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The approaching festive season may have something to do with it, as may the desperate straits that some people find themselves in, but appeals for support from the public are increasing by the day.

A Christmas raffle being run by Stornoway business Parts+ is to split funds raised between Eilean Siar Foodbank and Western Isles Cancer Care Initiative (WICCI).

A spokesperson for Parts+ said: “These are two charities that, given the current financial climate, need all the help they can get, so they can continue providing essential services to those that need it.

“Having spoken to these charities recently we now understand the impact the recent pandemic had on their fundraising activities and we are hoping to raise awareness as well as much-needed funding.”

The prizes for that raffle include toys, board games and activities, as well as vouchers for shellfish, chips and butchers’ products, so the draw date of 23 December will help to ensure some very merry Christmas days.

Tickets can be bought in-store at Parts+ or via the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/parts.plus.ltd

Meanwhile the Hebridean Men’s Cancer Group have a whopping 90 prizes on their online raffle at https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/heb-mens-cancer-support-christmas-raffle-2022.

The group are rebuilding online support after their Facebook page was compromised earlier this year, dropping their follower list from 1,200 to just over 400 on their new page

A spokesperson for the group said: “The list of prizes tells the story of the huge support we get from businesses and individuals, but what we are trying to do is get our followers back up to previous levels and this in turn drives our fundraising activity.”

The group’s vice-chair, Don Maclean, recently gave a speech to the Probus Club in which he said: “The HMCSG is a group unique in Scotland, indeed possibly in the whole of Britain, and it is certainly most unusual in the Western Isles, where men are not known to be open and frank regarding personal matters.

“Locally we make contact with every man who we are notified of that have been diagnosed with cancer. Patients are asked if they can be referred to us and if they agree we are then informed. Not all men agree and that decision we accept.

“In the past twelve years we have had contact with over 800 men and their families throughout the Western Isles.

“That contact and support has involved financial, emotional and practical advice and, in some cases, simply friendships.

“As well as supporting men and their families on a personal level, the group have provided new recliner chemotherapy chairs for the hospital and community use, state-of-the-art beds and bathing facilities for Bethesda Hospice and, along with the family of the late Ian Morrison, Acuvein machines for use in hospitals and by GP practices in community settings.

“Over twelve years we have provided a truly phenomenal amount of help and support to cancer causes and individuals. All of the above could not be achieved without the help and support which we as a group receive.

“I am constantly amazed and indeed humbled by the amount of support we receive from the community of the Western Isles. I firmly believe we live in the most generous and caring community in Britain.”

The Hebrideans Men’s Cancer Support Group Christmas raffle will be drawn on 17 December and will see 90 winners celebrating Christmas with special gifts and hampers, useful household services, food, drink and one-of-a-kind experiences.