VOLUNTEERS in the Hillfoots are looking to make sure everyone receives a Christmas gift following a difficult 2020 for many.

Alva Development Trust has been getting into a festive spirit this month with a range of activities.

As part of ongoing efforts to raise everyone's spirits, Christmas gifts will be delivered to people in need who receive food parcels from the good cause.

Mary Laing, chair of the trust, told the Advertiser: “We are collecting presents because if people have no food, they're not going to have any money for presents.

“We are working in partnership with Alva Co-op, they are doing collections as well in-store and bringing them down to us.

“We've got loads of people handing stuff in at the door, they've been so generous, they've been absolutely wonderful.”

Gifts are being given out this week in the lead up to Christmas to people who are receiving food parcels.

It follows advent calendars and elves being given out to people at the start of the month as well.

Mary said: “It's just to give a wee bit of joy, that's what really what we need, we need to pick everybody's mood up a wee bit because it [the coronavirus pandemic] has been going on for so long and everybody is just getting a wee bit battle weary.”

Earlier in the month, the Alva Rainbows were outside the trust's busy base at the Cochrane Hall, singing festive songs for the whole town to enjoy.

Mary said: “They were absolutely magnificent and they sang so that everybody in the town could hear them.”

The young people gathered outside with the Cochrane Hall's Christmas tree, donated by the Lasman family of L&S Building Services.

A few days later, just under 100 home made Christmas turkey dinners were delivered by volunteers to elderly people in the town, along with a goody bag, who have been receiving around 800 portions of food from the trust.

Mary added: “Some of these elderly and vulnerable people live along and they won't have anything to open on Christmas morning so it was just nice to give them something that they can open.”

The busy volunteers at the Cochrane Hall will be taking a very short break this year, with the building closing for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day.

Every other day, support will be available.

Mary said: “We'll be here, just in case.”