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The warm hearts of island people were once again in evidence on Friday and Saturday (2 and 3 December) at a collection meant to help get Glasgow’s homeless people indoors as the cold bites.

Stornoway High Free Church organised the two-day collection of cash and vouchers to support Glasgow City Mission, the oldest city mission in the world, formed in 1826.

The Mission was appealing for vouchers from popular stores, and for cash donations, to help buy food, toiletries and other essentials for use during their annual Christmas appeal, which is meant to get as many of the city’s homeless as possible into the warm with a bed, hot food and care in the coldest months of the year.

Glasgow City Mission’s overnight welcome centre opened on Thursday (1 December) after the staff team had received intensive training ready for their role through the coldest nights of winter.

A spokesperson for Glasgow City Mission said: “Training our staff is essential. Our main goal at the overnight welcome centre (OWC) is to stop people rough sleeping, but the training equips our team to come alongside our guests, build trust, journey through the system with them, possibly rescue them from horrific situations and can actually save a life.

“The OWC is a refuge for everyone this winter, including those who may not be automatically eligible for accommodation.

“As we have in the previous 12 years, Glasgow City Mission and partners will work tirelessly to ensure anyone in danger of sleeping rough this winter is offered a bed for the night.

“We thank our operational and financial partners, and the general public, for their overwhelming support as we serve our guests this winter.”

Supporting this intense effort, Stornoway High Free Church organised two days of collection at the community room in Stornoway Library, during which the Mission was gifted a total of £2585.50 in vouchers, money and private donations.

Appeal organiser Charlie Nicolson said: “This is a great response by our community again, especially considering the challenges this year.

“Stornoway High Free Church would like to thank MacLeod and Buchanan, No 10 Retail Warehouse, John Cunningham, AM Training Ltd, Influence, Isles FM, We Love Stornoway, Iain Smith, Iain McLeman and Craig Parkes for all their contributions.

“We also thank Comhairle nan Eilean Siar for the use of Stornoway Library’s community room and all those who donated in any way to the Glasgow City Mission Christmas Appeal.” 

The pictures show Glasgow City Mission workers checking the welfare of street sleepers, and the hot meals provided as people come in (Glasgow City Mission).