Twenty nine years ago, at Christmas, Alan Swanson wrote a cheque on behalf of his church, for £1,500 to pay for medicines for an orphanage in Serbia. He didn’t realise it then but it was the start of a new direction in his life which was to take him all over Eastern Europe. “That led me to visit Serbia with Oak Hall in 1994,”
Blythswood’s support group in Buckie was set up by Eric Smith and a group of friends in 1994. When Eric passed away in 2009, George Flett stepped forward to make sure that the group continued. “I had been impressed by Eric’s commitment,” George says. “By then I was semi-retired and I had the time to do it.”
When a friend at church told her that a charity in Ballyclare was looking for someone to work in their office, Michelle Gault wouldn’t have guessed that it was the start of a life-changing commitment. But 21 years later, the County Antrim grandmother still makes time to volunteer for Blythswood Care, and especially when the Shoe Box Appeal is under way.