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.
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 ham/Corned beef
Cereal – variety packs
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!
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!
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!
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”.
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.
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.”
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!
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.
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.”