Help Cancer Research UK and other Scottish charities this Christmas

Sporting the exclusive Friends of Cancer Research UK tartan, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Sporting the exclusive Friends of Cancer Research UK tartan, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

If you are looking for a unique gift this Christmas, the Friends of Cancer Research UK tartan could be just the job.

Even Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has sported the exclusive tartan!

Emotional and practical support is offered at Maggie's eight centres across Scotland but the charity needs public support this festive season.

Emotional and practical support is offered at Maggie's eight centres across Scotland but the charity needs public support this festive season.

It was the brainchild of Elaine Monro, a member of Selkirk’s fundraising committee which has raised £400,000 since 1966.

Designed and woven by Lochcarron of Scotland in its Selkirk mill, the scarf’s pattern has been officially registered in the Scottish Register of Tartans.

The tartan scarf and tartan diary are available in selected stores and online at shop.cancerresearchuk.org.

If you’re keen to get out of the house and volunteer over Christmas, Cancer Research UK has 83 shops in Scotland, all looking for help over the festive period.

Scottish flavour...is evident in the range of cards, wrapping paper and gifts available from CHSS this Christmas.

Scottish flavour...is evident in the range of cards, wrapping paper and gifts available from CHSS this Christmas.

The charity’s 600 shops across the UK have raised an incredible £84 million through goods sold to help fund life-saving research, which wouldn’t have been possible without support from volunteers.

This support is particularly valuable over Christmas as many of the charity’s regular volunteers are away visiting family, leaving shops short-staffed at one of the busiest times of the year.

To find out more visit www.cancerresearchuk.org/get-involved/volunteer.

This year the charity is offering an even more varied collection of high-quality, festive, and affordable gifts for less than £10 – so you can save money while also supporting vital research.

The range includes quirky novelty soaps, decorative cushions and soft fleece blankets, available in store with some additional items online too.

Maggie’s Centres, of which there are eight across Scotland, are also hoping people will help them this Christmas.

The charity has 20 cancer support centres in the UK, which help people with cancer, as well as family and friends, by offering free practical and emotional support.

But Maggie’s relies almost entirely on voluntary donations and it costs an average of £590,000 to run each centre every year.

There are many different ways to support the charity.

This Christmas, there’s an opportunity to purchase a Maggie’s e-Christmas card.

Alternatively, members of the public can support Maggie’s every time they shop with Amazon Smile, with 0.5% of the purchase price going to Maggie’s.

To help, visit www.maggiescentres.org/how-you-can-help/christmas-2018-maggies.

Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland is also hoping readers will show some festive cheer to the charity this Christmas.

One in five people in Scotland are affected by chest, heart and stroke conditions so more people need the charity’s nurses, rehabilitation support workers and peer support groups than ever before.

By supporting CHSS you are helping people take back their lives, regain their confidence and live life to the full.

A £20 donation could fund one hour of vital nursing care and £30 could help train a volunteer.

So why not show your support by buying your Christmas cards, stocking fillers and wrapping paper from your local CHSS charity shop or the online shop at shop.chss.org.uk.

The charity works with local artists to make sure that its cards and gift-wrap feature that special Scottish touch.

Meanwhile, those who need support this festive season are being reminded that help is just a phone call away.

The festivities often shine a brighter light on issues affecting our lives.

So if you are feeling low or are in trouble this Christmas, here are a few handy numbers to help...

Samaritans, 24 hours a day on 116 123.

Breathing Space, Monday to Thursday from 6pm to 2am and Friday to Monday from 6pm to 6am on 0800 83 85 87.

Childline, open 24 hours a day, 365 days every year on 0800 1111.

NHS 24 is now available on 111 for those with health concerns outwith GP’s normal working hours.

For Police Scotland, 101 is the non-emergency helpline available 24 hours a day. But it’s still 999 for emergencies.