A CHARITY offering friendship and practical help to new Wee County parents last week received a cash boost.

Alloa First, the town's business improvement district (BID) organisation, presented a cheque for £182 to Home-Start Clackmannanshire.

The money was collected thanks to the generosity of visitors to the BID's Stanta's Grotto at the Liberal Club in town.

Morag Walsh, who sits on the Alloa First board, and is also known as Mrs Claus, said: "We agreed entry to the grotto should be free to allow everyone the opportunity to meet Santa.

"On the first day, November 23, people started asking if they could give a donation which made us decide to put a box out for Home-Start.

"We are delighted with the amount raised and would like to thank everyone for their generous contribution."

Home-Start Clackmannanshire last month expanded its charity shop in Alloa, taking up residence at a High Street premises.

The shop was previously based at Shillinghill and it supports the charity's mission in offering advice and support to Clacks families with young children.

Shelley Bowman, manager of Home-Start Clacks, said: "We are delighted to be supported in this way.

"Many thanks to all at Alloa First and, of course, to Father Christmas.

"Your kind donation will be used to support our volunteer training in our charity shop."

Families looking for support and people looking to offer their support by volunteering can email homestart@hsclacks.co.uk or call 01259 213 453.