This Christmas could be very bleak for dozens of Kirkcaldy families struggling with rising bills and no hope of work.
That’s why the Cottage Family Centre in Templehall is launching its fourth annual festive appeal - and it is urging Press readers to donate new or quality second hand toys, gifts or non perishable foods to vulnerable families in the area.
Pauline Buchan, service co-ordinator, says that the situation is even worse this year than in 2011 when around 90 families were identified as needing help.
“With the current economic situation, more people losing their jobs and struggling to survive, there have been more relationship breakdowns, more people with mental health problems and we reckon we will be looking to help out well over 100 families in the Templehall area alone this year,” she said.
“It is quite a challenge we are facing.
‘‘Every year we seem to have more families on our books needing a helping hand.”
The Cottage Centre has been delighted to be told it is to receive £3000 from the STV Children in Poverty Appeal which will help to provide each family with a Christmas hamper with everything they need for a warm and nutritious Christmas dinner, including a turkey and vegetables, as well as warm clothing and a toy for each child.
And it was has been picked as Sainsbury’s charity of the year which will include the supermarket laying on a fun-packed Christmas party for around 140 children, with help from Kirkcaldy MSP David Torrance who has pledged his support.
“We are extremely lucky with the support we get from the local community, and lots of local firms come foward each year with donations which we are very grateful for,” said Pauline.
“This year is going to be even tougher with so many more families needing help, and we hope people will find it in their hearts to maybe add a few extra tins to their grocery shopping, or a small gift which will be put to very good use.”
Gift donations can be made for children up to the age of 16 and should not be wrapped so they can be given to the appropriate age group.
Donations of wrapping paper are also welcome.
“Anything anyone can give us which could help make Christmas a bit brighter for these families would be very appreciated,” added Pauline.
“And if any local shops or businesses would like to contribute in any way, we would love to hear from them.”