A £15 gift that brings summer joy to under-pressure Falkirk youngsters

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Social care charity Quarriers has launched its annual Summer Days Appeal to ensure Falkirk kids enjoy a fun-filled day out.

Now in its sixth year the Appeal enables Quarriers to organise memorable excursions for the children and young people it supports across Scotland.

Thanks to donations starting at £15, children are given the chance to escape the pressures they are facing, and for many the activities on offer are a first.

Children and families supported by Quarriers’ Children’s Rights Service and the intandem Volunteer Mentoring Service in Falkirk will have the chance to enjoy a day out thanks to funds raised by the Appeal.

Catherine Harrison, who works at Quarriers’ Falkirk Children’s Rights Service, said the summer treat was an important boost for one local lad aged 13.

She said: “He was abandoned by his mum aged two and has been cared for by his gran since then.

“He’s 13 but looks and seems much younger.

“He’s gone through so many traumatic experiences that everyday it’s a heart breaking struggle for him to trust people.

“Someone has to be his voice with official agencies, and at meetings about his care.

“It’s my job to advocate for him and make sure his views are considered.

“It’s all about building relationships because if he doesn’t trust me, he won’t tell me how he feels”.

She added: “Last summer, he asked if we could go to the Wallace Monument, something his gran could not have managed.

“You should have seen him racing up ahead. He was very excited to get to the top before me!

“It was a brilliant day and he never stopped asking questions.

“By the end we knew each other much better and he’d really let his guard down.

“Without special times like this, I’d just be another official adult in his life.”

Quarriers’ Summer Days Appeal ensured almost 1,000 children across Scotland experienced a day away in 2018 and the charity hopes to surpass this number this time around.

The children and youngsters helped by the Appeal include young carers, children with additional needs, children living in poverty, young people who require residential support, individuals struggling with mental health and children living with disabilities.

Alice Harper, the charity’s chief executive, said: “Our Summer Appeal is a vital date in our calendar and for as little as £15, you can ensure at least one child is given a memorable day out to enjoy new experiences, make connections and forget their troubles.

“We work hard to ensure the people we support reach their full potential and days out provide the opportunity to build on vital skills such as communication and team-work as well as playing, exploring and having fun.

“The lasting effect these outings have on youngsters should not be underestimated”.

For more information visit www.quarriers.org.uk/summer-appeal