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.”

School Uniform Bank News 2019

We provided 355 children with school uniforms and equipment this year thanks to donations from our generous community and the help from many organisations, including our wonderful Gate volunteers.

We received 75 referrals and 194 children visited our “Open Week” to access support, supporting 21 schools and nurseries within Clackmannanshire.

We would like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who supported this project, including staff from CTSI, Yorkshire Building Society, Ochilview Housing Association and the local SNP office for all their support during the sorting period and our Open Week.

Also, thanks to Paula Paton, Asda’s Community Champion for her continued assistance and Tesco’s customers and local organisations for donating a huge amount of old and new clothing and equipment for this project. Thank You So Much for the Support!

KNIT N NATTER GROUP CLOSED TEMPORARILY

Due to unforeseen circumstances, our Knit N Natter group which usually operates on a Wednesday afternoon is closed temporarily. As soon as we have a date to reopen this group activity we will let everyone know.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

The Generosity of our County Residents “knows no bounds”.

We would like to say a huge “thank you” to the people of Clacks following an incredible outpouring of generosity from locals over the festive season.

Our charity, which provides a range of services including a foodbank, soup pot and community cafe, received over eight tonnes of donations in just two months. With demand massively increasing over Christmas, everything that was contributed went to good use and helped make the festive season that bit easier for those who were struggling.

Marie Brownhill, The Gate’s centre manager, said “Between November and March, every single year, without fail, all of our services are really busy. “Whilst it’s a joyful time for most, it can be the most difficult time for many.
“So what I want to get across on behalf of The Gate is to thank the public and small and large businesses because they all played a part in making Christmas more special for the most vulnerable in the community.”
Marie made clear there were so many people she could thanks that it was impossible to name everyone, but mentioned a few examples of locals helping out. She added: “One community group held the Christmas fayre at the town hall and donated £411 to us from that and it was great – it was run by Hellen Woods. “And one woman came in with her two wee boys who, with their pocket money, bought selection boxes, and they’d bought wee cars too. “That’s not a huge donation but for small children to do that is great. “All of these little things and everybody doing their little bit made a huge difference to The Gate and what we were able to deliver.”

To spread a little festive cheer, food parcels were significantly increased and included festive treats like chocolates and sweets too. Marie said that she could not thank The Gate’s dedicated team of volunteers enough either, given their hard work over the festive period.

Adrienne Hilton, the foodbank’s coordinator, also made clear just how big the operation was to deliver The Gate’s services over Christmas. She continued: “December and January are our busiest months. “We probably get about a good quarter to a third of our annual donations in a six week period between the beginning of December and the middle of January. “We started off with three tonnes of food in November, and in December it went mad. We probably got about five tonnes of food in one month, so in two months we had eight tonnes.” Staggered by the sheer scale of support shown by Clacks residents, she added: “We are an area that is very deprived and has got high levels of poverty, but we are a community that looks after itself, and the generosity shows no bounds.”

IGNITE Social Group for Young People between 11 – 17 years of age!

A Social Group operated by members of Ludgate Church.

Where: The Gate Centre, 2 Ludgate ALLOA.

When: Starts Friday 12th October 2018
(afterwards the group will operate every 2nd Friday of every month)

Time: 7.30pm – 9pm

The purpose is to provide a free space for youngsters to come along to take part in games, have a snack and participate in some craft work in a supportive and welcoming environment. No Referral Necessary!

Volunteers are also happy to chat & listen to the young people if they feel the need someone to talk too!

For further information, call DANA on 07578055294

Would you like to join a social group to meet new friends?

Do you like to knit and natter and/or meet up with new friends? Come along to our Knit N Natter / Social Group at The Gate Centre, 2 Ludgate, ALLOA. Every Wednesday, 2pm – 4pm. Don’t worry if your cannot knit, we can teach you and there are also other social activities to get involved in. Some of our group members enjoy a game of dominos, cards or even connect 4. You can get involved or just come along for a coffee and a natter amongst others.

For further information, please call The Gate Centre 01259 218766.

DISCO FUNDRAISING EVENT – SATURDAY 29TH SEPTEMBER 2018 (WEIR PUMPS SOCIAL CLUB)

DISCO FUNDRAISING EVENT – FEATURING DJ MARACA JACK
We will be hosting a fundraising event on Saturday 29 September at Weir Pumps Social Club from 8 til late to raise much needed funds for our charity. Tickets cost £5 and are available from The Gate Centre, 2 Ludgate ALLOA.

We have excellent raffle prizes and the night promises to be an evening to remember!

Don’t miss out on a fun evening whilst supporting a local charity.
For further information, please call 01259 218766.

BSC Glasgow supports The Gate

ALLOA-BASED BSC Glasgow will donate the admission takings from their upcoming SFA South Challenge Cup match against Edusport Academy to The Gate Charity.

BSC have been ground-sharing with Alloa Athletic for the last two seasons and the club have also given away 50 free tickets to the match for service users at The Gate to go along to The Indodrill Stadium to enjoy the match.
George Fraser, BSC Glasgow’s general manager, said: “We have been playing in Alloa for a couple of seasons and we want to give back the warm welcome we’ve been given by the local community by donating our admission takings to The Gate, a charity which we believe do fantastic work in the community, offering an array of projects all designed to help people in need.
“The South Challenge Cup is always an exciting tournament for us and it’s one that we won in our inaugural season. We’re really looking forward to welcoming people from The Gate to enjoy what’s always an exciting match between ourselves and Edusport Academy.”
Marie Brownhill, Centre Manager at The Gate, added: “We are absolutely delighted to be supported by BSC Glasgow with this very kind donation of help.
“The Gate Charity operates various projects such as a Crisis Foodbank, Soup Pot, Community Café and Home Starter Pack service as well as smaller community services to help overcome social isolation, homelessness, poverty, mental health issues and addiction.
“As a charity, we are constantly fundraising and trying to raise much needed funds to operate our projects to support the most vulnerable within our community. We can’t thank BSC Glasgow enough for their very valued help and support.”
Admission at The Indodrill Stadium on Saturday is £4 for adults and £2 for concessions, with everything taken on the door being donated.
The club are encouraging everyone to come out and roar the side onto victory while supporting a fantastic local organisation.