A GRANDMOTHER has launched a grassroots campaign to break the Covid gloom and brighten up Scotland during the tough winter months.

Alison Johnston “hates” winter and fears the country faces a season with “little to look forward to” as the pandemic continues.

Inspired by the rainbow posters placed in windows in a show of solidarity during lockdown in the spring, she's now asking the public to get behind her Shine Bright Scotland campaign and set candles, lanterns or fairy lights on their windowsills from November 1.

Hundreds of people have already spread the message on Facebook.

The East Lothian woman, 58, said: “The thought of plunging into the dark of a Scottish winter with so little to look forward to is depressing for very many people.

“Clocks go back this Saturday and that will mean long dark evenings increasing the gloom and despair for all.

“It would be wonderful for children to look back on this winter as the season of light rather that the gloom of another lockdown.”

Johnston, whose five-year-old grandson Dougal MacAllister is pictured with lights at his home near Haddington, has also drawn inspiration from a winter visit to Norway, where she says the locals use lights to boost spirits.

She said: “We are so limited in what we can do, but just lighting up windows is simple and safe and hopefully very effective.

“I want children to look back and remember this winter as the one where their villages and towns looked fun and bright, not the one where adults were worried and talking about a virus.”

She went on: “A lantern outside a shop, flats with candles or just bare bulbs burning in the window, it all adds up to a lifting of the spirits, giving the impression of hope. It doesn’t have to cost as long as it is safe and bright.

“It is going to be so important to keep positive as we head to the next stage of the pandemic. I would love to see people embrace this in a way to help bring communities together — the joy of Christmas lights all winter long for everyone and then hopefully by the time clocks go forward next spring we are on the way to recovery from the pandemic nightmare.”