Making Christmas possible for South Ayrshire youngsters

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On December 25, most children will wake up in the morning to find lots of presents under the tree.

But for some children across South Ayrshire, that sadly won’t be the case.

Figures reveal there are currently around 5000 children living in poverty across the area.

From 2017-2018, 31 percent of children were living in poverty throughout the Girvan and South Carrick area, according to The End Child Poverty Coalition data.

This year, one group of women are channelling the true meaning of Christmas.

Horrified at the levels of poverty in their community, South Ayrshire Christmas Toy Bank will be handing out new toys in the hope of alleviating the poverty experienced by children in South Ayrshire during the festive period.

Chairwoman Aileen Quigley explained: “We decided something had to be done to ensure these children wake up to something on Christmas morning.

“So we decided to set up the Toy Bank, which we based on a similar model to a Food bank.

“We spoke to other toy banks to understand better how they work.

“We don’t just hand out toys, we work on a referral basis, which means families are referred to us from organisations such as social services and Barnardo’s. We also contacted schools who referred so many pupils to us.

“We then provide gifts for the children. We provide a package containing a toy, pair of pyjamas, and a selection box.

“We also provide wrapping paper and Sellotape or a gift bag so that parents or carers can wrap the presents themselves.”

Aileen and the other fabulous people behind the appeal had no idea just how quickly it would take off.

“It has just exploded,” Aileen continued. “It started on social media and as really taken off from there. It just blows you away how generous people are.

“But it is also shocking to hear the stories of young children living in poverty. It’s really heartbreaking.

“A total of 13,089 children have been referred to us, and if we can make someone’s day at Christmas, then that’s fantastic.

To find out more about the appeal and how you can help, email, or visit them on Facebook here

Toy Bank drop off points

15-17, Ayr

8’EeS Cabs, Troon

Asda Ayr

Asda Girvan

Ayr Central

Ayr College Campus

Ayr Hospital

Ayr United

Ayrshire Woman’s Hub, Ayr

BE Schoolwear, Ayr

Beauty lounge, Ayr

Claude Hamilton Hall, Coylton

Clinton’s Cards, Ayr

Co-op Doonfoot, Alloway

Co-op Funeralcare, Ayr

Co-op Sandgate, Ayr

Currys, Healthfield Retail Park, Ayr

Daisy Chain, Prestwick

Day to day, Doonfoot

Day to Day, Lochside

Glendoune Community Association, Girvan

Goody2Shoes, Ayr

Lily Lingerie, Prestwick

Martin & Co Letting Agents, Ayr

Nationwide, Ayr

Parks, Doonfoot

Poet’s Corner, Ayr

Premier store, Coylton

Sophie Oliver Dance School, Coylton

Stewart Travel, Prestwick

The Coo Shed, Ayr

The Growler, Ayr

The Red Lion, Prestwick

TK Maxx Cafe, Ayr

Tonie Curry, Ayr

Toytown (Ayr Central)

Trysting Thorn, Coylton

Unity Grill, Ayr

Wossobama Gym, Ayr