The Salvation Army in Stornoway have started a new campaign in response to the price of energy on the island.
Commanding officer Lieutenant Callum Newton explains: “Since we have arrived on the island we have been made aware of the difficultly many islanders face with the cost of heating their home.
“Sadly we have heard many stories of people having to make the awful decision of whether food or warmth is the priority because they can’t afford to have both.”
Having met with many members of the community working together to address the needs of the island, Lieutenants Callum and Emma Newton discussed the issue with other Salvation Army members on the mainland to try and find a way to offer some practical support.
The outcome was the Hot Water Bottle Appeal, the intention being that if people could support in getting new hot water bottles then The Salvation Army can see that they are distributed to people who would benefit from them.
“We know this isn’t going to solve the bigger problem, but we hope that it will go some way to relieving some of the burden,” said Lt. Callum.
“A hot water bottle with a blanket can keep you warm for a good few hours and that is for the cost of boiling a kettle rather than heating the house.”
It is also hoped that in areas where residents suffer from prolonged power outages, the gift of a hot water bottle will support them in keeping warm if they can boil water on a solid fuel or butane stove.
Over the Christmas period, as well as giving out around 200 Christmas gifts to a variety of children and adults, The Salvation Army gave out more than 20 hot water bottles.
With the support of the public the hope is that they would be able to give out many more especially during this winter.
Lt. Callum added: “One thing we have come across is that where people do have hot water bottles already, they may only have one or two between a family of four or more. We want to be able to give these families enough for one each.”
If you wish to support the appeal yourself then you can take new hot water bottles to The Salvation Army’s hall on Bayhead, Stornoway. If this article gives you the idea to get a hot water bottle for yourself, then Back Pharmacy are kindly donating a hot water bottle to The Salvation Army for every one they sell.
Pictured are Lieutenants Callum and Emma Newton.