Leading family support charity, Home-Start Aberdeen would like to thank members of the public, the business and local community for their support and donations towards its All Wrapped Up Appeal.

The charity which supports vulnerable families with young children across the city appealed for donations of coats so as to provide children and families with cosy winter jackets as we headed into the cold, winter months.

The charity received an overwhelming response to the appeal with hundreds of coats donated. A range of organisations, companies and individuals donated coats, some new, others gently used which were cleaned for the charity by Timpson’s, free of charge.

The charity invited all its supported families, to come to its charity shop at 101 George Street for a special and unique experience for them to choose coats and a gift for each of their children on the run up to Christmas.

“Thanks to the generosity of so many we were able to provide 45 families, including 86 children, with winter coats, books, toys and selection boxes ahead of Christmas,” said Eleanor McEwan, general manager. The All Wrapped Up appeal was all about being able to provide something cosy to wear, something warm they need, something fun for a treat and something joyful to read. We’d like to say a huge thanks for each and every donation we received. It’s made a big difference for local families at Christmas and over these cold days.”

One mum said; “I gave the kids their coats and gloves and put other bits away for Christmas. My daughter was beaming with her jacket she is so happy with it. She feels really proud and smart in it. She wants to make a thankyou card.”

Home-Start received such a volume of coats they hope to be able to support other local organisations and benefit even more people in need within local communities.

“The impact and restrictions of the current lockdown has curtailed our ability to manage this for now but as soon as practicably able we will work with our partners across the city to distribute the coats where most needed,” added Eleanor.

For over 30 years the charity has been supporting vulnerable families across the city to prevent family crisis and breakdown. This support is usually provided via a home-visiting service where carefully selected and trained volunteers are there for families, visiting them in their own homes with compassionate, confidential help. COVID-19 has meant that the charity has had to adapt how it delivers its services to families, continuing to support over 160 families remotely since the start of the pandemic. These young families have at least one child under the age of five and are typically affected by social isolation, bereavement, relationship problems, illness, disability and financial hardship.