1 November, 2021

‘Tis the season… for giving

The nights are drawing in and there’s a definite nip in the air. Winter is on its way, which means so is the season for giving.

And while many of us are already looking forward to the festive season, cuts in financial support and rising fuel and food costs mean vulnerable families will struggle to inject any Christmas cheer into their lives. This is why the annual Faculty Christmas Collection matters more than ever.

This is the seventh year that this has been spearheaded by Maria Maguire QC and every donation, no matter how small, will make a real difference.

All donations to the Faculty Christmas Collection are ring-fenced,” says Ms Maguire, “so all contributions will reach vulnerable families in Fife.

The generosity of Faculty members and staff, the bench and our solicitor colleagues, as well as friends and family last year, meant we managed to raise £12,290 before gift aid and received an astonishing number of gifts. I started this collection because I heard of the plight of the families and this continues – some parents starve themselves to provide for their children and save for Christmas and young parents have been driven to attempt suicide. The need for help cannot be underestimated.

Receiving last year’s donations the chair of the family support charity, Home-Start Glenrothes, Alison Cameron, remarked: “As we have said, year after year, your donation means a great deal for our families. It gives us so much flexibility, meaning that we can respond quickly, doing whatever a family needs, with no strings attached. It is enormously valuable and makes such a difference.”

Toys, books, games, new clothes, pyjamas, accessories or any fun presents for children of all ages, from newborns up to and including teenagers, would all be welcomed,” said Ms Maguire.

Second-hand items still in good working condition, such as bicycles, would also be fantastic. And let’s not forget the parents. About half of the families the charity supports have a parent with mental health issues. For some of them, the pressure of Christmas can be too much. Gifts for them are really important because they are also often young and vulnerable.

Other examples of items that could be donated include Christmas treats, such as selection boxes, tins of biscuits, sweets and savoury items, and Christmas wrapping paper or gift bags. Cash donations will be used to buy vouchers for food and also go towards an emergency fund for use throughout the year for items like beds, cookers, fridges and washing machines.

Presents can be handed in at Faculty Reception, Parliament House, Edinburgh, from Monday 13 December to Friday 17 December, and arrangements can be made to collect items from people’s homes during that period. On Saturday 18 December items can be dropped off at the Laigh Hall in Parliament House from 10 am to noon. Cash can be donated any time from now.

More information and how to make a cash donation can be found here.  Anyone wanting to contact Ms Maguire can email her at maria.maguire@advocates.org.uk

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