Openreach reaches out to Home-Start in Aberdeenshire this Christmas

A bumper delivery of children’s gifts has been received in time for Christmas by Home-Start North East Aberdeenshire.

Wednesday, 22nd December 2021, 6:00 am
Openreach volunteers Seb Petculescu and Justin Shand take stock of donations in Peterhead.

The workforce of digital network Openreach launched a Christmas campaign for Home-Start across Scotlland to support some of the nation’s most vulnerable families and children.

Across Aberdeenshire, local engineers delivered hundreds of gifts to the charity’s bases in the area, including Home-Start North East Aberdeenshire in Fraserburgh.

Gifts handed in at Openreach collection points, including one in Peterhead, included games, toys and books, arts and crafts, selection boxes, cosy blankets, hats and gloves along with wrapping paper and gift bags.

Chris Farmer (left) and Fraser Rowberry load up a van ready with gifts.

Openrach engineer Chris Farmer knows only to well about the vital support provided by Home-Start.

The charity’s support was invaluable when the mother of his children passed away, leaving him to bring up two small children on his own.

Chris said: “Home-Start is close to my heart as they helped us out as a family when my kids lost their mum. It wasn’t the easiest of times, with my son and daughter both being under six, but the help we got was amazing and we’re in a good place now.

“We’re still in close contact with the Home-Start co-ordinator who helps us to this day – even though she’s retired now, she has become a family friend.

“This has been a fantastic opportunity to give something back this Christmas and the support across the company has been overwhelming. It’s brilliant to see what can be done collectively as a team.

“It’s going to make a big difference on Christmas Day when kids wake up to a bagful of toys, games, chocolate and sweets – there’s a multitude of gifts been donated.”

Home-Start is a local community network of trained volunteers providing compassionate, confidential help to families with young children in challenging times.

Vivien Waterfield, Home-Start UK deputy chief executive, said: “Our goal is to make sure no parent feels alone, by standing alongside families with compassionate, non-judgemental community-based support.”

Richard Milne, Openreach patch manager for Grampian, added: “We want to help make sure there’s a smile on the face of every child supported by Home-Start this Christmas.”