Volunteers deliver Christmas cheer to over 1000 Kirkcaldy children

Torbain Primary pupils help the appeal
Torbain Primary pupils help the appeal

An army of volunteers is busy delivering thousands of toys, gifts and food parcels to vulnerable families in and around Kirkcaldy.

The Cottage Centre’s trusty band of helpers took to the streets of the town todau (Friday) to help bring smiles to the faces of over 1000 children on Christmas day.

Hundreds of bags of gifts ready for delivery

Hundreds of bags of gifts ready for delivery

In a huge convoy of trucks and vans, lent by local companies, businesses and Fife Council, the volunteers will load thousands of black sacks and boxes of food and take them out to the prepared list of families who have been referred to the charity to receive some much-needed support over the festive period.

The £30,000 cash target to buy all the food required for the 1061 children, in more than 720 households, was reached within the last week.

All the toys and gifts were collected from the various collection points around the town right up until the last minute on Tuesday, with a big delivery from Radio Forth’s Cash for Kids charity.

Donations have flooded in from local groups, charities, schools, businesses, churches and indivduals.

Jeanette from Platinum Hairdressing with donations for the appeal

Jeanette from Platinum Hairdressing with donations for the appeal

A break-in at Hayfield Community Centre in which cash raised for the appeal from a Christmas fair was stolen failed to beat the organisers.

They were inundated with offers of support from their local community and eventually raised three times the initial amount.

And pupils from Kirkcaldy High School as well as the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group have been helping to sort out the donations which have poured into industrial units on Hayfield Industrial Estate from collection points around the town in recent weeks.

The Cottage Centre’s own dedicated staff members, helped by other volunteers, will add the last of the fresh food to crates filled with enough food to do families for ten days.

Cottage Centre staff unloading the donations from Cash for Kids at the warehouse

Cottage Centre staff unloading the donations from Cash for Kids at the warehouse

The items include steak pies for Christmas dinner, as well as staples like bread and milk and non perishable goods.

In addition some families will receive clothing – children’s pyjamas, winter coats and other items – and help with utility bills, beds, cookers and other necessities which the majority of us take for granted.

Vehicles for the deliveries are being lent by local companies including: Briggs Marine; CMS Windows; McTears; the Bell Group; Fife Council; Hattison & Duff; SIIS and Management Joinery Solutions, most of who are also lending staff to help out on the day.

Members of Fife Council’s social work department will also be volunteering their help.

Pauline with members of the Hayfield Community Centre committee

Pauline with members of the Hayfield Community Centre committee

Kelly Rodgers, assistant manager at the Cottage, said: “Every year we start our Christmas appeal with a zero balance .

“This year we had a mammoth task to reach £30,000 to ensure every child and family across the Kirkcaldy and surrounding areas have full bellies and warm homes.

“We have been overwhelmed by the response of the public and businesses who fundraised and donated to our appeal.

“Thanks to them 1059 children and their families are going to have the worry-free Christmas they deserve.

“There are no words thank everyone enough.”