Alyn Smith MP Backs Local Christmas Campaigns


Categories: Charities and Third-Sector, Children and Young People, Constituency, Volunteering

Appeals from Stirling Observer and Start Up Stirling Now Underway

Local Stirling MP Alyn Smith has backed two prominent local campaigns ahead of Christmas, both aimed at supporting hard-up households during the festive period. 

To brighten the holiday season for sick, disabled, needy, and disadvantaged children and young people, the ‘Give A Gift’ Appeal, run by the Stirling Observer since 2008, has collected and distributed toys and gifts. Its mission is to ensure no local child wakes up on Christmas morning without a gift, and to provide a heartwarming reminder to children and families in need that their communities are there for them.

A network of local charities and worthy causes play an integral role in the distribution of these gifts. Among these organisations are Stirling Council’s social services, Stirling Young Carers, Home-Start Stirling, PLUS, Cornton Vale and Glenochil Family Hubs, Stirling Women’s Aid, Forth Valley Royal Hospital’s children’s ward, Support4Families, and various community groups. Further information on how to get involved is below.

Start Up Stirling have also launched their Christmas Appeal, with a range of events and ideas for households and businesses to get involved to raise funds and donations in support of those who need it most this Christmas. Ways to get involved include:

  • Reverse Advent Calendar and Secret Santa
  • Hosting a donation station
  • Donate gift vouchers
  • Santa’s Amazon Nice List, bringing joy directly to people when they need it most
  • Volunteering your time to assist the charity
  • Funding support – Start Up Stirling aims to raise £340,000 this year to fund their services and cover overheads

Start Up Stirling Events also include:

  • 4th November – Stirling Christadelphians Charity Sale Day, Stirling Christadelphian Hall, 40 Main Street, Bannockburn, FK7 8LY. 10.30am until 2.30pm
  • 30th November – Dunblane Christmas Extravaganza. 5pm until 8.30pm
  • 30th November and 1st December – Tesco Food Donation Days, Tesco Superstore, Wallace Place, Stirling, FK8 1NP. 10am until 4pm.
  • 2nd December – Callander Craft Fair, Callander Kirk Hall, South Church Street, Callander, FK17 8BN. 10am until 2pm.
  • 2nd December – Killearn Farmers Market, Killearn Village Hall, Balfron Road, Killearn, G63 9NL. 11am until 4pm.

Stirling MP Alyn Smith said:

‘The festive period is a time for community, in more ways than one. For some vulnerable households, this Christmas will be a real struggle as the cost of living crisis and high energy bills continue to plunge Stirling households into debt and poverty. That’s why these campaigns – both from respected institutions in their own right – are so important in providing some festive cheer this Christmas to those who need it the most across Stirling and the Forth Valley.

‘I’m fully behind the Stirling Observer and Start Up Stirling, and urge members of the public, as well as businesses and charities across Stirling, to get involved in any way they can to help ease the worry for folks this Christmas and bring a happier end to 2023. The pandemic showed what’s possible when communities in Stirling come together to look after one another – let’s get to work.’

Notes on Stirling Observer ‘Give A Gift’ Appeal:

● Gifts should be new and unused and left unwrapped to allow charities to choose for individual children. Cuddly toys should be kept to a minimum if possible as some charities have difficulty placing these for health and hygiene reasons.

● Vouchers – Since the Covid pandemic, we have also given the option of donating gift cards and vouchers to offer some flexibility to both those donating and to the charities. Keep an eye open in future editions for details of where these can be mailed.

● Drop-off points include: STIRLING – Morrisons supermarket, Springkerse Retail Park; Barber Co, 20 Upper Craigs FK8 2DG; Nationwide Building Society, Port Street; Waitrose, Burghmuir Retail Park FK7 7NZ; BALFRON Andrew Anderson & Sons, 64B Buchanan Street G63 0TW; BANNOCKBURN – Jintz Express/Post Office, 17 Quakerfield; BRIDGE OF ALLAN – Andrew Anderson & Sons, 71 Henderson Street FK9 4HG; CALLANDER – Tesco Express, Main Street; DUNBLANE – Beech Tree Cafe, 2 Beech Road; FALLIN – Tesco Express, Stirling Rd FK7 7JW; RAPLOCH – Andrew Anderson & Sons 90 Drip Road FK8 1RN.