The festive season brings joy to many, however, for others, it is a difficult period which brings to the fore feelings of loneliness and isolation.

This year in particular, as the nation faces unprecedented financial difficulties and a cost of living crisis which will mean many are feeling extra pressure, the festive period is sure to present additional challenges.

I am mindful that this Christmas may be a particularly difficult one for many residents of the Helensburgh and Lomond constituency which I represent.

The financial crisis is also impacting charitable organisations, with Cornerstone announcing that their valuable Helensburgh Jigsaw service, which offers groups, one-to-one support and weekend clubs for vulnerable young people, is under threat due to funding difficulties and I will do my best to fight for the retention of local services.

Over the past year, I have been able to visit many of the fantastic organisations who provide help and support to residents.

Helensburgh and Lomond Foodbank is amongst the groups providing assistance to people in our communities, offering food aid, alongside their school uniform bank.

It is also essential to extend our thanks to members of our emergency services and the armed forces, who often miss the chance to share the festive season with their families, to protect our communities.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish residents of Helensburgh and Lomond a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.