Bacon rolls and Buck’s fizz for breakfast. Excited youngsters tearing open presents. Stress ranges rising within the kitchen. A cup of tea or a glass of port whereas watching the Queen’s speech.
Acquainted scenes in lots of households on Christmas Day – a particular time for hundreds of thousands of individuals throughout Scotland.
Undoubtedly, this 12 months may be very totally different with journey plans thrown into disarray as a result of coronavirus pandemic.
Many received’t be capable of see family and friends as ordinary over the festive interval, however most no less than get a brief break from the each day grind.
Not everyone although.
For a lot of Scots, it’s only a regular working day. The emergency providers stay on name, hospitals are open, susceptible individuals nonetheless require care and journalists are reporting the newest information.
Listed here are a few of those that are working throughout Scotland right this moment:
Jason Gardiner, station commander in Dornoch with the Scottish Fireplace and Rescue Service
The emergency providers can by no means absolutely change off and are on name 24/7, twelve months a 12 months.
Cops, paramedics, medical doctors and firefighters are simply a few of those that will probably be on responsibility or answering calls on Christmas Day.
Amongst them is Jason Gardiner, who’s the station commander at Dornoch with the Scottish Fireplace and Rescue Service.
He’s on name to reply to emergency conditions, in addition to supporting the numerous firefighters who’re additionally engaged on Christmas Day – prepared to reply to incidents throughout Sutherland and the northern Highlands.
However it’s not as if Jason would have been capable of loosen up at dwelling together with his spouse even when he was off responsibility – she’s additionally engaged on Christmas Day!
Jason stated: “We can have Christmas Day on December 27, with Christmas dinner and all of the trimmings. We get to save lots of presents till then and spend a quiet day at dwelling.
“I don’t thoughts engaged on Christmas Day, notably as my spouse can also be working.
“I believe it actually goes to be a troublesome time for lots of households and I actually hope that it’s a quiet and peaceable time throughout the Highlands this Christmas.”
Vikki Wilson, volunteer listener at The Samaritans
Vikki Wilson is spending her Christmas morning listening to different individuals discuss their struggles.
The collective psychological well being of the nation has been examined like by no means earlier than in 2020 and Vikki, a volunteer with The Samaritans, says the charity’s work is vitally essential.
She is working from her native Samaritans department workplace in Falkirk city centre and answering calls from 8.30am to 10.30am on Christmas morning.
She stated: “Christmas Day is troublesome sufficient for many individuals in regular circumstances however this 12 months is especially difficult as a result of coronavirus pandemic.
“Persons are nervous about their wellbeing over winter – those that are separated from their households, these dealing with loneliness, those that are susceptible and people who are underneath monetary stress, worrying about find out how to pay for presents.”
Vikki, who additionally works part-time as a sports activities damage therapist, says she feels honoured to be working for The Samaritans and actively promotes the significance of volunteering to her three youngsters.
“It’s an actual privilege to know that somebody can share their ideas and emotions with me.
“To choose up the telephone and speak is step one in getting assist and for any individual to belief me with their worries and issues is simply big.
“As soon as my shift is over I’ll return dwelling and spend time with my family. I’ve three youngsters who’ve grown up with my work at The Samaritans so they’re used to having it of their lives.
“I’ve at all times promoted volunteer work to them so it can come as no shock to them that I’m engaged on Christmas Day.”
Vikki has been volunteering with The Samaritans for 14 years. Her essential responsibility is listening to individuals in want of emotional help; a pleasant non-judgemental voice on the telephone for many who are struggling or discovering life troublesome.
She is working alongside one other volunteer on Christmas Day however social distancing pointers are in place contained in the workplace.
“Usually at Christmas we break the shifts down in order that volunteers have a while with their households as properly.
“We put on masks when strolling round however take them off for our telephone calls as we’re in cubicles and there’s nothing worse than a caller listening to you speak via a masks.
“We’ll at all times have time for a chat in some unspecified time in the future through the shift, as we do get very troublesome calls and we’re there to help one another. There will probably be muffins and candy treats accessible and we can have time for a espresso; I’ll even be sporting my Christmas jumper!
