AN INFORMAL support group providing people with food parcels, washing machines and anything in-between has recently marked its first year operating in Clacks.

Sharing Is Caring Wee County was established in April 2018, with the aim of allowing locals to come together and help each other.

Although it was originally set up by Stephen Pratt, it has been run by Sauchie resident Leighanne Rennie since February.

It works by using Facebook to create a platform where people can get in touch with one another, and make requests – or offers – for a range of donations.

Leighanne told the Advertiser: "Say someone's looking for a washing machine, they can put a post on the page just asking if anyone's getting a new washing machine and looking to get rid of an old one.

"If so, they can sort it between the two of them."

For those in need of items like food parcels, personal hygiene packs or baby products, they can also message the page privately and put in a request for support.

Unlike more formal groups, those looking for assistance from the Sharing Is Caring page do not need to be referred by someone else first.

Leighanne said: "Anyone that's needing help can find us on Facebook.

"I'm here to help as many people as possible."

Although the people who use Sharing Is Caring's services are varied, she mentioned that she had spotted trends during her time with the group.

She said: "A lot of people were contacting me, desperately needing help because of benefit cuts and sanctions because of Universal Credit.

"It's been a nightmare for a lot of folk."

Despite the high demand, people have always been willing to get involved and offer support.

So far, more than 2,400 individuals have joined the group's Facebook page, and most of them are based in Clackmannanshire.

As well as that, organisations like JP Motors in Alloa, and staff from the town's Cooperative and Greg's have also helped by making donations or organising fundraisers.

Speaking about how helpful locals involved with the group have been, Leighanne said: "The generosity, especially from folk in the Wee County, is tenfold."

Anyone looking to get involved with the group, whether it is to ask for support or to provide it, can do so by joining the Sharing Is Caring Wee County group on Facebook.