TWO Wee County women are preparing for another huge year of Christmas gift collecting after realising their efforts are needed now more than ever.

Lorraine Jack and Colleen Hislop, co-owners of Goodfellas barbers in Tullibody's Tron Court, will once again be taking donations for KidsOut and its Giving Tree appeal.

Last year, the shop collected a huge amount of gifts and Colleen says they will be doing the same this year.

She told the Advertiser: "We've got the trees in just now, it's simple: just a kid's name, an age at the back [of the tag] and they ask for [things like] bath toys, jigsaws, colouring-in books, it's nothing too expensive.

"We collect it and then deliver it to KidsOut. Last year, me, Lorraine and my husband took a van through with the gifts."

With the impact of Covid-19, an appeal which is always much-needed at this time of year has suddenly taken on a much greater urgency.

Colleen continued: "We wanted to start it a wee bit earlier this year, obviously with Covid-19, the kids will need it more than ever.

"I think it's very important [that kids get a gift this year], people are losing their jobs and I think the kids need it more. They've had a crappy year, not getting any holidays, so I think out of all the years they need it more.

"We actually phoned KidsOut to make sure we were still allowed to do it but they said they need it more than ever."

After their huge collection haul last year, Colleen and Lorraine were taken around the warehouse where all the gifts are stored, a visit that left Colleen in tears.

"It was amazing to see how well it works," she said. "I was wanting to do it more than ever this year especially after how well we done last year.

"When she told us we had done more than 500 gifts – I think she told us we had done more than anybody else for the charity – it gave me a boost to try and beat it this year."

Anyone wishing to donate a gift can visit Goodfellas on Tron Court to take a tag from their Christmas tree.

They can then bring their gift back before or on December 15 and Colleen or Lorraine will then transport the gifts through to KidsOut.