A charity boss has spoken of his joy after teaming up with a radio station for a festive appeal that could help thousands of people.
Cfine – which was named Scottish Social Enterprise of the Year last week – is once again set to benefit from Original 106’s Christmas Appeal, which is backed by the Evening Express.
The appeal, which starts today, will run until Hogmanay.
Dave Simmers, the chief executive of Cfine, is hoping people can once again dig deep to make a difference to the lives of those battling poverty.
Last year, thousands of food parcels were handed out by the organisation, and Dave hopes the north-east public can step up once again to help those in need.
He said: “It’s absolutely fantastic news that we are being supported by Original again.
“Last year the appeal generated 20 tonnes of food, which was beyond anything we expected.
“The generosity of the general public and the corporate sector was astonishing so we are delighted.
“We are going to give out in excess of 20,000 emergency parcels this year and we expect Christmas to be busy.
“To get this additional food coming in helps us ensure we can get every family and person a bag of messages.
“It’s a huge bonus.”
Dave admitted Christmas can be a difficult time for families on low incomes, and hopes the appeal can spread some festive cheer.
He said: “Christmas is a great time of year but it’s expensive, and if you are on a low income it reinforces the poverty at a time that should be a celebration.
“Many of our beneficiaries are also very isolated and we give more than just food. We provide other kinds of support and social contact as well.
“It’s important to have that backing and it’s a great boost for people to know friends and neighbours actually care.
“It’s a huge boost to families who are often depressed and down at this time of year.
“The support makes all the difference.”
Dave said increasing the charity’s profile is vital to ensuring it can continue to meet the needs of people in the north-east.
He added: “My view is that when people get the opportunity to do good, they take it.
“I have been absolutely gobsmacked by the level of support we have had in the past and here’s hoping this year will be the same.
“It was amazing to win social enterprise of the year.
“It’s a great result. Our charity needs to have that profile so people know about us and can lend the kind of support through the appeal.
“Original have been amazing.”
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Dave added that keeping the issue of food poverty in people’s minds has been vital.
He said: “That makes a tremendous difference to us, both in terms of food donations and financial donations.”
Original 106 programme controller Martin Ingram said: “We are really happy to again be helping out Cfine.
“Every year we are aware that there is a big burden placed on foodbanks in the north-east.
“When we can rely on our listeners, who always step up with their generosity, it helps us provide so much support.
“We feel great that we are able to help those less fortunate.
“We’re all helping out with a common cause.”