Community at Christmas Appeal 2020

Published on January 19, 2021

As 2020 came to an end, we launched our Community at Christmas Appeal, and we would like to thank everyone who contributed by donating funds, food, essential items, or by safely fundraising with family and friends.

Despite the restrictions, this has been one of Start Up Stirling’s most successful Appeals ever. The charity received £72,000 in donations, and over 16,000 kg of food and goods were left at Donation Stations throughout the Stirling Council area. The funds raised and the food donated helped to support the 858 people, 323 of whom were children and young people, who used the crisis food bank service from mid-November until the end of December 2020. During that time there were 25,272 meals delivered via Start Up’s home delivery service to households across the area, providing much needed comfort and relief to those in hardship. The funds donated also helped to maintain the delivery vans and pay for the diesel for the deliveries.

Start Up Stirling’s partnership with the Thistles Shopping Centre was also a great success over the festive period. Visitors to the Centre were invited to support the Giving Trees' campaign by choosing a gift tag from one of the Giving Trees & gifting the essential item on the tag. In addition, Thistles installed a brand new Donation Station which includes a tap-to-donate point for contactless monetary donations which will remain in place throughout 2021.

Customers proved to be extremely generous and the Giving Trees campaign saw gifts donated to the value of £2,197. Additionally, 169 kg of food and toiletries were donated at the Donation Station and £515 was raised at the tap-to-donate point.

Another successful partnership this Christmas was with Forth Valley College. Working with Craig Anderson, Hospitality Business Development Manager, and his team of catering students at the Stirling campus, 300 full Christmas dinners were produced, at cost, which were then distributed to our service users to enjoy on Christmas Day. One recipient sent a message of thanks saying,

"You have made my sad day a lot brighter, thanks very much."

Along with the food and essential items that we distribute, we were able to send Christmas gifts to 65 families, 70 individuals and an additional 35 young men in homeless accommodation Thanks to your support, we were able to bring a bit of festive cheer after a year that has been particularly difficult. Here are a few words from people we sent gifts to which shows how much it meant:

“I just want to say thank you again for your help with gifts for kids at Xmas. You will never begin to know how much weight that lifted just because I could actually give them some sort of gift as I wouldn't have had anything to give otherwise so from the bottom of my heart thank you very much."

“I am so happy that you thought of me being on my own and thanks for the gifts."

We would like to thank everyone who supported our Community at Christmas Appeal, as well as of our incredible volunteers who packed and distributed the Christmas meals, emergency food and gifts.

We could not provide the services that we do without your generosity and support - not just at Christmas, but all year round. Thank you.