SCHOOL UNIFORM BANK UPDATE!

We wanted to let the Clacks community know about our upcoming plans for operating our annual School Uniform Bank that is more needed this year than ever before. Last year we supported 358 children to return to school with dignity and pride and we hoping to support a wider group of children again this year particularly families most affected by COVID.

The donation dates are as follows:

Monday 29th June – 10th July 2020.
The Gate Centre. Strictly between 3pm and 5pm.
Tesco and Morrison’s superstores – anytime.

The very final day for collections at The Gate Centre is Wednesday 15th July 2020. Please do not drop off donations after this date as we will be unable to accept items due to limited storage space available.

Please can you let your family and friends know of these dates and that we welcome donations of NEW and good quality used school clothing and equipment such as school bags, lunch boxes and stationery to distribute to vulnerable children.

Due to the increased referrals for support via our foodbank, there is insufficient room to operate the project from The Gate Centre this year.
Therefore, we will operate the project from the Ludgate Church for sorting donations, and the Open Week will take place at Alloa’s Town Hall. Dates are as follows:

Open Week. Alloa Town Hall. Monday 20th July to Friday 24th July 2020. Opening times: 11am to 3pm.

If further information is required, please do not hesitate to call The Gate Centre on 01259 218766.

Keep Smiling!

A cheerful photograph of some of our volunteers who are working hard to help the Clacks’s Community.

Where Can You Go For Help?

We have received many phone calls from the general public requiring assistance for many matters. We are very happy and proud to be able to help people requiring a food parcel. We are delivering food parcels directly to people’s doorstep who have been referred through our usual referral system. However, we are unable to assist with other matters. CTSI are working in partnership with Clack’s Council to support people in need of help or support. Please see the above photograph for useful information and contact numbers. Hope this helps!!

Easter Weekend Update!

The Gate Centre will be closed over the Easter weekend. However, our Foodbank will remain open on Friday and Monday for urgent referrals only. The project will reopen on Tuesday 14th April at 10am to 3pm. The usual referral system is still in place during the difficult time.

Thank You Clackmannanshire!

We want to thank the Clacks Community for their support during this national crisis. We have had a huge response to our plea for volunteer support. We have a full working team at the moment and over 20 people on our reserve list should things change. People have also been really kind in donating food. We have a good stock of food at the moment to distribute parcels to vulnerable people within Clackmannanshire. However, we are running really low on the following:

Tinned fruit
Rice pudding
Custard powder
Potato powder
Jam
Meat pastes
Tinned ham/Corned beef
Tinned meatballs/mince
Coffee
Tea
Cereal – variety packs
Mug shots
Noodles
Biscuits
Spread
Cheese
Eggs
Milk

If you are able to help in anyway, we would be very grateful. Donations can be dropped off at The Gate Centre between 10am to 3pm or at our permanent trollies in all local supermarkets. Thank you so much in advance for any support that you are able to provide!

We Are Working Hard to Support People Affected by the Coronavirus!

Our Staff and Volunteers are working hard to support people affected by the national crisis. It has been agreed that The Gate Centre will remain open from 10am – 3pm Monday to Friday.

Soup Pot – This project will remain open for the time being every Tuesday 12 – 1pm providing the usual service supporting vulnerable people within the community.

Foodbank – This project will remain open for referrals and we may be required to adapt the referral system throughout the next few weeks to support people affected by the coronavirus. We are working closely with our partners to ensure that we are strategically managing our stocks to support vulnerable people fairly within the community. In order to do so, we are appealing to the general community for donations of carrier bags and food to meet with the potential extra demand. We are also appealing to the Clacks community for additional volunteer support should our volunteers be affected by the virus. We are asking that if you or anyone you know can assist that you pop along to The Gate to discuss your availability and to consider roles that you may be able to get involved in.

Community Café – The café will close until further notice. Further information will follow.

Home Starter Pack project – We will provide starter packs for emergency referrals only.

All other projects will be suspended until further notice. In particular, our Books N Blether reading group, Gig at The Gate and other projects including Gate Catering Services and planned fundraising events too.

Forth Valley Recovery Community has also decided to close their cafés for the foreseeable future. Additional help will be provided by staff at FVRC to support people who usually attend the cafes for support.

