Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Track Henry, the Charity Teddy

Once Upon a Donation

Two lovely fans of Once Upon A Time have come up with a wonderful idea for donating to two charities chosen by OUAT stars Robert Carlyle and Lana Parilla. 

Henry, a very busy and adventure-thirsty little teddy bear will be travelling the world, connecting fans, sharing cultures and raising funds for With Kids and the International Trauma Treatment Program. 

Henry will travel by mail and stay for a week to 10 days so that he can visit his destination properly.  He’ll also bring with him 2 travel books, one for Robert and one for Lana and participants will fill these with pictures and stories of Henry’s tour.

Henry will be raising funds as he travels (even small donations help) and hosts can choose to donate to either (or both) of the charities chosen by Robert Carlyle (With Kids) and Lana Parrilla (International Trauma Treatment Program).

The busy little bear has now been booked up until 2016 and so far has 65 hosts that he’ll be visiting worldwide.

There will be lots of lovely pictures and info showing Henry’s progress on the Tumblr site.  If you’d like to keep up to date, would like Henry to visit or want to find out more then please visit the Once Upon A Donation site on tumblr. 

You can also follow them on twitter @OUaDonation or on Facebook, and you can keep up with Henry’s travels by viewing the map here.

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Thursday, 6 March 2014

Caring for Kinship Carers

At With Kids, we offer many different services to accommodate and help struggling families in the more poverty stricken areas of Glasgow and Edinburgh - and one such service is kinship care.

Kinship care is the care of children by people such as grandparents, aunts, uncles and family friends, because their natural parents are unable to care for them. 

The Children (Scotland) Act 1995 emphasises that, if any child cannot be with their parents, connections should be maintained within the family circle if at all possible, and according to Mentor UK, one in 77 children across Scotland grows up in a household with friends or relatives.

The idea for a Kinship Care Group first arose two years ago when a local kinship carer approached us after an activity session, and asked if With Kids could assist her in setting up a local kinship care group as there was a gap in support services to aid local kinship carers.

We agreed, and so the With Kids Kinship Care Group was set up as a friendly, safe place for kinship carers to meet regardless of the legal status of their arrangement.

The group now meets every Wednesday morning, and allows kinship carers to share stories, issues, and worries, and give advice to other kinship carers in a similar position as themselves over a cup of tea or coffee.

The kinship group supports the idea of peer support and learning, where the kinship carers provide each other with emotional, practical and mutual support to alleviate feelings of criticism and isolation, and experiences of little or no practical support in managing the complicated family situations that they deal with.

Some members of the kinship group recently signed up to the Scottish Kinship Care Alliance’s Justice for Kinship Kids campaign, and on the 19th February 2014, they protested outside The Scottish Parliament to urge MSPs to vote for amendments to increase the support available to kinship care families in the Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill.

The Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill is just one of the common issues that has been discussed by a programme of guest speakers at the With Kids Kinship Care Group, along with issues such as food poverty, fuel poverty, and welfare reform.

These sessions are open to other known kinship carers locally, and any other organisations who want to find out more about kinship care or any common issues that affect children in care.

If you would like more information on kinship care or the With Kids Kinship Care Group, you can contact us at With Kids Edinburgh on 0131 453 6937, With Kids Glasgow on 0141 550 5770 or get in touch on Facebook or Twitter.

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Thursday, 30 January 2014

A Belated but Heartfelt Thank You

Now that the seasonal chaos has just about died down, we would like to take a moment to thank all our With Kids supporters, both big and small, for your overwhelming response to our Christmas Appeal 2013.

Thanks to your invaluable support, we were able to provide 102 families in Glasgow and Edinburgh with food parcels, and also 232 children with presents to open on Christmas morning.

In addition to this, we also had 82 families along to our Christmas parties, where 175 kids received a present from Santa.

However, it’s not just at Christmas when we rely on donations; our summer programme and various groups and activities are also made possible this way throughout the year.

