HI everyone! Hope you’ve settled in to dreary weather and Christmas music on in the Oak Mall.

You’ll probably be fed up seeing my face this week — I’m awfully sorry! Tickets for the Ardgowan Hospice vintage event are still on sale so be sure to get them quickly as they’re very popular and selling fast. It’s set to be a great night with amazing bargains to be had — definitely not one to miss.

Well everyone knows that it’s the run-up to Christmas.There is no escape, is there? Everywhere we look there are decorations, songs playing and deals on to ensure that you buy your great auntie Isa that pair of gloves when they have 20 per cent off.

Most people will be gearing up to write a list for Santa and I reckon it will have lots on it. From PS4s to the newest phone, it is true that Christmas is an expensive time of year for everyone.

But, how often do we consider the people and families who might not have much? Earlier this week I was talking to Jakki Purdon, who founded the ‘Back To School Bank’ alongside Mary Sellers and Sharon Lightfoot.

These ladies have been working hard since July to provide those children living in poverty with a brand new school uniform. They take referrals and ensure that the child in question is suitably clothed for school. Recently they’ve been providing winter coats and boots for these children too.

It is all confidential so the child is never named and the ladies rely greatly on donations from the public and local businesses.

With the poverty stats for children increasing rapidly, the ladies are set to have a busy winter. It is really so sad that this has had to be formed, because nobody should be living in poverty. When people think of those less fortunate, places like Africa and India cross their mind. We need to realise that it is on our own doorsteps too.

So far they’ve helped 70 children — I think that’s amazing. It’s such a bitter sweet initiative — it is lovely that people are taking action but I really wish that with the clothing and also foodbanks, we didn’t have to.

So, in the coming weeks when you’re writing your list to Santa, consider asking for a coat for one of these children.

That might be the best present they can receive and the family will be incredibly grateful.