TRIBUTES are this week being paid to a “pillar” of the Alloa community who spent countless hours volunteering his time to help others.

The incredible commitment of Darren Mclean will on Wednesday, May 22, be remembered when his funeral goes ahead at Alloa Town Hall from noon.

He sadly passed away earlier this month at the age of just 53 and there has been an outpouring of support for his family since then, while people have also been sharing their fond memories of him.

Kevin McMahon, who launched a fundraising campaign to support his dear friend’s family, spoke of a well-liked man who was always smiling.

He told the Advertiser: “He was always volunteering, he was always the same, just an invaluable guy.

“In this day and age, you very rarely get people the same twice, but you had smiling Darren all the time.”

Darren was an avid volunteer and also enjoyed his bowls at Patons and Baldwins Bowling Club.

Kevin added: “He was just always willing to help people. He was always coming my way, which is the bottom end of Alloa, if people needed help, he would help them.”

Kevin launched a fundraiser in the wake of the sudden loss, raising more than £1,600 towards funeral costs and to make things a little easier for the family.

He explained the amount raised showed just how much Darren was loved and missed in the community and how much the man meant to others, even if he did not realise.

Kevin said: “I just felt he epitomised something that has been disintegrating for years now and is almost gone, which is community.

“I always say there’s a positive that comes out of a negative. His passing brought a community together for the first time I’ve seen in a long time and for someone to have that impact – that’s not just an ordinary person.”

For five years, Darren has been a volunteer with Alloa in Bloom, which has been working to make the town a little more colourful with flowers and more.

Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser: COMMITTMENT: Darren had been a volunteer with Alloa in Bloom since the group was incepted five

He has been involved right from the start with the group adding on social media: “He has helped every Friday and much more, including being the planner and namer of the Wagon’s End Garden at the bottom of Candleriggs which is a pollinators’ haven.

“We will miss him so much – his fun, his chat, his wonderful knowledge and kindness – and his incredible commitment to making Alloa, his home, a beautiful flower-filled place."

Kevin added: “I’ve never been sure what ‘pillar of the community’ means but I feel like he was one of those.”

It is understood Darren never missed an Alloa in Bloom session and also volunteered with TCV.

Diane Brown, of Alloa First which has been supporting the Alloa in Bloom initiative, added: “All at Alloa First are still reeling from the shock of Darren's sudden passing.

"His personality, friendship, and dedication to our local community were unparalleled.

"From his volunteering efforts to his friendly chats with everyone he met, Darren impacted countless lives in our town.

"He will be sorely missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him.

"To Darren's family, we extend our deepest condolences.”

Everyone who knew Darren is welcome to attend the funeral at Alloa Town Hall, thereafter it will be to Sauchie Cemetery from 1pm.