We simply couldn't reach as many families without your continued support, and we would like to take the time to thank some particular businesses, individuals, schools and nurseries who went above and beyond the call of duty last year.  

So, without further ado, (*drum roll*) we would like to take the opportunity to announce our very own New Years Honours List.

Thank you to the various businesses and organisations who helped support With Kids, including Scottish Fire & Rescue and Tommy Keay who as always, were amazing, The Disney Store in St Enoch Centre, fatBuzz, Kevin MaGuire and Merchant City Properties, Dell (Alexandra Parade), Excel Vending, Andrew Muirhead & Sons, Sainsbury's Longstone, Scottish National Heritage, CFC Foundation, Tango Tipica, UNITE, Port William Community Shop, El Barrio Glasgow, Maxim Tools, The Gallery, and Scottish Enterprise.

There were also many individuals who gave up their own valuable time in order to help make a huge difference to the families that With Kids support, including Tracy Heraghty and staff, friends and family from Scottish Power (Cathcart), Lisa Sullivan, Phil Worms of iomart Group, Alex and Jen Robertson, Laura O'Brien at CTG, Elaine McIntyre and Fraser Gowrie Johnston, Lorna Allan, Lucy Gardner at The Sun, and everyone who purchased from the Amazon Wish List.

As you are all aware of, we help provide individual, social and practical support to children and families across Scotland, so it was particularly heartwarming to receive the support from various primary schools and nurseries throughout Glasgow, including St Josephs Primary, Mount Florida Nursery, Balornock Primary, Ashcraig Primary, Alexandra Parade Primary, Garnetbank Primary and Wellfield Nursery.

Last but not least, thank you to Robert Carlyle, Emilie De Ravin and all the wonderful Once Upon A Time Fans, as well as JCI Glasgow and Daniel and Kim Robertson, who did an absolutely brilliant job organising and collecting donations from Caledonian and Glasgow University.

We have had so many people help us throughout the year that it’s impossible to name them all, so finally, we would like to say an ENORMOUS THANK YOU to everyone who donated, volunteered, tweeted, followed, shared and talked about With Kids in 2013.

You are all stars!

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Monday, 13 January 2014

Christmas On Credit

“Was Santa good to you this year?”. The words every child is asked at Christmas time, the answer to which can only be yes in the eyes of their parents. Who just want to do best by their children by any means necessary and that can sometimes land them in trouble.

Financial trouble, at Christmas time, is always a tough time financially but for some families it can be far tougher and the rest of the new year can also become a struggle too.

In a recent channel 4 documentary, “Christmas on Credit”, these problems are addressed and explains just how difficult the Christmas period can be for Britain’s poorer families. 

It opens with statistics claiming that 11% of British families are still paying off money that they borrowed for Christmas 2012, 93% feel that they are under pressure to spend too much during the festive period and around 15% of British adults plan to take out a loan for this year. 

Perfection is strived for so nonchalantly that the struggle that follows can be very harrowing, but it is kept aside until the new year then the worrying truly begins.

Around seven million people will borrow money this Christmas and four million of that will borrow just so that they can provide their families with a good hearty Christmas dinner. 

For one of the families interviewed in the documentary, the loan taken out for 2012’s Christmas has still not been paid off and are planning on taking out another loan on credit to pay for this year. At a nationwide average of £822, though, does it comes as any surprise that debt will arise for those on benefits who struggle to make it through the week let alone Christmas.

Loans on credit that have been given out last Christmas and have failed to have been paid will result in lower credit scores, meaning that loans this year will be declined. This will mean that this Christmas will be difficult but if you can scrape by then great, but what about next year?

The stigma of the whole idea and pleasantries of Christmas dull down the negative thoughts of the repayments are kept at bay because seeing the smiles on their children's’ faces is worth it.

