A fundraising drive to raise cash for the first carer to die in Scotland from coronavirus has smashed the target.

Catherine Sweeney was due to retire from her job as a home carer with West Dunbartonshire Council next year.

But the 64-year-old widow - who who had been working during the pandemic without personal protective equipment - passed away last week after contracting the deadly COVID-19 virus.

Her heartbroken daughter, Colette, set up a JustGiving page in her memory, to help raise money towards her funeral costs.

The £500 target was smashed in a matter of days - with kind souls donating a total of more than seven-times their desired figure.

The Daily Record has launched our NHS Heroes campaign to thank the remarkable NHS staff who are on the front lines of this coronavirus emergency.

These amazing people place our health above their own and we are inviting the public to pledge their support by placing a heart on their location in the UK.

Please join us in showing these people our gratitude as we navigate this difficult time.

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To pledge your support, just:

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By 11.30am today, the page had raised £3,578 - 715% of the £500 target - with donations coming from across Scotland for the popular line dancing fanatic, who lived in Dumbarton.

Karen Hamilton said of her donation: "In memory of a wonderful lady, I have followed Cathy's footsteps for many years and will always have fond memories of her on the dance floor at WBLD socials and partying at the Line Dance weekends."

And Nicola Curtis said: "So sorry for your loss, thinking of the family at this sad time."

The donations left Colette overwhelmed and she said: "I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone of you's who have donated so far.

"Your generosity amazes me and all the love, kindness and wonderful words written are comforting at this difficult time.

"Your donations help massively towards funeral arrangements and I can't thank you enough.

Carer Catherine Sweeney who has died from coronavirus

"My mum was loved very much by those around her and it shows how much of an impact she made."

Mrs Sweeney was admitted to a ­high-dependency unit last month but passed away six days later, at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, in Paisley.

Her family said at the time: "We want to pay tribute to our wonderful mother, sister, and beloved auntie, Catherine Sweeney, who passed away from Coronavirus while being cared for by the medical staff at the RAH Paisley, on the night of April 4th.

"We want to thank the doctors and nurses who heroically looked after her in her final days.

"Catherine was well known, and well respected within the community of Dumbarton, where she was born and raised.

"She was a caring and generous person, especially when it came to her time, having dedicated over twenty years of her life as a Home Carer to unfailingly serving the needs of the most vulnerable in society.

"After a lifetime of service to the community, we know she will be sorely missed, not just by her loving family, but by many others for her incredible warmth, care, and dedication.

"A whole community shares in our grief."

Hazel Nolan, GMB Scotland Organiser, hit out following the trade union member's death, saying that poorer paid workers are the most at risk.

She said: "An untold story of this crisis so far has been the inconvenient truth that the lower paid you are on the frontline of the key worker response, the less protection and resource you get.

"This needs to end now.

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Coronavirus in Scotland

"We were told weeks ago that 'health and social care go hand-in-hand' but it’s hard to have faith in those sentiments because if the situation is perilous in our NHS then it is desperate in social care.

"Many carers for weeks leading to this point couldn't understand why they were being told they didn't need masks, when health care staff they worked alongside were.

Beth Culshaw, Chief Officer of West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership, said: "It is with deepest sadness that we can confirm a member of our team passed away.

"Our hearts go out to her family, friends and colleagues at this devastating time.

"Our dedicated staff are out in communities every day, delivering vital frontline services and working hard to support those most in need during this pandemic.

"We continue to follow all Government and health guidance and are doing everything we can to protect, support and safeguard our workers, including by providing training and PPE."