As discussed, we are calling upon the Clacks community for support should we need it. Activities may involve delivering food parcels, sorting through donations of food and distributing parcels to our service users or referrers when they come along to our Centre for support. We may introduce new initiatives in the near future to manage any potential increase in the need for vulnerable people within Clackmannanshire, therefore there may be other ways in which you could get involved. Any support that you could provide during this time would be greatly appreciated.

Stay safe, stay well and stay happy. We will get through this!

Staff and Volunteers Enjoy A Recent Training Exercise

Our staff and volunteers thoroughly enjoyed learning how to use our fire extinguishers in the event of an emergency yesterday at The Gate Centre. They all had a turn at using one of the fire extinguishers and Martin Williams from Secure Fire Protection Ltd also provided our team with some valuable advice on fire management and fire safety. Hopefully we will never need to use the training in real life but at least we are all prepared now in case of an emergency!

Welcoming Royalty and VIPs to The Gate Centre

We were absolutely delighted to welcome Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent alongside his Private Secretary Nick Turnball, the Lord-Lieutenant of Clackmannanshire Johnny Stewart, Vice Lord-Lieutenant John Spruce and Clerk to the Lord-Lieutenant Craig Dunbar to meet our volunteers. The CEO of Clacks Council Nikki Bridle and Provost Tina Murphy also came along on the day to chat with our volunteers and to learn more about our projects and future plans.

The visit was arranged by Mr Johnny Stewart who said “His Royal Highness, the Duke of Kent was delighted to visit The Gate on Wednesday 30th October 2019. He enjoyed his short visit and was fascinated by what he heard and saw. His Royal Highness was particularly pleased to meet so many volunteers and to hear what they do for so many people requiring help in Alloa”. Mr Johnny Stewart has always supported our organisation and further stated that “The Gate is very special place and he would always look for ways to support us”.

School Uniform Bank

Our School Uniform Bank operates annually in partnership with the local SNP constituency. During the summer of 2019, we provided 355 children with school clothing and equipment. This project is very much a community effort. Local organisations get involved throughout the donation, sorting and distributing process such as staff from CTSI, Ochilview Housing Association, Yorkshire Building Society, SNP and Asda. All clothing is donated by the general public, local churches and supermarket customers. We really couldn’t operate this project without the community’s support and our wonderful bank of Gate volunteers.

Jackson helps to connect people all over the world!

THE globetrotting mascot of an Alloa charity has become the organisation’s most travelled volunteer, having visited nearly 20 countries.

Jackson, an adorable fluffy Labrador toy, has been travelling the world with volunteers of The Gate since last summer and has been as far as Australia, the US, Gambia and much more.

He helps connect people, bringing a little joy when things get stressful at the charity, which distributed 80,455 meals from its foodbank and provided 355 children with school clothing this year.

Marie Brownhill, volunteer manager at The Gate, said: “He creates a sociable, informal and joyful rapport with the volunteers which is really important because it can be a very stressful environment to work in. “It is important that people enjoy their time at The Gate and Jackson, who is off to Austria soon, helps to promote happiness within the team.”

The cuddly mascot, who was donated to the charity by a six-year-old, has also travelled the UK extensively and volunteers have also taken him home for sleepovers, BBQs and birthday parties closer in and around the Wee County.

Val Rose, a trustee at The Gate, added: “He has travelled extensively across the UK and has even been to birthday parties and other occasions. Jackson does not say a lot but he is very well known and popular in the local community and people come in to The Gate and ask for him.”

The mascot has also seen Norway, France, Corfu, Poland, Tunisia and Spain. Recently, the list grew with Portugal’s autonomous Madeira region with charity supporter MSP Keith Brown. Wearing a pair of snazzy sunglasses, the representative posed for a snap which will find its place in Jackson’s photo album to showcase his epic travels. Mr Brown said: “I thought this was a great opportunity to show my ongoing support for The Gate and the work it does for our local area.
“From the vital services it delivers like the Soup Pot and foodbank to the more fun, but just as important events, like the Gig at the Gate and Community Café”.

“Since it was established, The Gate has become an integral part of our local community.
“Its volunteers and staff are truly committed to giving help and support to those who are most vulnerable and find themselves in need. I am happy to offer my support in any way that I can – even by stowing a (toy) dog in my holiday luggage.”