Fife Gingerbread’s festive Heat and Eat campaign still supporting lone parent families in lockdown

Families who would struggle to put food on the table and heat their homes are still being supported by a pre-Christmas fundraising campaign.

Fife Gingerbread’s annual Heat and Eat drive raised over £24,000, more than double its target of £10,000.

As well as providing food parcels and vouchers for over the festive period, the sum has enabled aid to lone parent families struggling with poverty and isolation into January and February.

And with children remaining at home throughout the day while remote learning is in place, the help is needed more than ever.

Due to the pandemic, the Glenrothes-based charity was unable to stage the fundraising events and street collections it normally would and feared that it may struggle to attract donations.

Target smashed

However, a crowdfunder was launched and local businesses approached for help.

The charity’s Linsey Proctor said: “We had a target of £10,000 which we thought was going to be quite hard to reach.

“We weren’t sure if local businesses could afford to donate, as we were aware it might be more difficult.

“Conversely, we raised more than £24,000.

“We are quite overwhelmed that people did that for us.

“Because we have raised over the amount we expected, we will be able to provide heating into January and February, which we think is going to be an incredibly difficult time.”

Families in crisis

A previously homeless mum and her baby are among the families the charity has been able to support.

The 20-year-old mother was sleeping on relatives’ sofas with her baby in a travel cot during the last lockdown.

Even when they moved into their own house, she struggled to make it a home for her now toddler and went for months without items most of us take for granted, like a vacuum cleaner.

Fife Gingerbread also helped a bereaved dad struggling alone with his daughter and feeling isolated.

Despite being in need themselves, some of the families still went the extra mile to help others.

Even though Andrew has been through a horrendous year, he’s taken the time to help other families. That really means the most to us.”

Andrew and four-year-old daughter Mia were supported by Fife Gingerbread in what were described as the ‘most difficult’ of circumstances, but he and his friends raised over £100 for the appeal.

He said the charity had made his and Mia’s lives a little easier through “such a hard year” and added: “All I can say is I’m so happy to help in any way I can.”

Linsey said: “Even though Andrew has been through a horrendous year, he’s taken the time to help other families. That really means the most to us.”

She also praised the support of Fife Chamber of Commerce and the many businesses which donated.

Remote learning: Families charity warns of digital, emotional and financial challenges

Kirkcaldy – The Courier