Christmas gift appeal

THE SHETLAND branch of the Salvation Army is asking local people to spend some cash on buying presents for children living in poverty this Christmas.

Local volunteers says that demand for help is 50 per cent up on last year as they launch their annual Christmas gift appeal.

Anyone interested in supporting the appeal can select items from a list at the Bolts toy shop in town.

Gifts will go to children or young adults nominated by the likes of Shetland Islands Council’s social work department and the local Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

This year’s gift list has around 65 nominees, a sharp rise from 41 in 2014.

Community assistant David Grieve said much of the increased demand comes as a result of the UK government’s new universal credit system.

“Clients may now wait for six weeks to receive their first payment and yet are expected to live with no income during that time,” he said.