A major appeal takes place in Stornoway on Friday and Saturday (November 23-24)  for assistance to the work of Glasgow City Mission.

Donations are needed of new socks and underwear for both men and women; sleeping bags; new towels, and tea, coffee, sugar and diluting orange juice – as well as money, of course.

The appeal is being organised by the Stornoway High Free Church.

A special Appeal Centre  is opening in the centre of Stornoway – on Friday November 23rd from noon until 4pm; and Saturday November 24th from 10.30am to 1pm.  This is in the one-time Gazette shop in Francis Street, opposite to An Lanntair arts centre.

Charlie Nicolson, who is part of the organising team, said that in the past the Islands had been hugely generous to people in need in other parts of the world – now there was a growing need in a city where many Islanders had lived or made their homes over the years.

Graham Steven, who is Marketing & Fundraising Manager for the Glasgow City Mission on Crimea Street, not far from Glasgow Central Station, said the demands on their services had shot up in recent years.

He said Glasgow City Mission was immensely grateful for the offer of support from the group in Stornoway as they were entirely dependent on the generosity of their funders, receiving no public sector funding except in regard to their nursery service at a centre in Govan.

Glasgow City Mission has been at work since 1826 and is the oldest city mission in the world.  It serves people affected by homelessness, by poverty, by addiction, and prostitution as well as people involved in asylum seeking and other complex problems. 

Around 200 people a day use the centre on average.  There’s an evening meal every day serving around 120 people. There are about 12 frontline project workers and around 220 volunteers.  There are about 25 daytime activities trying to raise the skills and confidence of people attending.  These incude social interaction like lunch clubs, life-skills for cookery and budget management, art classes, music, gardening, and other activities.