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Ethel boxes clever to help Europeans from home in the Black Isle


By Louise Glen

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Ethel Urquhart (78) has been making up boxes for Blythswood, and this year she made 355 boxes..Etherl Urquhart holding a few of the boxes that she's already started for next year..Picture: James Mackenzie..
Ethel Urquhart (78) has been making up boxes for Blythswood, and this year she made 355 boxes..Etherl Urquhart holding a few of the boxes that she's already started for next year..Picture: James Mackenzie..

A Black Isle pensioner who has packed thousands of shoe boxes with gifts for less fortunate souls over the last decade broke her own record this year.

Retired care home worker Ethel Urquhart’s front room was packed with 355 of the hand-packed gifts of love collected for the Blythswood charity shoe box appeal.

The 78-year-old isn’t interested in praise for her good deed and pays tribute to friends who help her epic effort.

Mrs Urquhart regards her year-round task helping folk in poverty as a hobby.

She said: “I do it because it gives directly to the people who need it.

Ethel Urquhart (78) has been making up boxes for Blythswood, and this year she made 355 boxes..A photo of the boxes that were made up this year..
Ethel Urquhart (78) has been making up boxes for Blythswood, and this year she made 355 boxes..A photo of the boxes that were made up this year..

“I know that they really do make a difference.”

As well as essential items such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, a facecloth, a notebook, pens colouring-in books and underwear, she likes to include a hand-knitted treat.

She said: “I really don’t think that I am doing anything exceptional – I am just making up these boxes with the help of many people and then I am passing them on.

“I remember the first time I made 18 boxes and thinking that I had really achieved something.”

Blythswood Care deliveries to Eastern Europe started this month.

Mrs Urquhart meanwhile is ready to start on the 2021 effort.



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