Tears of joy and appreciation for peerie hansels

Shetland students on the mainland will be receiving a ‘Peerie Hansel fae Hame’ this week as part of the Shetland Amenity Trust’s appeal to help send gifts to students who are away from home during the pandemic.

A total of 57 students were nominated to receive ‘A Peerie Hansel Fae Hame’, a Shetland term for a small gift from home, with 60 beautifully knitted items donated and over £500 raised to cover the cost of postage and packaging (and top the parcels up with extra treats).

The idea came from Yvonne Reynolds, the Lifelong Learning Officer at the Shetland Museum and Archives. She said: “The appeal has had wonderful support from the community, we have received the most fabulous selection of knitwear and generous money donations from people throughout Shetland, from Unst to Fair Isle. We want to thank all those who got in touch and took part, your support has made this project a great success.

“It was World Kindness Day on Friday 13th November and we thought that would be a fitting day to post the parcels. We have already received several messages from grateful parents and surprised students who have just opened their hansel from Shetland.”

One parent commented: “You’ve done a wonderful thing. I have two girls at uni and they are finding it hard going, as they won’t make it home for Christmas. Lots of tears of joy and appreciation for the hansels this morning. Thank you so much.”

A student said: “I love it, it’s really good, I wasn’t having a very good morning so I cried when I opened it.”

Another parent messaged to say: “Some multi-coloured socks seem to be a particular hit – already being worn!”

Many Shetland students have experienced lockdown at university on the mainland. Some, away from home for the first time and a few are facing the prospect that they may not make it home for Christmas this year. We hope that this little act of kindness will brighten up a student’s day and let them know we are thinking of them.

Each parcel contained an item of knitwear, body wash from the Shetland Soap Company, Puffin Poo from the Island Larder, a Shetland flag pin badge and a card explaining their surprise gift.

The wide selection of knitwear donated included: hats, gloves, scarves, headbands, mobile phone covers, snoods, wristlets, hot water bottle covers, socks and lace scarves.

If you’re a student who was nominated we would love to share a picture of the knitwear and gifts you received on our social media pages. Please share your images with us on Instagram using #apeeriehanselfaehame

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