A ‘reformed character’ donned a Borat-style mankini to deliver a Christmas treat for residents at an Ardrossan sheltered housing complex.

Gerald McVey grew up in a tough area of Glasgow and says that he never believed in the spirit of Christmas. But the 61-year-old claims that he has recently discovered a newfound hope in the magic of the festive season and that it has given him the drive to help others.

As part of his new belief in the Yuletide spirit, Gerald recently posed outside his Glasgow Street workplace with a cement mixer and a shovel wearing nothing but a mankini and a Santa hat. The stunt was to raise money from passers-by so that he could buy a Christmas hamper for the residents of nearby Currie Court. He also received donations from his colleagues at Conservation Masonry.

Gerald raised around £200 with his caper and last week delivered a bumper festive hamper to the unit – while dressed in his Borat get-up.

The stonemason, who moved to Ardrossan 26 years ago, said: “I got one of those Borat suits. It was to cheer the folk up. I wanted to order the best hamper I could get.

“I grew up in a rough area and I decided to leave my past behind me. I’ve been down here [Ardrossan] quite a while. People had me down as a bad guy until I left Glasgow, but I wasn’t a hooligan. I’m a good person.

“I was a bit of a rough yin when I was up in Glasgow and I turned my life around. I came down here a troubled boy and these people [the Three Towns community] took me in, they accepted me.

“I’m a reformed character, a guy who didn’t believe in Christmas. This year for some reason I felt different. I lost my wife in January of this year so maybe it was that.

“I don’t like to think at this time of year of the folk [in Currie Court] being themselves. I want to help, to cheer the folk up, and that’s why I do this.

“All my work mates joke that I’m not right in the heid but I care about people. I’ve got something in me that says Christmas is a family time.”