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Argyll College students were working harder than Santa’s elves during December, collecting and wrapping around 500 Christmas gifts which to be distributed to elderly members of the community.
The seasonal project was in support of the Campaign to End Loneliness and students, staff and members of the public left donations of non-perishable food and drink, books, toiletries or any small gifts at Argyll College centres in the run up to Christmas. The students wanted to find a way to show appreciation for older generations who have contributed to society and may now be without family during the festive period.
Local businesses were extremely supportive, with donations of gifts from Purdies of Oban, Labels Coffee Shop in Ballygrant, and Taynuilt-based Sequence Ladies Choir. Tesco and the Co-op also supported the students by setting up a drop-off points in stores in Oban and Islay.
Word of the students’ activities spread as far as Dumfries, and when Hilda McAdam heard about the campaign she sent selection of hand-knitted hats, gloves and scarves.
With hundreds of gifts to be distributed throughout Argyll, childhood practice tutor Kerry McGeachy said: ‘The support has been outstanding and we are truly humbled by the generosity of staff, students and the wider community.’
Kerry’s fellow tutor and curriculum lead for care and childcare, Kyla Steele said: ‘The activity links with many of the themes in a number of courses in the care sector and the students have taken this on wholeheartedly.’
Social services tutor Allan MacDougall co-ordinated gift distribution with numerous organisations across the region. ‘All the local care organisations have been so enthusiastic about the project and so supportive which is great,’ said Allan, ‘especially at a time of the year when they are incredibly busy and had so much to contend with. The staff involved really went the extra mile to help make this all possible.’
Hannah Hutchison with some of the Islay Donations. no_a02WeCare01