A WEST FIFE Good Samaritan gave up his own family Christmas to help his community.

Torryburn and Newmills Community Council chairman Alistair McIntosh isolated from his wife and young children to ensure hampers were made and delivered in the villages for those in need.

His wife, Laura, made 150 children's hampers while isolating with COVID, which were then quarantined for three days before being delivered by Alistair and community volunteers.

Alistair said: "It was a difficult Christmas.

"We managed to take Santa round the West Fife villages to deliver hampers on Christmas Day.

"It was good that we managed to achieve all of that.

"We made it through and finally managed to have Christmas four days later than others.

"It was good to get it done.

"We got funding from community funds, we received £500 from them for the children's hampers and hampers for those in need in the community.

"The original plan was that I was going to move back in on Christmas Eve after doing the Santa run but we still had hampers to give out so we gave those out on Christmas Day in the end, that was my Christmas, and a Facetime to Laura and the boys.

"A very different Christmas to what I have experienced before, but I'm sure there are people worse off than what we were."

While away from home, Alistair ended up sleeping on a campbed in his workshop and then a hotel in Dunfermline, having to "beg and borrow" showers from nearby family members.

Circumstances did not stop him from fulfilling promises, however, and throughout the whole period Alistair worked hard to make sure everyone received their gifts from Santa.

He said: "We asked for nominations through the Facebook page; family or friends would nominate somebody and we asked for reasons or explanations, a lot of it was certainly COVID-related, loss of family members through COVID etcetera.

"It was really good for the community spirit as well.

"The children's hampers had puzzle books, pencils, magic snow, hot chocolate, marshmallows, jigsaws and balloon models.

"The adults' one had all sorts even down to a TV magazine, all the essentials, boxes of chocolates, tea bags and hot chocolate bombs.

"We had a Burntisland supplier who made the donation of the hot chocolate bombs, it's just something which is a bit more of a luxury item which you wouldn't usually get.

"On Christmas Day, one lady was in tears talking to me.

"She had lost a family member and was very emotional that she was being thought of.

"It was quite an emotional day all round but highly beneficial and it was good to give back to the community as well.

"We did hampers last year and bags for all the children, we did arts and crafts bags through the school as well during COVID. We have managed to do a little more for the community than what's been done before."

Alistair's efforts did not go unnoticed by other members of the community council.

Susan Donald, the group secretary, said: "All the stuff that has been done in the community over the past few years, including getting a new road outside the school, we in the community council have done.

"He works really hard, he has his own business and he still does so much work.

"He also stood outside our community centre on December 22 in the freezing cold with 100 parcels for families who either picked them up or had them delivered to their houses."

Alistair's plans for the community have not stopped after Christmas, as he explained: "We managed to get a defibrillator in a year and a half ago and there's a few other projects that we have been tackling.

"We have been looking at fundraising for the community garden as well.

"We have money for a community cafe so we are hoping to start that up at the start of the new year."