A group of community volunteers on Skye have rallied together to provide support and assistance to locals through the creation of a blessing box.
The box, which is open for members of the community to contribute to or take from, was created by local joiner Michael Taylor after a plea was issued by Kyleakin resident Mairi MacKenzie to a volunteer group based within the village.
Within 24 hours of the idea being floated, a sturdy structure had been created to stand alongside a shelving unit, with both being placed inside an easily accessible bus stop in the village.
Ms MacKenzie said: “The idea came after I had heard that somebody had been turned away from the food bank due to the demand and they weren’t able to get help there.
“I was one of those moments that just broke my heart.
“I got in touch with the volunteer group we have in the village and I just mentioned it in there to see if there was anything we could do to help.
“Within hours it was happening. Everyone just straight away recognised it had to be something immediate.
“The plan is to keep it cheery and positive so that people don’t feel any shame to go and use it.”
Since its inception, the blessing box has been inundated with donations, with one donor travelling from a village 30 minutes away on the island to help stock up its reserves.
The initiative follows a similar scheme introduced last year on the opposite side of the Skye Bridge in Kyle, which has proven to be a roaring success.
Blessing boxes, often described as foodbanks without eyes, have been known to provide respite to those requiring assistance who do not qualify to use traditional food banks.
Ms MacKenzie added: “I passed it when I was out walking and it was choc-a-block full.
“It fills your heart just how quickly people rallied round to make that possible and it shows what spirit there is in the village to help each other.
“It was just incredible how fast it happened.”
She has praised her local community for their efforts during the pandemic, which has brought people together and has said she hopes the blessing box can continue outside of the current lockdown period to provide a community hub for people to share with one another.
She added: “I hope the Blessings Box is something we can take forward after all of this is over and it can be somewhere that people share maybe baking or jam, or if people grow too much veg.
“It would lovely to see it become a friendly wee place where people can share things and I hope it will carry on from there.
“There are good things to come and we have to stay cheery and positive.
“Together we will get through this.”