SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, was invited to launch the Volunteer Centre Western Isles ’Give a Gift, Light Up a Life’ campaign in Uist at the end of October. The campaign was launched in Lewis by Cllr. Charlie Nicolson, Volunteer Centre Manager Suzanne Macaulay, and Sue Long from NHS Western Isles.
The campaign, now in its third year, is encouraging local groups and organisations to get involved by planning their own small acts of kindness projects in the lead up to Christmas time. It is hoped that the various forms of this year’s campaign will help bring a smile to those who may be feeling isolated and build links between people in communities.
Volunteer Centre Western Isles have launched a step by step guide for community groups, third sector organisations and churches to run their own ‘Give a Gift, Light Up a Life’ campaigns, as well as inviting individuals to donate gifts or handwritten cards at drop-off points throughout the Western Isles.
Following the launch, Allan commented:
“Volunteer Centre Western Isles do a wonderful job of supporting islanders all year round, and I was very pleased to be asked to help launch this year’s Christmas campaign in Uist.
“The festive season can be a very lonely and difficult time for some, and the past year and a half has also been trying on our collective mental health for obvious reasons. A project like this will help support people who may be isolated or struggling in some way, and I would encourage as many people as possible to join in however they are able to.”
Suzanne Macaulay, Volunteer Centre Western Isles Manager said:
“There are many people, particularly older people, within our communities who do not see anyone over the festive period or receive cards or a gift. This can be a very difficult time of year for those who feel isolated or lonely and a small gift and/ or card with a message donated to this appeal could make a huge difference, so they know that others in our community are thinking of them. This campaign encourages community volunteering to help make a difference this winter.”
Gifts or handwritten cards can now be donated at the following drop off points, with more locations to be added over the next month:
• Western Isles Library (old café) in Stornoway
• Volunteer Centre Western Isles Offices:
- Old Primary School, Tarbert, Harris
- Am Bothan, Northbay, Isle of Barra
• Uist - UCVO Thrift shop, MacGillivrays, Bayhead Shop, Co-op branches in Daliburgh, Creagorry and Sollas