Local MSP backs the ‘Give a Gift, Light up a Life’ project

Na h-Eileanan an lar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan is encouraging groups in the Western Isles to reach out to those in their communities who may need a wee extra smile this Christmas.

By John A. MacInnes
Saturday, 7th November 2020, 8:13 am
Perhaps this year Covid will make more of us take a step back and reconsider the real meaning of Christmas.
Perhaps this year Covid will make more of us take a step back and reconsider the real meaning of Christmas.

Volunteer Centre Western Isles has produced a step-by-step guide for community groups, third sector organisations and churches to help enable them to run their own ‘Give a Gift, Light up a Life’ project, and spread a little kindness this Christmas, given, if the Scottish Government’s predictions are correct, it’s not going to be much of a festive season this year.

A highly successful ‘Give a Gift, Light up a Life’ campaign was organised and run by the Volunteer Centre last year in partnership with NHS Western Isles Community Navigators, it saw older, socially isolated people receiving a handwritten Christmas card and a small gift.

It is hoped that this project can now be expanded on, and that many more groups and organisations across the Western Isles can get involved planning their own small acts of kindness projects this Christmas to help improve links between people within communities, especially those who are isolated.

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Suzanne Macaulay, manager at Volunteer Centre Western Isles, commented: “This year, the amazing Covid-19 response across the Western Isles has shown the huge difference that volunteering and carrying out small acts of kindness in our communities can make to people.

“We know a lot of individuals are feeling very isolated at the moment, so we would like to help local groups to reach out to people in their communities to provide a hand-written Christmas card along with a small gift to those who may need an extra smile this Christmas.”

Alasdair Allan MSP commented: “Christmas can be a hard time of year for a lot of people, and the extra strain that people have had to bear because of the coronavirus pandemic will likely exacerbate this.

“Whether it’s a gift or handwritten card, small acts of kindness like this can have an enormously positive emotional impact on their recipients who may be feeling low, are isolated in their community, or worse still, are having to self-isolate.

“This is a really excellent initiative from Volunteer Centre Western Isles which I hope lots of organisations across the Western Isles feel they can get involved with.”

If you are not part of a community group, but would still like to donate a gift or card through the NHS Community Navigators, please email: [email protected], telephone: 01851 700366 or check out the website at: www.volunteercentrewi.org for further information on the scheme.