Let’s start at the beginning. Growing up my mum was a lone parent and once a week we used to trot off on the bus to Glenrothes and attend the Gingerbread Club, as it was known.
Looking back now I realise this was lifeline for my Mum, and for me. This was a safe place where she did not feel judged and was able to create a network of friends who had shared experience. The group benefited me as I was an only child and it gave me the chance to mix with other children too. It was lovely to not feel like the odd one out due to not having my dad at home. I look back with fond memories of going on day trips to the beach and country parks.
Hanging streamers out of the bus windows signing the ‘back of the bus was in the huff’ – these were good times and unfortunately for me as a child, these few and far between. I know my Mum tried her best, and thanks to her involvement with Gingerbread Club I can look back on some very special and happy memories.
Fast forward a few years (well, quite a few!) and here I am leading the same charity that is still going strong and making happy memories for families around Fife. I have a mixture of feelings, as it really has come full circle. I recognise the difficulties these families face- financial and emotional, and the difference a friendly face and a safe place to play can make. I am bursting with excitement for the journey ahead. I am really privileged to be working alongside dedicated and selfless people who want the best for everyone.
As new leader most people I have met so far have asked me ‘so what’s your plans for Fife Gingerbread?’ My answer is – to make sure that Fife Gingerbread continue making happy memories for families.
Jacqui Hardie | Executive Strategic Manager at Fife Gingerbread