A date for Aimee

Ad­vent gifts dis­trib­uted to food­banks to cheer kids

West Lothian Courier - - Front Page - Sean O’Neil

An am­bu­lance worker from Whit­burn has been hailed by her col­leagues af­ter she col­lected and de­liv­ered over a thou­sand Ad­vent cal­en­dars for food­banks around Scot­land.

Aimee Hogg (24) who works for the Scot­tish Am­bu­lance Ser­vice from their con­trol room in South Queens­ferry, started the col­lec­tion for West Loth­ian Food­bank four years ago among her con­trol room bud­dies.

How­ever, since then her Ad­vent cal­en­dar col­lect­ing has spread to con­trol rooms across Scot­land.

Hav­ing col­lected 71 cal­en­dars in her first year for West Loth­ian Food­bank, Aimee’s cause has seen her and a few col­leagues travel nearly 500 miles de­liv­er­ing 1200 cal­en­dars to food­banks across the coun­try this year.

Aimee said: “It was four years ago and Whit­burn Food­bank had put a Face­book mes­sage out that they were look­ing for Ad­vent cal­en­dars so we just did it in the con­trol room for the first year. But now it’s grown and 20-odd sta­tions got in­volved.

“It just seemed like a nice idea to do some­thing for Christ­mas and it’s easy for peo­ple to do be­cause the cal­en­dars aren’t that ex­pen­sive.

“It was just sup­posed to be that first year, but then crews from all around got in­volved and it just grew.”

Aimee con­tin­ued: “The first year it was only the am­bu­lance con­trol room that do­nated, but it has grown and grown to across the east of Scot­land since then. We cover ev­ery sta­tion from Mon­trose down to Kelso in the Bor­ders, and as far across as Cri­eff and Bal­fron ar­eas.

“This was the first year we broke the 1000 mark.

“We go in our own car, travel around 500 miles across two days to col­lect and drop off all the do­na­tions, and fund ev­ery­thing our­selves, in­clud­ing the com­pe­ti­tion prize.”

This year, Mon­trose do­nated the most cal­en­dars – 119 – and Aimee bought them a prize for their ef­forts.

She said: “Thanks to all par­tic­i­pat­ing staff across the Scot­tish Am­bu­lance Ser­vice, and a spe­cial thanks to my ACC col­leagues who helped me in the or­gan­i­sa­tion of all of this: Rebecca McMil­lan, Tab­bitha Has­ton and Char­lene Dowl­ing.”

Aimee’s col­leagues also thought her wor­thy of spe­cial thanks for start­ing the cal­en­dar cam­paign.

Char­lene Dowl­ing said she wanted to share Aimee’s story to show “how spe­cial she is”.

Char­lene said: “Aimee is only 24, and is a credit to both her com­mu­nity and the Scot­tish Am­bu­lance Ser­vice. She goes above and be­yond to help out oth­ers and she was vis­i­bly emo­tional this year at the re­sponse we had.”

A time for giv­ing Aimee Hogg (left) launched the Ad­vent cal­en­dar col­lec­tion

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