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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Charity launches donations drive to keep kids warm this winter

 

Campaign is being run by the Govan Together for Childhood partnership

Organisers of a campaign aiming to ensure children in Govan stay warm this winter are appealing for donations so they can make ‘Winter Warmer’ packs to distribute to families in the community.

The Help Keep Wee Govanites Cosy campaign is being launched this week following Challenge Poverty Week which ended on 9 October.

The campaign is being run by the Govan Together for Childhood partnership, an NSPCC-led long-term project that works with other organisations and families to make it a better place for children and to prevent abuse and neglect. 

The project works alongside its partners to run community engagement events and works with community members on a universal basis on subjects like parenting and family support. Their work includes hosting online workshops, events, mentoring for organisations and a training calendar which includes universal and bespoke opportunities.

The Winter Warmer campaign is being run as part of Govan Together for Childhood’s work in primary schools in Greater Govan, Ibrox and Kingston.

Together for Childhood practitioners have been delivering Emotional Resilience sessions for primary pupils during the past year, after local feedback informed them that the pandemic had had a negative impact on many children’s emotional development and wellbeing.

Children and young people have been hit hard by a wide range of pressures sparked by the pandemic’s impact on education, social life and activities, and employment opportunities for parents and carers.

The Emotional Resilience sessions help children understand their thoughts and feelings and identify a trusted adult who they can go to for emotional and practical support. In addition, practitioners have been helping children to develop resilience skills with the aim of helping them to become emotionally equipped to work through and overcome everyday challenges they may experience.

The cost-of-living crisis is expected to add to existing pressures for families, placing many of them under more stress, and impacting people’s mental wellbeing and family relationships.

Childline is already taking a number of calls from children and young people who are feeling anxious about how the increased cost-of-living will affect their family, and the number of calls they will receive on this topic is predicted to rise.

The partnership hopes the ‘Winter Warmer’ packs will give some practical help through the winter period by providing essential items to children.

Neil Mcintosh, assistant director of NSPCC Scotland, said:  “We are extremely concerned that the soaring cost of living will result in even more families, through no fault of their own, struggling to meet their children's needs, with many families and children predicted to be living in freezing cold conditions this winter because they can’t afford to heat their homes.

“We know these packs will not be a complete solution to this problem, but we hope they will at least help to keep some children warm when the temperature drops in the next few months.”

Children are more at risk from the cold than adults because their bodies are smaller, they lose heat more quickly and they are at increased risk of asthma, respiratory infections, slower cognitive development a higher risk of disability and mental health problems.

Janet Weir, Development Support Officer at Govan Together for Children, said: “When we spoke with community members and our partners who support families, many of them were expressing worry about how they will keep warm over the winter.

“With 33% of children in Govan already living in poverty, we have recognised that the winter ahead maybe an extremely challenging and frightening time, for many of the children we already work with on our Emotional Resilience Programme.

“We wanted to do something to help and came up with this idea of making ‘Winter Warmer’ packs to distribute to as many families in the community as possible.

“We would like to collect enough donations to make 1,000 packs but we are relying on people’s donations to reach this goal, so we need everyone’s help to ‘Keep Wee Govanites Cosy this Winter’.”

Donations will be given to children who have been participating in the Emotional Resilience programme and are being taken from now until Monday, 14 November.

They are unable to accept second-hand items and are requesting that all donated items are new. You can help to support children this winter by donating new sets of the following items:

  • Long sleeved pyjamas (4-11 years)
  • Housecoat/dressing gowns (4-11 years)
  • Thick socks (4-11 years)
  • Small cosy blankets
  • Hat, scarf and gloves

Items can be dropped off at Together for Childhood, Pavilion 2, Rowan Business Park, 5 Ardlaw Street, Glasgow, G51 3RR.

 

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