The Big Hoose Fife Project Expansion

  • 7 September 2022

Today, Wednesday 7th September, the Cottage Family Centre announces an expansion of its successful anti-poverty pilot programme -and its multi-bank - food bank, bedding bank, clothes bank, toiletries bank, home furnishings bank and heating bank; all rolled into one – set up to help Fife families in need. 

36,000 families across Fife have benefited from surplus goods generously donated by Amazon's Dunfermline depot and 12 other local companies, including the Coop, Scotmid the Paint shed and Craig and Rose and Fishers Laundry with 240,000 goods worth £5m delivered to families in need since the inception of the project in December 2021.

Now we plan to extend that support to a total of 50,000 families by Christmas.

Our expansions mean we expect that a total of 400,000 goods will be distributed in a 12 month period.

In the last few months, what is called the Big Hoose Project has grown to include more than 500 local organisations, charities, food banks, schools, health centres, and social work teams who have now been able to provide families with everything from duvets, beds, nappies, toilet rolls, clothing and footwear, kettles and microwaves.

We now expect that by Christmas, more than 600 organisations will be part of the Big Hoose project.

This has only been made possible with the support of local foundations, the Northwood Trust and the Robertson Trust, as well as Fife Council.

But our aim is to do more than just hand out goods from the central warehouse. Household items like paint, wallpaper and carpets are being delivered to families unable to afford basic home maintenance with the offer of help from a local team of volunteer painters, plumbers, and electricians to improve their homes.

As a result, a brilliant coalition of charities, local businesses as well as Fife Council are supporting people through the most difficult of times.

Pauline Buchan Cottage Manager said :

'We have been absolutely blown away by the support, care, encouragement and commitment shared by all the wonderful staff at Amazon who have worked with us to enable this project to succeed. The rate at which the project has grown to be able to meet the needs of so many children, young people and their families to date has been nothing short of astounding, and I am hugely proud of what we have all been able to achieve. As well as supporting families, it has also brought together and developed relationships with charities, organisations, practitioners, individuals and other sectors whose paths may never have had the opportunity to cross, allowing this project to become what is an outstanding example of what can be achieved for families and our communities if we all work together with purpose and shared values.'

Marilyn Livingstone Chair of Cottage said:

'I want to thank all of our funders, Amazon and all the companies involved, the level of communication and cooperation between us has been at the highest possible level which has been key to the effectiveness of this much needed project and the building of it over recent months ensuring that family’s needs are met in their time of need'.

Gordon Brown Cottage Patron said:

We know that families who are now facing the most difficult of times need the greatest possible support. In just 30 weeks, nearly one-quarter of a million goods have already been given to 35,000 families, thanks to Amazon's help, John Boumphrey's leadership and the support of the staff at Amazon in Fife who voted for this project last winter. Now working with Amazon, we are ready to widen the number of companies involved and extend support to 50,000 families.

We want to thank Amazon for their high level of engagement and all the amazing funders and companies who are involved ‘The project works because the companies have the goods that people need, and we know the people who need them with 60 charities, every food bank, 150 schools and health centres and social work teams all working with churches, Rotaries and Chambers of Commerce in a Fife wide effort that started with Amazon and the Cottage and is now ready to make its next move -into Edinburgh the Lothian’s and Central Scotland. What Fife is achieving today, the rest of the country can achieve tomorrow.'