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Urgent appeal for beds and blankets as Fife anti-poverty project expands

The initiative was launched at the Cottage Family Centre in Kirkcaldy
The project launched in January.

Fife’s Cottage Family Centre has issued an urgent appeal for blankets, duvets, beds and carpeting to help families struggling with the cost of living.

Charities and foodbanks face a deluge of requests for help as heat and food costs soar.

And many parents are reluctant to turn up their heating to cut costs.

As a result, the Cottage is recording a huge increase in requests from families for warm bedding and clothes for their children.

And, with fuel prices expected to rise further in October, the Cottage is extending its Big House Project, which provides people with essential household goods.

The new Houses Are Homes initiative aims to ensure family homes are properly insulated and decorated.

Plea to help raise living standards

In January, the Kirkcaldy-based charity joined forces with online giant Amazon to deliver thousands of unwanted goods from its warehouse to local households.

And five more firms – Scotmid, Fishers Laundry, Bell Group Kirkcaldy, RGM Heating Ltd and the Purvis Group – have now joined them.

Volunteers include painters, decorators, joiners and electricians.

And Greener Kirkcaldy’s Cosy Kingdom is offering energy advice.

Cottage Centre manager Pauline Buchan said: “Only by working together across all sectors will we be able to protect households and raise their living standards.”

Pauline Buchan and Gordon Brown at the Cottage Family Centre in Kirkcaldy.

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown is patron of the Cottage.

He said: “Fife is experiencing what is happening to the rest of the country.

“Never has local hardship been as great and pressing.

“And the need for help is urgent as the requests for support grow.

“Too many families are already unable to make ends meet.”

Mr Brown said companies had been very generous, despite being under real pressure themselves.

8,000 families helped so far

The Big House Project launched with the help of John Boumphrey of Amazon UK.

It means The Cottage Family Centre has a warehouse stocked with essential items to support families experiencing hardship.

And it is working with more than 60 charities across Fife, as well as 150 schools, health centres and social work teams to distribute the goods.

As a result, £1 million of items have already been delivered to 8,000 families.

But there is still a need for blankets, duvets, pillows, sheets and beds.

Gordon Brown, centre, talks to John Boumphrey of Amazon UK and Pauline Buchan of the Cottage Family Centre in Kirkcaldy.

Scotmid kicked off its support with a £10,000 donation.

And it is also offering toiletries and household cleaning products.

Meanwhile, Fishers Laundry and Amazon supplied bedding.

And Purvis has offered its 6,000 square feet Lochgelly warehouse rent free to store the goods.

Bell Group is helping pilot a project to help parents learn painting and decorating skills.

The Cottage Family Centre already offers family support and groups for children and carers.

And it also employs its own mental health counsellors to help some of Fife’s most vulnerable children and young people.

GORDON BROWN: We need local firms to lift families out of poverty – and the government to change its course

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