THE globetrotting mascot of an Alloa charity has become the organisation’s most travelled volunteer, having visited nearly 20 countries.
Jackson, an adorable fluffy Labrador toy, has been travelling the world with volunteers of The Gate since last summer and has been as far as Australia, the US, Gambia and much more.
He helps connect people, bringing a little joy when things get stressful at the charity, which distributed 80,455 meals from its foodbank and provided 355 children with school clothing this year.
Marie Brownhill, volunteer manager at The Gate, said: “He creates a sociable, informal and joyful rapport with the volunteers which is really important because it can be a very stressful environment to work in. “It is important that people enjoy their time at The Gate and Jackson, who is off to Austria soon, helps to promote happiness within the team.”
The cuddly mascot, who was donated to the charity by a six-year-old, has also travelled the UK extensively and volunteers have also taken him home for sleepovers, BBQs and birthday parties closer in and around the Wee County.
Val Rose, a trustee at The Gate, added: “He has travelled extensively across the UK and has even been to birthday parties and other occasions. Jackson does not say a lot but he is very well known and popular in the local community and people come in to The Gate and ask for him.”
The mascot has also seen Norway, France, Corfu, Poland, Tunisia and Spain. Recently, the list grew with Portugal’s autonomous Madeira region with charity supporter MSP Keith Brown. Wearing a pair of snazzy sunglasses, the representative posed for a snap which will find its place in Jackson’s photo album to showcase his epic travels. Mr Brown said: “I thought this was a great opportunity to show my ongoing support for The Gate and the work it does for our local area.
“From the vital services it delivers like the Soup Pot and foodbank to the more fun, but just as important events, like the Gig at the Gate and Community Café”.
“Since it was established, The Gate has become an integral part of our local community.
“Its volunteers and staff are truly committed to giving help and support to those who are most vulnerable and find themselves in need. I am happy to offer my support in any way that I can – even by stowing a (toy) dog in my holiday luggage.”