Leven charity praised in parliament

Fife Gingerbread representatives pictured at Scottish Parliament with MSP David Torrance.
Fife Gingerbread representatives pictured at Scottish Parliament with MSP David Torrance.

A LEVEN-based charity supporting lone-parent families across Fife has been singled out for praise in the Scottish Parliament.

Fife Gingerbread became the focus of a member’s debate which congratulated the organisation on reaching a 25th anniversary milestone.

Representatives from the charity (pictured) were in attendance, and were thrilled with tributes received from many MSPs including Jayne Baxter, Liz Smith, Roderick Campbell, Malcolm Chisholm and Minister for Children and Young People, Aileen Campbell.

The debate came about thanks to David Torrance, constituency MSP for Kirkcaldy, who said: “The services that are offered by Fife Gingerbread are invaluable, as lone parents, who constitute some of the most vulnerable members of society, find themselves facing new challenges and increasing stress and worry because of the potentithe al loss of income following the recent welfare reform changes.”

MSP for mid-Scotland and Fife, Annabelle Ewing added: “It is important to highlight one of Fife Gingerbread’s landmark achievements, which is the breaking down of the completely erroneous and misleading stereotype that lone parents are primarily teenagers. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

She continued: “The stereotype is not only entirely manufactured and insulting; it also fails to take account of the fact that many lone parents find themselves in that position as a result of relationship breakdown, bereavement or fleeing from the home because of domestic abuse.

“If we do not understand those issues, we cannot do our best to help them properly.”

The charity is the only organisation of its kind in Fife and offers advice, advocacy and both group and one-to-one support to an estimated 10,000 lone parent families across the Kingdom.

Starting out as a community activist led group, Fife Gingerbread is now supported by a number of funders and sponsors and employs 10 staff and 22 volunteers.

Commenting on the charity’s recent inclusion at Scottish Parliament, manager Rhona Cunningham said “For our small charity to receive such praise and recognition at a national level makes everyone in the organisation not only extremely proud, but also determined to continue delivering essential support to lone parents in Fife.”