Two charities will be able to spread some extra Christmas cheer this year thanks to generous donations to the Clydebank Post’s toy and food appeal.

West Dunbartonshire Community Foodshare (WDCF) and Old Kilpatrick Food Parcels (OKFP) are set to benefit from the appeal, having received a major boost from kind-hearted local people last year.

“It was phenomenal and we were able to really treat the people that use our foodbank and community café,” said Maureen Cummings of OKFP.

“It’s all very well giving people food parcels with essential items but there is nothing lovelier than being able to treat them and make sure they have nice food for Christmas and warm clothes and toys for the kids.

"There is a lot of thought that goes into our parcels and they are not just for families as we take nominations for people ­living on their own who also ­receive a lovely wee bag.”

The charity runs a community café and community pantry which provides food parcels to 500 households every month and daily hot meals to 1000 people a month. Since starting in May 2020, it has fed 27,500 people.

The appeal gave a huge boost to West Dunbartonshire Community Foodshare last year too.

“The donations, toys and gifts from the appeal ensured we were able to provide all the support that was needed,” said manager Clair Coyle.

“We were able to provide people with a Christmas Day parcel with everything necessary for a Christmas dinner.”

The charity’s toy bank has been running since 2015 with ­local businesses and groups ­giving donations.

Even though there are always lots of generous gifts, there is always a worry there won’t be enough donations to meet the needs of all the children referred to the toy bank.

“Each year we worry ourselves sick about whether we are going to have enough but we have managed each year, so this year we are trying to keep a cool head and believe it will all work in the end,” said Clair.

Referrals from social workers, schools, nurseries and other groups for the toy bank are now coming in “thick and fast” even though the criteria is quite tight and families are supported only if they have no other means of providing gifts on Christmas morning.

At the moment referrals are approaching 1000 and could reach as many as 1500. There is also a great need for the food parcels, according to Clair.

Over the last year there has been a “significant” rise in the number of elderly people and working households needing support, while people who donated in the past are now needing to use the service. There is a free phone number for anyone needing help on 0800 345 7050.

The Clydebank Cares campaign, sponsored by Smyths Toys Clydebank Kilbowie, with support from Clyde Shopping Centre, is calling on kind locals to donate non-perishable food items and toys for children in need. 

All the items collected will be given to local charities that support the most vulnerable people in our communities. The appeal will run until Wednesday, December 13, providing essential items to local charities that assist the most vulnerable members of our community.

Other charities or organisations interested in benefiting from the campaign are encouraged to contact the Clydebank Post directly via email (