As the Cottage Family Centre launched its fifth annual appeal to help vulnerable families this Christmas, its leader admitted she was “terrified”.
Pauline Buchan, service manager at the Templehall centre, has been at the helm from the start, helping hundreds of families to face the festive season with little or no spare cash to spend on food and presents.
But this year she says is gearing up to be the worst yet, with many families struggling to pay electricity and gas bills, and clothe their children, before even thinking about food and gifts.
“I started counting up the numbers on our list in October and at that stage I had 238. That is well above the numbers I had at that time last year.
‘‘It looks like we are going to be called on to help a lot more than the 402 we eventually had last year.
“The thought of it is terrifying, because some of these are working families who aren’t able to make ends meet. I am really desperately calling on local businesses and individuals to do what they can to help this year. If everyone in the town gave even one gift, piece of clothing, item of food or just £5, we would be able to do it easily, but there are people who think that some families have got themselves into the situation and won’t help.
“The truth is that the vast majority of these people find themselves in a precarious predicament through no fault of their own.”
Staff at the Cottage have already written letters to dozens of local companies asking for their help, and Tesco in Kirkcaldy, which has been a staunch supporter from day one has again pledged its help.
Donations of new clothing, toys, non-perishable food or money should be handed into the centre before December 15.