Fife charity’s desperate plea to save children’s Christmas

Cottage Family Centre staff still need �7500 to supply Christmas meal for 1100 children and families.
Cottage Family Centre staff still need �7500 to supply Christmas meal for 1100 children and families.

A leading Fife charity says children and families could be facing Christmas with nothing unless £7500 can be be raised in the coming days.

That’s the stark reality volunteers and staff at the Cottage Family Centre in Kirkcaldy are contemplating as they work to find the remaining cash required to feed 1100 disadvantaged Kirkcaldy children this Christmas.

The centre is still £7500 short of the £30,000 it requires to purchase food and children’s toys to provide for children and families who will otherwise face the festive period with nothing.

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Now Cottage Centre staff are appealing to the people of Kirkcaldy to do whatever possible to help the unprecedented number of local families and children facing a Christmas of hardship.

“We are having to support significantly more people than we’ve faced in previous years and the stark reality is that we need the public’s support,” said the Cottage Centre’s Kelly Rodgers.

“The public have already shown huge support for what we do and it’s tough having to put out a plea for yet more support, but the fact is we have people who are experiencing extreme hardship and we have to do whatever we can to ease that.

“This is especially true at a time of year that is particularly challenging for those struggling to put food on the table or give a child a present at Christmas.

“We are aiming to provide a 10-day support package providing a Christmas dinner and other perishable and non-perishable food to cover the festive period.

“As well as that we’ll include toiletries, sanitary products and, where needed, babies nappies.

“We also still need donations of toys suitable for children between the ages of eight and 13.”

The dire situation for a growing number of families across the town has largely been exasperated by the introduction of Universal Credit and other benefits reform.

Kirkcaldy now has the fifth highest rate of child poverty in Scotland and the highest anywhere in the country outside parts of Glasgow.

The latest damning statistic that 38 per cent of children in parts of the Lang Toun now live below the poverty line highlights the scale of the problem now faced by many and with some estimates suggesting that child poverty could yet spiral to more than 50 per cent in the coming year, it offers a stark reminder of the level of demand now being placed on charities like the Cottage Centre.

The ways in which people can support the work of the Cottage Centre’s work this Christmas are simple and varied.

As well as cash support, the centre has a number of donation points across the town which now makes it easier than ever for people who can help give a little something to those in need.

Toys, food and toiletries can be dropped off at the Cottage Centre, Philip Hall, Link Street and Fife College sites at St Brycedale, Glenrothes and Leven.

A collection point is also situated outside Toytown store in Mercat Shopping Centre.