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Gift card will put presents under the tree and food in the cupboards this Christmas

Glasgow charity PEEK is using the Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Card to support families in need this Christmas

East End charity PEEK has switched to the city’s local gift card as an integral part of their support offering this Christmas. Families will receive a £50 Glasgow Gift Card per child to spend with over 1200 local businesses in Glasgow.

Emma Hill is Head of Operations at PEEK and said the gift card will ensure families in need don’t go without this Christmas:

“As a charity, we’ve been hugely impacted by the pandemic and the ongoing cost of living crisis because our families have been hugely impacted by these events, and they are still really struggling.

“We have four cost-free programmes which families can engage with. The Play programme encourages physical activity with free holiday opportunities across the city. The Create programme provides visual and performing arts opportunities. The Thrive programme focuses on personal and social development for young people aged 11-25 and the Wellbeing programme delivers 1 to 1 support for families experiencing crisis and early years session delivery. From food packages to buying school uniforms, wellbeing essentials to couches or fridges, we aim to be ‘all things to all people’ giving families the support they need.

“In the winter, we operate our Winter Warmer appeal, kitting out 1,000 children each year with a warm jacket and wellies to see them through the cold period. At this time of year, another key aim is making sure each child wakes up to something under the tree on Christmas morning, and food in the cupboards, and that’s where we’ll be using the Glasgow Gift Card.

“We’ve used supermarket gift vouchers in the past. The beauty of the Glasgow Gift Card is that we’re not limiting choice, and it’s a dignified way to offer support, aligning with our charity values. The families we support have choice taken away from them at so many stages in their lives. For us, support that empowers is vital, building trust and showing respect for families.

“Families can use their Glasgow Gift Card to go out shopping for Christmas presents for their children or anything else that they need, and it also encourages families to shop with local businesses as part of our 20 minute neighbourhood policy.

“As an East End charity, it’s vital that we support local businesses because it positively impacts our local economy. Being able to shop locally also reduces the need for families to rely on transport to spend their cards, and is better for those with disabilities who can’t easily travel.

“The card has been super easy for us to use, and will be super easy for our families too to get the things they need this Christmas. As stark as it is, without our support and the gift card, families would be going without this Christmas.”

The Glasgow Gift Card is led by Glasgow City Council as part of the Scotland Loves Local Gift Card initiative, introduced in 2021 as a means to direct spend to local communities, and power economic recovery, delivered by Scotland’s Town Partnership (STP) and Perth based fintech Miconex.

Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said:

“The Glasgow Gift Cards are a really effective way of giving Glaswegian families some much-needed additional spending power, especially at this time of year when there’s so many demands and pressures on household incomes.  So, this is a great initiative by PEEK which will put money in people’s pockets while also giving city businesses a Christmas lift.  Well over 1000 businesses across every neighbourhood in Glasgow – from greengrocers to supermarkets and restaurants – have signed up to the Gift Card scheme.  This is real support for households and local businesses, so a huge well done to PEEK on their efforts to ease the burden on so many this Christmas.”

Scotland’s Towns Partnership chief officer Kimberley Guthrie said:

“Christmas should be a magical time of year, but there’s no doubt that it’s a challenging time for many. It’s fantastic that PEEK are using the Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Card as a force for good to help families through the season while supporting local businesses at the same time. The whole community benefits.”

Colin Munro, managing director of Miconex said:

“The work that PEEK is doing to ensure families get the support they need at Christmas is admirable. No-one wants to imagine a child going without a Christmas gift or a family going without food or other essentials. In 2024, 67% of charities expect demand to rise and 73% say offering choice to service users is important to them. Scotland Loves Local Gift Cards enable charities like PEEK to offer choice, dignity and support for local within one gift card, empowering service users and aligning with the charity’s values.”