Help provide support for vulnerable families this Christmas

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One Parent Families Scotland is appealing to the people of Glasgow, Lanarkshire and Dundee to spread some Christmas cheer this month 

2nd December 2019 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Vital donations are being sought to help take the pressure off vulnerable families this Christmas.

One Parent Families Scotland is appealing to the people of Glasgow, Lanarkshire and Dundee to spread some Christmas cheer this month by donating gifts for families who might otherwise go without.

The organisation, which supports single parents around Scotland, has said that this time of year can be especially hard on struggling one parent families due to the pressure to buy gifts and create a special experience for children. 

The Glasgow and Lanarkshire services are calling for donations of new toys, children’s clothing and non-perishable foods under the banner of its 12 Weans for Christmas campaign, while the Dundee-based service is seeking gifts for the often-isolated parents it supports.  

One Parent Families Scotland director Satwat Rehman said: “The everyday pressures of making ends meet can often come to a head at Christmas with the additional costs of presents and food tipping many families into debt or deeper into debt. 

“Our Christmas appeal aims takes some of that pressure off families so they can relax and enjoy their time together.”

Manager of OPFS Glasgow and Lanarkshire Linda Pople said: “Child Poverty in Scotland is rising and almost one in four children are officially recognised as living in poverty.  As Christmas approaches single parent families are put under tremendous pressure.

“Many parents are going without food on a regular basis and are struggling to have money to put in their gas and electric pre-paid meters just to get gifts for their kids.

“Parents are trying to provide Christmas for their kids and on many occasions are going into debt to pay for gifts that they can't afford because they don't want to let their kids down.

“We rely on people like you to support us with donations of new toys, new clothing and non-perishable foods, or cash donations to help pay for heating costs during this time.”

The Dundee appeal is calling for donations of small items like cozy slippers, socks, gloves, hats and scarves for parents. The service will also provide hot chocolate cones, reindeer food bags, chocolates, and nice biscuits for the parents to share with their children.

Manager of OPFS Dundee Kim McRae said: “Christmas should be a time of year that makes you feel good, when you can spend time with your family and enjoy the presents you receive.

“The reality for many single parents is that this time of year brings extra worry and stress about how they will be able to provide everything they would like to and cope with family relationships that are not always friendly and enjoyable.

“Parenting alone is tough and demanding and the impact of this on parents’ wellbeing can result in them feeling unappreciated and alone. Many of these parents are isolated, with little or no family support or social circles. Their reality is that they will have nothing to open for themselves on Christmas day.

“In Dundee, there are good toy appeals that we can apply to if any families need this kind of support, hence why we didn’t feel the need to ask for toys. We also find that the single parents we support will go without in the build up to Christmas as a means of providing gifts for their children.”

A fundraising evening has already been held by the Dundee service in support of its appeal, raising £600. A donation of toiletries from Lush has also been received.

Sarah, a single parent with two children, commented: "Christmas is meant to be a happy time but for me it just causes me more stress. I don’t have enough money to get by week to week and now I have to find money to get toys for the kids.

“How do you tell a kid you can’t afford to buy them anything when they think it comes from Santa? I just want us to go to sleep on Christmas Eve and wake up on Boxing Day when it’s all over.”

Donate to the Glasgow Gift Appeal until 13 December: Please call OPFS Glasgow on 0141 847 0444 for further information or to arrange drop-offs to the office at Waterloo Chambers, 19 Waterloo St, Glasgow G2 6AY.

Donate to the Lanarkshire Gift Appeal until 13 December: Please call OPFS Lanarkshire on 01698 239961 for further information or to arrange drop-offs to the office at 42 Civic Square, Motherwell, ML1 1TP.

Donate to the Dundee Gift Appeal until 4 December: Please call OPFS Dundee on 01382 501972 for further information or to arrange drop-offs to the office at Families House, 20 Grampian Gardens, Dundee, DD4 9QZ