By Kevin Craigens
Newmains Community Trust (NCT) and local football club, Newmains United have joined forces to help spread a little Christmas cheer to those people in need. The NCT have started a Toy Drive from which they will give toys to less fortunate children in their community.
Mary Anne McCafferty, from the NCT said: “There are people on furlough and they are just covering their bills. From there we thought it would be a good idea to do a Toy Drive to support those families and try to ease the burden a little bit.”
Back in March when workplaces shut down due to COVID-19 restrictions, the centre was one of those who suffered but the staff still wanted to help out those who really needed it.
“When the community centre shut, the staff started up a little food bank, we were donating just a few bits and pieces,” McCafferty said. “There were some vulnerable people who would normally come into the centre that we knew were going to struggle, from there it snowballed and turned into a full blown food bank.”
With the pandemic and current restrictions things have not been easy for families across the country with furlough schemes and job losses.
According to the Legatum almost 700,000 people have been plunged into poverty with 120,000 of those being children. With people on furlough schemes and job losses it is expected that people will be much worse off this year. The Scottish Government issued child poverty statistics at the beginning of the year for period 2018-2019.
The Community Centre can rely on their partners at Newmains United who have been helping out with different initiatives since before lockdown began.
Newmains co-manager, Paul Davies said: “We have set up a partnership with Newmains Community Trust basically to try and get more involved in the community. A lot of football clubs think they have a god-given right when they are in the community, that people will just do things. We feel we need to give a wee bit back to the community.
“The centre works with a lot of referral groups such as social work, and there will probably be some children who won’t get anything for Christmas. So this is to try and give them something and the players at the club will go out and deliver that.”
The Newmains Community Centre, on Manse Road, will be open for any donations on Mondays and Tuesdays, 10am to 3pm until the 18th of December.