The high levels of volunteering by the people of Na h-Eileanan an Iar is making a massive difference as the region copes with the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, says Isles MP Angus MacNeil.

In 2017 figures showed that 35% of islanders were volunteering formally through an organisation or group, compared to 28% across Scotland. This figure is now expected to be much higher as communities come together during the pandemic.

Mr MacNeil commended the community for all they are doing and made mention of local business Sandwick Bay Candles in Lewis, as just one of many examples, who organised an online raffle for Bethesda Hospice in Stornoway raising more than £50,000.

He said: “The people of the islands have always gone out of their way to help others within their own communities and beyond. This cannot have been highlighted any clearer than in the current pandemic.

“Every village and community has its own voluntary support systems up and running and so many people are coming forward to offer help where needed. We should be proud of our island communities and we should all continue what we are doing and following the ongoing guidelines on social distancing.”