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After gathering hundreds of items for the Pennypit Community Development Trust, the Musselburgh store manager Catherine Preston said: "Due to the outbreak of covid 19 we have become increasingly aware of how many people have been adversely affected financially due to the pandemic.
"On a personal level, I know of many friends who have had to close their businesses for lengthy periods as a result of the continuous restrictions so it is a cause really really close to my heart. Some of the most hardworking people are suddenly struggle to put food on the table and pay their bills. We as a store all hyper aware of just how many people in our local community are also finding things increasingly difficult at this time.
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"Even those who had been furloughed took a dip in income so the service provided by Pennypit has become more crucial now than ever before as those who had never utilised the service before now rely upon it.”
She added: “Working in retail we work closely with the public and have found that most people we have spoke to know of at least one person who has relied upon this assistance and have spoken to some who have shared very touching, candid personal experiences where they themselves have needed to ask for financial help. The community is truly united with everyone doing what they can to support one another."
When asked if they would be collecting donations for any other causes in the future, she continued: "We are planning to do an additional drive to collect stationary supplies. As schools recommence in Scotland shortly this can be an expensive time for struggling families in our community so we hope by collecting these essential school supplies on top of our usual donations we can help to invest in the future and educational successes of these young people returning to school, regardless of their economic background. Everyone deserves the right to learn and to an education so we would love to support this.”