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‘Alyth Spirit of Christmas’ to ensure families have Christmas dinner and activities

Darren Gracey, Cameron Gracey (13), Jett Young (8), Mrs Claus - Jennifer Donachy and Pamela Luscombe.
Darren Gracey, Cameron Gracey (13), Jett Young (8), Mrs Claus - Jennifer Donachy and Pamela Luscombe.

Perthshire locals have joined forces to create Christmas hamper parcels with Christmas dinners and activities.

The initiative – dubbed the Alyth Spirit of Christmas by organisers – allowed local families to collect packs over the weekend from Food for Thought, a foodbank and community support hub.

Throughout last week, the Food for Thought team distributed the hampers – containing food and gifts – to residents in the lead up to Christmas.

Darren Gracey of Food for Thought said: “Throughout the pandemic, we tried to give out activity packs to families that contained some ingredients and a recipe to make something simple.

“As the restrictions lifted and children went back to school we decided to do this on special occasions such as Halloween and Christmas.

“This year has been hard on everyone and we wanted to make sure that everyone in the town had something a little bit special this Christmas.

“Families with children could turn up and collect an activity pack filled with something fun to do and some sweets.

“I thought it would be best to include a Christmas book in there too, since reading books allow children to stimulate their imagination and expands their understanding of the world.”

Food for Thought was set up in March in response to difficulties brought on by coronavirus.

It helps local residents with food needs, and helps those without an internet access to find information on benefits, jobs and support services.

Darren praised Alyth locals who have come out in support of Food for Thought and other local residents.

“We have had so much help from the community,” he said.

“The community in Alyth has been incredible in supporting us to support others through donations of food, money, small gifts for children and families, and also with their time to get this all done.

“It would be impossible to get anything done without the love and support from this town, and it’s what makes Alyth a truly remarkable place to live.”

Darren has been praised for his efforts to help others during these difficult times.

KT Garrett of the Alyth Community Support Group said: “What Darren does is the equivalent to a full-time job and a bit but he doesn’t get paid for what he does.

“Darren has single-handedly taken over the foodbank and the running of it from day to day.

“I am really hoping he gets some recognition for his efforts.”

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