By Brodie Gettins
FOR some parents, Christmas isn’t the most joyful time of the year. With the pressures of having to provide presents for their children, money can be tight.
A local man from Govan has decided to help combat this by working on a project to help underprivileged parents provide for their children. This year, The Community and Beyond Toy Bank will be running for the third year, with hopes that this one will be the best yet.
John Beattie set up The Community and Beyond Toy Bank in 2015 to support struggling families in the community and beyond at Christmas time. He says:
“We recognise that these are very difficult times for families in areas like Govan. It is no secret that people here are classed as ‘deprived’.
“Since 2010, issues like benefits sanctions, zero-hours contracts, unemployment, and lack of opportunities for people in Govan have led many people to what we can classify as ‘absolute’ poverty.”
Beattie teamed up with Community Development worker, Kevin MaGee, after a few community members approached them and asked for help in setting up a toy bank. The toy bank now operates at The Riverside Hall, where toys can be donated.
The service operates by giving out tickets, as well as a questionnaire to fill out for each child. Beattie says that the questionnaire is to help the service engage with what ages are requiring support.
Although John hadn’t hoped to have run another year, he says:
“We have to embrace reality.
“I always emphasise that we are doing this out of solidarity, not charity. We are all from Govan; we appreciate the economic hardships people face, particularly in areas like ours.”
Toys can be donated at The Riverside Hall, Glasgow, Monday – Friday between 10am – 3pm.