CARING people from across Ayrshire have been hard at work, packing items in small boxcs to help those battling to make ends meet in countries far from home.

For the past 15 years, parishioners from Irvine’s Fullarton Church and others in the area have supported the Blythswood Care Shoe Box appeal.

And this year’s project is about to conclude after three weeks of packing boxes with essential items including toothpaste, a hat scarf and gloves and soap. Also included is a small toy, which will be a welcome Christmas present. These will imminently be sent out to recipients.

Appeal organiser Fraser Hutchison said: “This year the boxes are being sent out to Pakistan and India, but there was more focus on Kosovo which suffered in a Civil War.

“We have other churches helping us, including St Mary’s in Irvine and some in Ayr, Troon, Saltcoats, Ardrossan, Auchinleck and Cumnock. We have picked up items from other churches which are being sent out. We have also had help from the likes of Lawthorn Primary, Auchenharvie Academy, Carrick Academy, Largs Academy and Monkton Primary.

“My wife Anna has also been a great support in the appeal.”

Added Fraser: “The Christian Ethos is help people who need our support.

“Hopefully this appeal can help people at Christmas time.”

Since 1966, Blythswood Care has combined the Christian message with practical help for those in need. Whether through filled shoeboxes at Christmas, relief and development aid or social projects for young and old, Blythswood brings hope to thousands in Europe, Africa and Asia. Blythswood is committed to long-term care projects in Romania, enabling disadvantaged children and young people fulfil their potential. With the support of people from right across the community, Blythswood provides loving care for body and soul.