Cottage Centre’s Big Hoose project gives 430,000 goods to families in poverty
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A total of 20 companies, including Amazon, Scotmid and PepsiCo, have signs up to back the region-wide project to support families in the most need.
The Big Hoose project launched in April 2022 when the Cottage signed a deal with Amazon - which has a vast fulfilment centre off the M90 in Dunfermline - to distribute surplus goods to people in poverty.
It has now expanded to work with a host of frontline organisations from Fife Gingerbread and Fife Women’s Aid, to foodbanks and pantries, as well as social work, health visitors , schools , nurseries, housing officers, and community teams to create the biggest project in the Kingdom - one that has now launched elsewhere in Scotland.
The latest update was given at the first lecture of the tercentenary of Adam Smith, given by Sir Michael Marmot, the author of a number of major international studies on health inequalities.
He was introduced to an audience at St Bryce Kirk on Wednesday by Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister, and patron of the Cottage Centre.
Mr Brown also outlined expansion plans for the Big Hoose in 2023 as it aims to provide families with everything from food to bedding furnishings, toiletries, clothes and baby goods.
And the growing number of companies signing up as partners means more goods can be supplied.
Acting Cottage Chair Wilma Brown paid tribute to Cottage workers, the Bell Group and the Briggs Marine staff for their special contribution to the Christmas appeal, which helped 200 children locally in December.
Mr Brown acknowledged the financial support from the Robertson Trust, the Northwood Trust, Fife Council, Orchard Foundation and Scotmid - and said plans were in hand to sell non-essential goods to raise funds to pay fort staffing costs at the Lochgelly warehouse which sits at the heart of the distribution network.
He also talked of plans to expand another major project, Houses are Homes, where volunteer tradesmen and women help families renovate their houses with paint and materials supplied through the Big Hoose project.
The evening also saw a special award made to Lochgelly businessman, Bob Purvis, for his generous donations to the project and support of the Big House from its inception
Mr Brown said: 'This new idea, the multibank, that exists side by side with the food banks and other charities has gone from strength to strength over 12 months thanks to Pauline Buchan and the board of the Cottage. We now plan to do even more in 2023 to help more people in need.”
The 300th anniversary of the birth of Adam Smith will feature more speakers ahead of a festival planned for June which will also mark the soft relaunch of the Adam Smith Theatre in Kirkcaldy after a three-year closure to turn the landmark building into a creative hub.
Full details of the festival’s programme are expected to be published in the coming months.