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.”