A bad start to life shouldn’t mean a bad Christmas for Scotland’s children

With only five weekends left until Christmas, one Scottish children’s charity is asking members of the public to remember those children where Christmas can be a difficult time of year.

Aberlour – Scotland’s Children’s Charity – has launched its Christmas Appeal which this year focuses on its work with vulnerable children and families across Scotland affected by parental mental ill-health.

Across the country, 11,000 mums each year will develop some form of mental health problem during pregnancy or in the first year after their baby is born – it is one of the leading causes of death of mothers during pregnancy and the year after birth. With support from Aberlour and their perinatal befriending support service, parents and their children can recover and thrive.

Caitlin is one of those mums whom Aberlour supported through one of the darkest times in her life said:

“This time two years ago I was at rock bottom. I was having suicidal thoughts. Harrison’s birth had been traumatic; we’d had trouble bonding and I had post-natal depression.”

Caitlin was supported by Aberlour Perinatal Befriending Support Service in Forth Valley. The service paired her with her befriender Claire, who had also suffered from parental mental ill health and had been helped by the service.

Caitlin said:

“I’m not exaggerating when I say that Claire and Aberlour saved my life. If she wasn’t there to help me progress and become the woman I am today, then those thoughts could have turned to actions. I can’t thank them enough because I’m here for my little boy and seeing him grow every day.”

Pippa Johnston, Director of Fundraising and Marketing at Aberlour, said:

“This Christmas, Aberlour needs the public’s help. Children like Harrison and parents like Caitlin were helped thanks to Aberlour but there are thousands more children and families across Scotland who need our help. Of all the gifts you give this Christmas, a gift to Aberlour could be the one that saves lives.”

Caitlin goes on to say:

“Please give what you can, pounds, pennies, anything because it’s a life-changing thing. Christmas just wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t have my little boy and it wouldn’t be the same for him if he didn’t have me either.”

To donate visit www.aberlour.org.uk/christmas, call 0800 085 6150 or text ‘Aberlour’ to 70085 to give £5.

Aberlour is Scotland’s largest children’s charity and supports over 7,500 vulnerable children and their families across the country. Aberlour provides a range of services, including residential and fostering, recovery, early years, disability and early intervention, to help the young people and families they support to thrive.