AN MSP has championed the important role of charity shops in the community on a visit to a North Berwick store.

Craig Hoy, South Scotland MSP, recently visited the British Heart Foundation (BHF) shop in North Berwick, and encouraged more residents to volunteer and help save lives across the county.

He said: “I had a very informative discussion with Patricia and Jonathan about the impact the British Heart Foundation has on people’s lives throughout Scotland.

“I also learned more about the positive experience of volunteering. As well as helping good causes like the BHF, it is a great opportunity to meet new people, gain new skills and help the environment by giving unwanted items a new lease of life.

“I’d like to thank our local volunteers for all they do supporting heart and circulatory disease research in our community and would encourage others to think about volunteering too.”

Heart disease kills nearly 50 people a day in Scotland and affects about 700,000 people nationwide.

The BHF is the largest independent funder of heart and circulatory research but relies on public donations to achieve its goals.

Jonathan Roden, BHF Scotland’s policy and public affairs manager, said: “It goes without saying that volunteers are the lifeblood of our shops. Every hour donated makes a difference. It helps us raise money to power life-saving science to save and improve lives.

“Across Scotland around 700,000 people are living with heart and circulatory diseases. Your gift of time can help us help them. 

“For more than 60 years, your support has helped the BHF turn research that once seemed like ‘science fiction’ into reality and we need your help now more than ever.”