christmas by helping put £16,000 into the pockets of frontline charities in Inverclyde.

Stores across the district have donated funds to six local good causes who bring hope into the lives of those who need it the most.

As a result of the Co-op reward scheme the homeless, families struggling on low incomes, the lonely and the isolated as well as youth organisations will all benefit.

At a special celebration event Co-op charity pioneers handed over the vital funds to their chosen organisations.

Starter Packs Inverclyde, Children in Poverty Inverclyde, Port Glasgow Parish Church Lighthouse Group, Inverclyde Shed and two scout groups in Kilmacolm and Greenock were the recipients.

Children in Poverty Inverclyde's chairman Pat Burke said: "We cannot wait to see the joy on the faces of nearly 400 school children who we are taking to the Beacon panto thanks to this fantastic gesture from the Co-op. The Co-op has been so supportive of our charity."

Later this month the charity will organise a day out at the panto for school and nursery children across the area, with transport included.

Homeless charity Starter Packs Inverclyde project manager June Glancy said: "This is a difficult time for everyone and the award from the Co-op will help us continue to help those starting out in new tenancies."

Port Glasgow's Lighthouse Group were represented by Anne McAnally and Joan McIlhinney, both elders in the church.

The Lighthouse runs cafes, walking football and other wellbeing groups free of charge throughout the week.

Anne said: "There is so much good work going on in the church and we are proud to be a part of it."

Both scout groups were also delighted with their awards and will use the money to continue their work with young people across Inverclyde.

David Nawreth, of the 42nd Scouts, said: "It will help us with our outdoor activities."

All of the money was raised by Co-op members swiping their cards at food stores and also using Co-op Funeralcare. Money is then donated to charities they voted for.

Co-op member pioneer Edward Mackay said: "We are delighted to have everyone together for the celebration and pay out. We work very closely with our charities. We would like to thank all our members for their support."