A ScotRail Ticket Examiner who has helped giveaway tens of thousands of meals and gifts to homeless people, schoolchildren and refugees is appealing for more volunteers to play their part over Christmas and beyond.
Garrett Ramsay, who is 43 and works out of our Dalmuir station, is a regular volunteer with the Cadogan Street Soup Kitchen in Glasgow and most recently in the H4TH (Help 4 The Homeless) Community Shop in Clydebank.
The shop was set up in May 2021 in the former deli where 15-year-old schoolgirl Paige Doherty was killed five years ago.
It offers free items to everybody, especially people who are in need and, since it opened, Garrett reckons up to 25,000 donated items have been given away, including clothes, children’s toys, towels and shoes.
Garrett, originally from Dublin, is also often seen helping out David Maguire and Steven Caputa of GWR restaurant near Anniesland in Glasgow.
The upmarket eatery gave away free food to thousands of NHS workers at nearby Gartnavel hospital during the worst of the pandemic and then provided up to 1500 meals a day to the elderly, children missing free meals while schools were closed, and people who were self-isolating.
ScotRail Ticket Examiner Garrett, said:
“I tell passengers I carry a bag of spare smiles and if I get one back, I recycle it.
“That sums up my attitude to life. There’s always someone who needs help and volunteering can make a real difference to so many people.
“Christmas should be the happiest time of the year, but it’s often a real struggle when you’re homeless or don’t have enough money for a proper meal.
“We celebrated International Day of Volunteering earlier this month, so it would be great if even more people would help out during the festive season.”
David Maguire of GWR Restaurant, said:
“Garrett played a very important role as part of a team of volunteers who assisted with the provision and delivery of more than 100,000 hot meals.
“The team worked seven days a week, delivering the meals to those who needed it the most within Glasgow.
“They were people who the city had ‘shepherded’ with great charity and care into various hotels and hostels.
“Garrett and the delivery team were outstanding.”
Mel Whitley of H4TH (Help 4 The Homeless) charity, said:
“Garrett has been volunteering with us for the last five years and in that time he has taken on the running of our social media accounts which has been incredibly helpful.
“He also sources lots of donations for the Community Shop in Clydebank without which we wouldn’t be nearly as effective.
“Lots of children will be having a smile on their face on Christmas Day, because many of those donations end up as presents they wouldn’t otherwise have had.
“Garrett’s work at the Soup Kitchen is also invaluable. He serves the food, but most importantly he makes people feel valued and puts them at ease by taking the time to listen to what they have to say.”