Leith’s Citadel Youth Centre supports vulnerable families with 50 festive hampers

Hamper campaign helps families in need

Friday, 27th December 2019, 3:03 pm
Some of those who helped the Citadel hamper campaign.

Citadel Youth Centre has provided 50 hampers to vulnerable families in need in North Edinburgh over the festive season.

In what is often described as the toughest time of the year by third sector agencies, Citadel used its network of affiliated supporters to ensure the most vulnerable families in the community would have food in the cupboards and wake up with presents on Christmas Day.

A young mum who received a hamper said: “Getting a hamper from the Citadel at this time of year means so much to me and my son.

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“The food is that extra bit of help that I needed and we appreciated it so much. The presents just mean so much to me. Being a single parent is hard so getting some help at Christmas time to give my son a few extra presents means the world, it makes my little boy’s day more magical and I can’t thank the staff at the Citadel enough for making our Christmas less stressful and more magical.”

Willy Barr, who helped organise the hamper run at the Citadel, said: “At this time of year many of the families who access support and services at the Citadel are under increased pressure to make Christmas special.

“For families who have limited finances this causes stress that can lead to family tensions and behaviour that ruins the festive break for everyone. By being able to get basic food provisions, and in some cases small gifts for the children, to families we know who need it most, we can help make Christmas better.”

Mr Barr noted that many members of the Leith community rallied round to support the hamper effort and thanked Destiny Church, Salvation Army, North Leith Parish Church and four friends of the Citadel – Ian, Heather, Diane and Donald – for donating hundreds of pounds worth of goods from Asda.

Smith Scott Mullan Associates also helped out by breaking from their secret santa tradition.

Claire Cockburn, an architect at the firm, said: “The Citadel Youth Centre in Leith is Smith Scott Mullan Associates’ chosen charity for the year. This Christmas, instead of doing secret santa presents for each other in the office, our team decided to buy gifts for children in the community that the Citadel support.

“We covered all ages and focused on comfy and luxury gifts such as pyjamas, fluffy socks and toiletries. Our Christmas elves left the gifts with the Citadel team, who delivered them to families this week.

“This idea was widely supported by our team and it feels great to know that we have provided children with something special to open on Christmas Day.”

Mr Barr, added: “We would really like to thank everyone who has donated food, gifts and other Christmas parcels to the Citadel Families Project. Their generosity will help support around 50 families we work to have a very special Christmas. Thanks to everyone – your giving is the true spirit of Christmas.”