Aims to give to children missing out this Christmas
A nationwide campaign has been launched to provide Christmas presents for thousands of children across Scotland who are living in extreme poverty or facing family hardship.
People can donate to Scotland’s Christmas Toybank Appeal to ensure that children in families impacted by domestic abuse, living in a refuge, or who would otherwise receive no presents have something to open on Christmas Day morning.
The campaign is led by the Glasgow-based Sarwar Foundation in conjunction with Scottish Women’s Aid and the Glasgow No.1 Baby and Family Support Service.
Organisers aim to raise £20,000 for the ninth annual appeal, building on the success of last year’s fundraiser which helped more than 2,000 children across Scotland.
All funds go towards new toys or gift vouchers for children.
The campaign comes when the cost-of-living crisis and the impact of the Covid pandemic are pushing more people into poverty and hardship.
The Sarwar Foundation, founded by former MP Mohammad Sarwar, delivers life-changing support for people in Scotland and Pakistan.
Audrey Dempsey, service manager with the Glasgow No.1 Baby and Family Support Service, said: “Together, we can make sure absolutely no child in Glasgow referred to us will go without on Christmas morning and it gives us great warmth and satisfaction knowing that collectively, we are giving these children happy memories of Christmas that they will carry through life with them.
“No one ever anticipated that in 2021, Christmas would be such a worry and burden for some families, but sadly that is the case - and we look forward to joining forces with the Sarwar Foundation and making sure we play our part in relieving that worry for the parents and bringing joy to the children.
“Christmas is a time that should be filled with happiness and love and together, I believe we can make that possible for families who never believed it to be.”
Eilis Slater, external affairs officer with Scottish Women’s Aid, said: “We at SWA are really excited for local Women’s Aid groups to partner with the Toybank Appeal again this year to help make the festive period special for women, children and young people who have experienced domestic abuse.
“When local Women’s Aid groups across Scotland support the emotional and practical recovery of survivors, partnerships like this one are so crucial in assisting these groups, so that they are able to focus on making an impactful difference for women, children and young people.
“It’s been a challenging period since the outbreak of Covid-19 for survivors and services, and donations are a big component of facilitating support.”
Anas Sarwar MSP from the Sarwar Foundation said: “Christmas is a time for caring, sharing and spreading love, but for too many families across Scotland it is a time for worry, anxiety and increased hardship.
“This year will be even tougher following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis, with a disproportionate impact on those who were already struggling to get by.
“Working with our charity partners, we hope Scotland’s Christmas Toybank Appeal can be bigger than ever this year, supporting thousands of children across the country.
“We would be enormously grateful for any support, so please donate generously and help guarantee a Christmas for children across Scotland.”