However all of this being said, what are your thoughts? Do you think that Christmas has been over-hyped and become the source of anxiety amongst many British households? Obviously it is a great festive time that should be full of joy and time with your family, but should it cause so much strain on people? 

If you'd like to find out more about how you can help to raise vital funds for With Kids please click HERE. You can contact us on Facebook or Twitter or call us on 0141 550 5770.

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Monday, 25 November 2013

With kids Christmas Appeal 2013

The countdown to Christmas begins!

This is the time where most of us will be thinking about what gifts you are getting your friends and family, what to wear to your Christmas parties, and of course, preparing for that all important Christmas Dinner.

However, Christmas can be a very difficult time of the year for many of us, so if you can help in any way, please make a donation to With Kids.

For many children, Christmas is simply another day without the fun and warmth that the rest of us take for granted. Poverty, family breakdown or illness are just some of the reasons that a child will wake to find that Santa hasn't come this year.

With Kids aims to provide a Christmas for families who would otherwise struggle. We provide presents and food hampers for families in need. We also have a special day with dinner, entertainment and a visit from Santa.

To enable this to happen we are in desperate need of donations and are looking for:
  • Children's toys
  • Stocking fillers
  • Non-perishable food items for hampers
If you are able to donate just one thing, this would go a long way to making it a very merry Christmas.

Donate Glasgow

To donate children's toys. stocking fillers and non-perishable food items for hamper's for With Kids Glasgow please drop them into our office at 15 Annfield Place Dennistoun, Glasgow

Donate Edinburgh

If you would like to donate non perishable food for With Kids Edinburgh just pop into the Chesser, ASDA and fill up the With Kids trolley! The address is 3 New Market Road, EH14 1RS. Or you drop any donations into our Edinburgh office at 1 Hailesland Road, Edinburgh.

Donate Online with Amazon Wishlist

We have also created a Christmas wishlist on Amazon where you can buy toys which we'll then donate to those in need. It's a great idea and means you can donate to us with the click of a button! To check this out please click HERE.

At With Kids, we believe that every child and family should have a very merry Christmas so please help us to help them. We could not do this without your help and support - thank you!

For information about what's going on at With Kids, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Food Drive

Christmas is just around the corner and at With Kids, this means we need to do a lot of gathering for our Food Drive.

And the Edinburgh WithKids office needs your help!

Please spread the word about our Food Drive in December, all of the food donated will be given to families who have asked for help over the Christmas holidays.

If you would like to donate food just pop into the Chesser ASDA and fill up the WithKids trolley!

You can donate Tinned Veggies, Pasta, Pasta sauce, Cheesy pasta, Squash, Tea, Coffee, Sugar, Biscuits, Breakfast cereal, Wipes and Tinned meat.

Please stop by and help support our Food Drive!

Please help us spread the word with your community - thank you!

You can get in touch with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Join JCI Glasgow at their Christmas Quiz!

Our friends at JCI Glasgow are hosting a 'Christmas quiz' with Quizmaster Scott Johnston to help raise funds for With Kids.

The event takes place on Sunday 1st December at O'Neills, Merchant City from 7pm.

This is a team event (flexible team sizes - £10 per team member).

If you don't have a team but would still like to attend, the good folks at JCI will help you join one, or even form one on the night!

At With Kids, we aim to help the most vulnerable children and families in both Glasgow and Edinburgh.

All of the money raised from this event will go towards helping us put on a Christmas Party for our families at With Kids. We provide presents and food hampers for families in need. We also have a special day with dinner, entertainment and a special visit from Santa.

If you would like to join in on the fun, whilst raising vital fund for With Kids, you can do so by following the details below:

Cost for the evening is £10 per person - please sign up to the event HERE.

And pay us either via PayPal or BACS (email maggie_g@jciglasgow.com for more information)

If you can’t make the evening then please help us hit our target by donating on our Just Giving Page HERE.

Please help us reach our target and put a smile on the children's faces - thank you!

To find out what else is happening at With Kids, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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