'Truckload' of kindness to reach most vulnerable children

The donation of a truckload (literally) of learning materials from the Scottish Book Trust has made its way to learning and childcare hubs across Aberdeenshire.

Some 57 boxes of materials – including everything from story books to colouring in books – were loaded into a van at the local authority’s Woodhill House HQ and have begun a journey to our most vulnerable children and young people as well as those enjoying their time at all 17 hubs.

Vincent Docherty, Head of Education explained: “We’re incredibly grateful to the Scottish Book Trust for the provision of these materials which have been a welcome boost for many happy wee faces. I also enjoyed offering a nod of encouragement to staff in our hubs who I feel deserve a great deal of praise for their dedication and enthusiasm.”

As well as delivering learning and childcare for the children of key workers, Aberdeenshire’s learning and childcare hubs support the tailored care plans in place to support the area’s most vulnerable children and families. Now the donated learning materials are in place there, they’ll be shared among those who need them most.

Marc Lambert, CEO Scottish Book Trust, said: “We launched our urgent Children’s Book Appeal to help get books to vulnerable children and families who are most in need.  At least 13,000 vulnerable children and families across Scotland have no books at home, or access to books.  With schools, nurseries and libraries closed, this situation is bleak for many and unlikely to change soon.
“We are extremely grateful to Aberdeenshire Council for helping us reach these families through their learning and childcare hubs. Thanks to the commitment and quick work of our partners, books and learning materials are already being delivered."

Cllr Gillian Owen, Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee commented: “The staff in our hubs have been there day-in-day-out, during weekends and school holidays too, supporting fellow key workers and providing an absolutely essential service. They have done this with pride, enthusiasm and kindness, offering a range of fantastic activities to the absolute best of their abilities, and they certainly deserve our gratitude. Well done everyone, and I hope this helps you support those who need it most.”

Vice Chair Cllr Rosemary Bruce added: “Inspiring a lifelong interest in reading and literature is a key part in supporting all of our children and young people to thrive. This just goes to show in these challenging times there are many organisations, individuals and volunteers willing to go the extra mile to continue to support that aim and we are really, really thankful to the Scottish Book Trust for their support.”

For more information on this year’s Scottish Book Trust Scots Language Creative Writing Competition for 11-18 year olds, visit: https://www.scottishbooktrust.com/writing-and-authors/scots-story-competition-2020

We are also keen to continue to encourage everyone to keep their eyes and ears open to support the most vulnerable at this time. Details of contacts for child or adult protection concerns are available via the online Grampian Assistance Hub: https://www.gcah.org.uk/health-prevention/