Life is always busy down here at PCCS, but it does feel like it has been particularly long since we have written to you all. Christmas is long gone, and it was a bumper year with nearly 200 children receiving 2 gifts each from us. We’ve also had a busy Spring with a bunch of new volunteers to train, expanded counselling hours and a record-breaking number of requests coming in. Summer doesn’t look like it will slow down at all but we thought we would use the change in the season to take a minute, reflect and take a moment to keep you all up to date on where we are and where we are going.
Last year, as predicted, we provided more clothing and equipment packs than any other time in our history. 432 packs went out to over 300 local families, including over 80 new babies. We also provided over 600 Christmas presents to service users, including something for every member of the family and offering food packs if needed.
Our counselling service also grew last year, in fact for the first time ever we were forced to close out waiting lists while we got caught up. We never want to be put in the position where we have to turn people away so we spent a lot of time examining the service and figuring out how we can become better. In response we have introduced initial assessments for all clients, a new review system and also changed our waiting list system. So far the switches have been a massive success with most clients now seen within 8 weeks, while still retaining our policy of providing open-ended counselling.
Staff & Volunteers
We’ve had a whole heap of new volunteers join our team this year, in a variety of roles, but we’ve also said goodbye to some amazing people.
Our Leith Shop Manager Tracey left us at the beginning of June after nearly a year with us. Tracey was instrumental in setting up our new charity shop and has a wonderful colleague and a pleasure to work with. She will be missed across the organisation.
Margaret Brack volunteered with PCCS for several years and has now moved on to new voluntary opportunities. Margaret was based in our office and was the driving force behind our practical help service and it is safe to say that she put together thousands of baby packs over her time here. We’re so grateful for her amazing service and wish her all the best for the future.
We’ve had a number of new volunteers join us at the office so far this year. Angie and Karolina have created a new database for our Baby Bank, which we hope will make the service more efficient. Bora and Helen have joined to help with our admin needs. Bernadette, Raushan and Caroline have joined Yolanda and Lyn, doing essential work as Baby Bank Gift Packers.
We also have 2 new board members since our last newsletter. Lynn has been absolutely invaluable since she joined us last year and has been a huge support to the office staff and volunteers. We also have Emma joining us soon, who will be bringing her fundraising and events management experience to our team.
Join Our Team
We are looking for volunteers to join us in a variety of roles, from counsellors to customer service advisors to receptionists.
Find out more information about how to directly help our work by visiting our website www.counsellingandcare.co.uk or through the Edinburgh Volunteer Centre.
We will be holding an online release of our new recipe book later this year. It will be available as an Ebook via Amazon or we will be offering pre-orders of physical copies in late August.
Our new Baby Boutique on Great Junction Street will open on August 28th. To keep up to date on the latest info about our Baby Boutique you can follow them on Facebook.
We plan to hold an AGM again in November. If you know of any free or low-cost space that we can use please contact the office.
We would like to say a big thank you to the following groups and individuals, who have supported our work over the last year.
The Busy Bee’s, for their dedication to providing each child referred to us with a handmade knitted item.
Woollies for the World for passing on new knitted and good quality second-hand baby items to us.
Lazy Lettuce for supporting several of our events over the last year
Shirley Pettigrew, tattoo artist at Love Hate Tattoo for holding a raffle benefitting us.
The Women’s Fund, The Robertson Trust, Scotmid and the Russell Trust, who have all provided us with much-needed grants over the last year.
Harrison Development, who continue to provide us with essential new baby items for our service.
And of course – every single one of you. Whether you donate time, your old baby clothing and equipment or if you just follow us on Facebook, our work could not happen without you.
Be The Difference – How You Can Help
Did you know that there are just under a quarter of a million children living in poverty in Scotland? And the vast majority of them have at least one parent working full time? Austerity is still hurting families across the country, making services like ours all the more important.
PCCS provides all the equipment that families need to bring their babies home from the hospital and can continue providing support up to when the child is 5 years old.
We can’t do this without your help though. There are lots of ways to support our work, from following us on Facebook, to setting up a monthly donation, to donating your second-hand items to our shop. Absolutely everything helps.