Cottage Centre Appeal: volunteers swing into action for delivery day

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One of Fife’s biggest ever Christmas appeals will begin distributing donations to Fife’s in need families - after a festive period that saw increased demand for their services.

The Cottage Family Centre’s army of staff and volunteers will swing into operation on Thursday (December 22). They will take to the roads to distribute gifts and ten-day survival packs of food – to get people through the festive season - to those in need between 8.30am and 7.00pm.

The appeal comes on the back of unprecedented demand for the charity’s help. Initial estimates pegged the number of referrals at around 2000. However, it is thought that this number could increase right up until delivery day.

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The appeal, launched in early November, set an initial target of £45,000 to support those in most in need over the festive period. It is now the biggest in Fife and aims to provide families with food parcels to last ten days, plus presents and household items.

Sponsors and staff at the launch of the appeal.Sponsors and staff at the launch of the appeal.
Sponsors and staff at the launch of the appeal.

Pauline Buchan, Cottage Centre manager, said that increased demand meant that this year’s appeal had been one of the most challenging.

She explained: “There are currently 1968 children and families receiving support this Christmas. However, referrals for crisis are still coming in. We have had a number of shortfalls this year but the public and businesses have continued to support us at every turn.

“Our food shopping bill this Christmas is huge at over £36,000 and utilities are over £19,000 so far too. It’s been the most difficult year we have ever experienced in terms of need levels and the soaring costs across the board”.

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Pauline said those receiving donations from the appeal are those hardest hit by the cost of living crisis and other factors. She was keen to highlight the importance of the Fife community's support.

The appeal has been describe as the Cottage Centre's "biggest ever"The appeal has been describe as the Cottage Centre's "biggest ever"
The appeal has been describe as the Cottage Centre's "biggest ever"

She said: “These are families who have been through, and are living through, some unimaginable times, from losing loved ones, to experiencing serious illnesses or trying to survive on a budget that is simply not budgetable.

“I would not even like to think of what would be happening for them this Christmas if it was not for our community supporting them. We are truly blessed to have people around us who care so deeply”.

Deliveries start tomorrow morning and Pauline said they have received “outstanding support”. Transport and volunteers have come from a variety of Fife’s organisations, such as Amazon, Fife Council Building Services, Fife Council Children and Families Teams in Kirkcaldy, Briggs Marine, Bell Group, Repair Renew Replace – RRR and MPF.

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Donations have also flooded in from around the Kingdom with locals and local businesses going above and beyond to provide goods and funds for the appeal.

There will also be an opportunity to see the fantastic work that has been put into this year’s appeal, via a Facebook Live broadcast, on the centre’s Facebook page.

Pauline said: “Tonight at approximately 6:00pm we will as always do our live video from the Cottage’s Facebook page to allow everyone who contributed to see for themselves the enormous difference they have made to so many wee ones and their families this year”.

You can find The Cottage Family Centre’s Facebook page here:

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