Fife Gift of Christmas appeal: Over 1200 children get gifts thanks to amazing support

Organisers of Fife’s Gift of Christmas Appeal have hailed the success of the 2021 campaign as they managed to managed to provide 1253 children and young people, who had applications submitted with a generous gift bag of toys and gifts.

By Debbie Clarke
Tuesday, 4th January 2022, 5:03 pm

The move comes after organisers made an urgent plea for help at the start of last month as they were extremely short of donations for vulnerable children across the Kingdom.

Kate Hope, one of the parents who organises the annual event, said it was more of a struggle than previous years as donations were a lot slower.

She said: “It was a lot harder than usual. Donations were slower than ever and more last minute than ever. It was more of a mammoth task for us during the last week of our work.

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Volunteers from Lloyds Bank who help out with the Fife Gift of Christmas Appeal every year.

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"We also had a much smaller warehouse because the one we have used for the past five years was no longer available after it was sold.

"Logistically, this made things a lot harder. If anyone would like to lend us a large warehouse for a couple of months for Christmas 2022, we'd love to hear from them!

She continued: "However, we provided around 1300 gift bags in total - there were 1253 for children and young people age 0-18 years and an additional 50+ which went to mums, dads, grans, grandads etc, who are the parents/carers.

Donations in the warehouse ready to be collected

“In the end we got the number of donations we were hoping for.

"We struggled with all age categories this year and were it not for an unusually significant social media effort, along with press coverage, we do not believe we would have been in the same position.

"During the first few years we operated, we provided around 800 gift bags. Last year the figure was around 1100 if I remember correctly, this year nearly 1300.”

Some of the 300 selection boxes donated to the appeal by Tesco.

Kate believes the ongoing coronavirus pandemic also affected the 2021 appeal: “We also think it was such a struggle this year because of continued issues with Covid 19 – furlough, financial pressures, job losses -, and changes to Universal Credit etc, pushing peoples finances to the maximum.

"This undoubtedly results in fewer donations and more applications.

“Also, fewer people are generally going out and visiting drop off points.”

She continued: “All donations were collected from our warehouse, and the professionals who collected them spent the following few days delivering them to families.

The gifts were collected and distributed to the families of children and young people in Fife.

"We have received some lovely feedback with families and professionals highlighting the huge difference which our work makes to people.”

Kate said the group has come a long way since it was set up six years ago by four mums.

“Now we are a registered Scottish charity and there are around 40 volunteers and trustees in all, none of whom receive a penny for the work that they do. They sacrifice their own Christmases in order to continue this work.

"We also have a large number of wider supporters - drop off point staff, staff at beneficiary organisations, local businesses and the general public who donate to us each year.”

She added: “We are extremely grateful for all the support we receive, as are the children, young people and families who benefit from our appeal.”

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