This week sees the launch of the Cottage Family Centre’s annual Christmas appeal – now in its ninth year.
And as the staff added the finishing touches to the heartwarming video to accompany the appeal, they were unapologetic in saying that this year will be the hardest yet, with over 1000 families in Kirkcaldy being forced to ask for a helping hand.
The shocking figure is more than TEN TIMES that of 2012 when the centre helped over 100 local families to enjoy a better Christmas period.
“It’s pretty scary when you consider that it has risen so much in just five years, but that’s the reality of the situation,” explained Pauline Buchan, service manager for the Cottage which was set up 30 years ago to provide support for vulnerable families.
“I know I sound like a stuck record, but every year since we began this appeal things have got worse for many more families in our town.
“And this is before the effects of Universal Credit kick in, which could lead to even more families in dire need over the festive period.
“This is why we have launched our appeal earlier than usual so we have more time to accept donations and try to help make things a little easier for hundreds of families who will be left with little or no money to buy presents – or maybe even heat their homes – over Christmas.”
But Pauline is keen to stress that it’s not all a tale of doom and gloom as the generosity of the Kirkcaldy community, including businesses, other charities and shops as well as individuals always shines through.
“It’s just tremendous when you think of what has been achieved over the years we have been running this festive appeal,” she said.
This year the Cottage is again seeking donations of new toys, clothing and non perishable foodstuffs which will be divided out between families in need.
Cash donations will be used to buy beds and cookers for those who don’t have them, and pay utility bills to ensure that houses can be kept warm.
Every year the Cottage has been able to provide enough food, including a steak pie and fresh veg for Christmas dinner, to last families for around a week.
As well as the centre in Cawdor Crescent, donations can be handed in at Raw Anatomy in Glenrothes or Toy Town in the Mercat shopping centre.
To view the video see: https://www.facebook.com/cottagefamily/videos/2096332790392578/