Home-Start Aberdeen, a charity which provides support for vulnerable families with young children, has been chosen as the recipient of the Celebrate Aberdeen Parade Collection Fund.

The organisation will use the £1,500 donation to help them in continuing to support struggling families who have been impacted by the pandemic and lockdown.

The funds were generated from the collecting buckets carried by volunteers during the 2019 parade. Since the parade first started in 2011, thousands of pounds have been raised by the generosity of the spectators who line the parade route. One hundred per cent of the money raised each year goes to one of the participating organisations.

“It means a huge amount to us to be chosen to receive this year’s funding from Celebrate Aberdeen to help with our vital work supporting families all across Aberdeen,” said Eleanor McEwan, Home-Start Aberdeen general manager. “We’ve taken part in every parade since the first one in 2011 and it’s always a great experience for our families, volunteers and staff.  We’re already looking forward to the 2021 parade.”

Home-Start’s team of trained volunteers normally support families through weekly home visits. When lockdown began they had to suspend these and now provide support remotely, using email, phone, text and video calling.

“Parents have been sharing their experiences and telling us that they are worried about being able to give their children tasty, healthy meals, and provide them with good learning and play opportunities,” said Eleanor.

“In response to this we have been trialling additional online activities aimed at cooking, healthy eating, and crafting.

“This donation from Celebrate Aberdeen will enable us to continue this trial to provide 30 cook and create packs. Each pack will contain food ingredients, recipe books and crafting materials. Over the coming months we will provide weekly cook and create video sessions. Most of the produce used will be fresh, with ingredients being sent out in time for each cooking session.”

The packs will help families improve their confidence to cook, and will benefit the wellbeing of both children and parents.

Last year 150 organisations and 4,000 marchers took part in the parade. All participating organisations were invited to bid for the £1,500 donation.

Both the Celebrate Aberdeen Parade and the Celebrate Aberdeen Awards have been cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic but will return in 2021.

Katie Aldred-Dow, Celebrate Aberdeen parade manager, said: “Every year we receive exceptional applications for the parade fund and it’s always very difficult to choose just one.

“We are delighted that Home-Start has been chosen as this year’s recipient. The work they do goes a long way towards supporting young families through what have been extremely challenging and traumatic times, and the skills they are teaching will have a long-term benefit.”