DESPERATE charity Ayrshire Cancer Support had their calls for help answered amidst the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

The charity issued a Dunkirk-like SOS, as they faced an uphill struggle against COVID-19.

The virus has wreaked havoc on their services, as they faced having to triple the amount of journeys kind volunteer drivers make to the Beatson in Glasgow.

These journeys, some 1,600 each month, help patients with the most serious cancers get to appointments at the specialist centre.

Up until the coronavirus outbreak, the patients were able to car share making each of those journeys possible. But with cancer treatment leaving the groups at high risk, they now need to take patients on their own.

As a result, the charity issued a desperate plea for volunteer drivers.

Laura Brown, Head of Income and Marketing said: “This is our Dunkirk moment, we really need help. We have to increase our volunteer drivers to triple our journeys to Glasgow as we can’t put these patients at risk.”

Their emergency call was answered as the charity were able to confirm on Wednesday, March 18 that they had enough volunteer drivers.

They announced the news in a statement that read: “Our community is mobilising to make sure cancer patients receive their treatment. Ayrshire people, we love you, your spirit, your kindness and your support.”

However the charity face more challenges after they have been stripped of vital fundraising opportunities with events and mass gatherings all axed for at least 12 weeks.

One major event to fall victim of coronavirus was the Kiltwalk which brought £29,000 to the charity last year.

But despite the cancellation ACS have urged their kiltwalkers to continue to raise funds up until then end of March, with the funds raised being topped up by the Hunter Foundation, who kindly stepped in to help.

The charity have a number of charity shops that have been hampered by the crisis, as many staff are over 70 and in a vulnerable category.

And the delivery of their vital support services have also been pegged back, with one-on-one counselling no longer available, which is now carried out over the phone.

Amidst the emergency the charity have contacted every councillor in Ayrshire to see if funding can be secured.

Laura said: “We really need funds. It costs £210k each year to run our transport service, we have to look at tripling that we are looking at £620k if this continues. It costs about £920k to deliver all of our services, with the current situation we are facing an estimated increase of £400k per year.”