Carrier bag sales bring boost to Bellshill charity group

Nisa store manager Mohsan Akhtar hands over a �619 donation to representatives of the Jack and Jill Support Group, Bellshill.
Nisa store manager Mohsan Akhtar hands over a �619 donation to representatives of the Jack and Jill Support Group, Bellshill.
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New charges by shops for plastic bags has brought an unexpected boost to a Bellshill charity for families of children with disabilities.

The Nisa store in the town’s Mansfield Road has collected over £600 from customers buying bags since the charges were implemented by the Scottish Government in October.

And instead of retaining the proceeds they handed them over to the Jack and Jill Support Group on Christmas Eve.

The shop was formerly known as Spar but switched over to the Nisa franchise in October.

Store manager Mohsin Akhtar said that while the single use carrier bag charges weren’t popular initially, there were positive benefits for some local stores and communities.

He said: “The government were adamant to ensure that the charitable donations from these charges were to be optional.

“Through Nisa a local charity scheme runs, but due to the relatively new membership with the group, the store was unable to participate through that.”

Mohsin and store owner Munir Akhtar decided they still wanted to hand over the proceeds to a worthy cause and through public consultation the Jack and Jill Group was chosen, receiving more than half the votes.

Mohsin added: “The amount donated was a phenomenal amount, and is from the locals to the locals.

“Staff reiterate daily that these charges will be donated, so it is imperative we show where. It is an amazing amount of money, and can change the lives of many needing people.

The store is to continue the scheme and hopes its next donation will exceed four figures.

The Jack and Jill Support Group helps families with children with disabilities.

However the group has to rely on the generosity of the public to enable families to benefit from its services.

It meets every Thursday in Orbiston YMCA from 10am to noon.

The group provides crèche facilities for siblings who are most welcome to go along. They have various different disabilities so cater for all.

A wealth of knowledge can be shared with any new parent who doesn’t know where to turn for help.

Some parents have been going along to the group for many years and all help each other out.

Funding is used to take everyone on trips over the summer and to attend the yearly pantomime.

The group’s aim is to help reduce isolation and increase the wellbeing of families with children with disabilities.