Fife Gingerbead Blog

Poverty in Fife

Posted on Categories Poverty

As I walked to work on this crisp morning in early autumn, summer already seems ages ago. The end of summer always makes me wistful, and as I got to the office and cranked the heating up, I couldn’t help reflect on the work Fife Gingerbread carried out over the last few months.

In my last blog I wrote about how we had 95 summer activities happening across Fife that were all free, provided food, and let families have fun together. This number far surpassed last year and any year before that, which for a charity is bitter sweet; it’s great we have the staff and infrastructure to alleviate stress and anxiety parent’s face over the summer, but it’s also tragic that there is a need and demand for us to do this. Continue reading “Poverty in Fife”


The Holiday…Hell?

Posted on Categories Poverty

School summer holidays; what emotions do those three words conjure up? Many people would probably say happiness, joy, possibly even blissful nostalgia, but there are a lot of parents out there who are more likely to say anxiety, dread, and worry.

At Fife Gingerbread we are all too aware that there’s another side to school holidays that is often never considered. During the holidays, parents with children who receive free school meals will need to provide up to 35 extra meals to each child over the seven weeks, which for those already living on low incomes or in poverty can be a massive struggle.

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Starting a BIG Conversation

A couple of years back I was involved in organising an event for Children’s Services in Fife. Tam Baillie spoke at the event in his role as Children’s Commissioner.  Much to my wry amusement one of our volunteers, who is not known for holding back, held up her hand to ask a question. She asked are we really serious about tackling children’s rights? Why is she and thousands of other lone parents feeling let down? Why were they struggling to feed children whilst absent parents walked away? Nobody cares; she said, and exclaimed that we really need to turn our attention on child maintenance.

Continue reading “Starting a BIG Conversation”


Total Can of Worms

I met with some of my colleagues the other day to talk through the rough draft of the Child Maintenance research so far.  “What are we learning?”

Well where do I start? It’s a ‘total can of worms’, and I can see why nobody wants to open it.  The topic is so complex and emotional that it is nearly impossible to fathom.  Normally when you do a piece of research and produce a report you feel as if you are halfway to coming up with a series of recommendation that will result in solutions – well not with this one. There are no easy answers – it is, indeed, a skanky can of worms.

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Bairns Come First? Aye Right.

I was in a mum’s house today, accompanying a support worker on a home visit. The mum moved in just before Christmas and borrowed a table top cooker from us to make her Christmas dinner. She has three bairns, and once they go to school in the morning, if she has nowhere to go, she goes to bed and stays there till they come home. She says it’s cosy, and it saves money on the heating. There’s no carpet in the living room, only a few pieces of well used furniture and a bucket on the floor to catch the metronomic drips from a leak in the roof.

Continue reading “Bairns Come First? Aye Right.”