“It’s one thing that’s changing into extra acceptable. We discuss our psychological and emotional well being. The Samaritans are there when different centres are closed – individuals know we’re there to make a distinction and this 12 months that’s extra essential than ever.”
Samaritans volunteers are at all times there to hear, 24 hours a day, twelve months a 12 months. Name without spending a dime from any landline or cellular on 116 123, e mail email@example.com or go to www.samaritans.org
Making a donation for as little as £5 will assist Samaritans volunteers like Vikki reply a name that would save a life this Christmas.
Reverend Sarah Brown at Castlemilk Parish Church
Christmas is a time when many individuals rely their blessings and take into consideration these in society who’re much less lucky.
And nowhere is that personified greater than on the Castlemilk Parish Church within the south of Glasgow.
Reverend Sarah Brown is conducting the Christmas Day service earlier than becoming a member of a group of volunteers who’re delivering festive dinners to individuals in the local people.
She stated: “It’s an annual factor. Usually we now have round 120 individuals who come to the church for dinner however this 12 months will probably be deliveries as a result of pandemic.
“It’s fairly a casual service, an opportunity to carry the group collectively and a time for the children to share toys. Then it’s all about getting the meals prepared and delivered throughout Castlemilk.
“There are maybe round 20 volunteers who assist out. It’s about bringing Castlemilk collectively. All of us work collectively; it’s a method of supporting the group.”
Sarah says Christmas is a time of 12 months if you get to see the perfect of individuals, including that she expects to overlook out on some elements of the celebrations and household gatherings as a part of her position.
“For some individuals, we’re the one contact they are going to have from any individual on Christmas Day – notably individuals who can’t supply a meal, or don’t have household visiting, or are abiding by guidelines on family mixing,” she stated.
“Meaning these doorstep chats are so essential. It’s about being linked and we have to discover other ways of doing that when issues will not be so easy.
“I take pleasure in my job very a lot however you do see the more durable facet of households who’re struggling and the results of poverty and different hardship.
“I have a tendency to go to different individuals on Christmas Eve whereas as soon as I’ve completed engaged on the day itself it tends to be fairly quiet and I’ll spend the night watching the telly.”
Alison MacLean, carnivore group chief at Edinburgh Zoo
Whereas many individuals down instruments for a well-deserved relaxation at Christmas, that’s not attainable if you happen to’re the girl accountable for taking care of all of the carnivores and large pandas at Edinburgh Zoo.
Alison MacLean has been working in zoos for 35 years and has at all times labored on both Christmas or New 12 months’s Day.
She stated: “I actually don’t thoughts it. I suppose it’s simply one thing I’ve gotten used to and, realistically, if you come right into a job like this you simply should be ready that you’ll have to work when most individuals don’t.
“The animals don’t differentiate between the times and so they want the identical care every day. Moving into to work within the morning can also be nice as there isn’t any visitors on the roads and the commute may be very straightforward.
“Our Christmas Day duties are just about the identical as each different day. The animals nonetheless want fed and cleaned out.
“The one distinction is that there isn’t any public in on Christmas Day, so in some areas we get to spend a bit extra time with our animals, which is nice.”
“In fact, I like all of the animals I work with, however I do have a delicate spot for animals which might be a bit quirky, both as a species or simply the person.
“I take pleasure in working with massive carnivores, particularly bears and our pandas, Yang Guang and Tian Tian. They’re an especially fascinating species to work with, and one which we’re nonetheless studying a lot about.”
Alison says the animals get a number of treats added into their ordinary eating regimen on Christmas Day, and some additional festive twists are additionally integrated – Christmas crackers for the tigers and paper mâché baubles stuffed with treats for animals with pine timber of their enclosure; a specific favorite for the resident bears.
Alison says she leaves her presents untouched till she has completed her shift after which opens them alongside her household.
She stated: “It normally signifies that another person has made dinner too. I get in from work, have a bathe, then calm down for a pleasant meal.
“Even when dinner is finished, I’m normally not allowed to even assist with the dishes afterwards, as somebody will say ‘oh no you sit down, in any case, you’ve been working all day’, so engaged on Christmas Day has its bonuses!”