I wear two hats when I write this blog of mine. First and foremost, I manage a small charity in a small Scottish town called Dumfries. Ours is a front door that opens onto the darker corners of the crumbling world that is Britain 2015. We hand out 5000 emergency food parcels a year in a town that is home to 50,000 souls. Then, as you can see from all of the book covers above, I am also a thriller writer. If you enjoy the blog, you might just enjoy the books. The link below takes you to the whole library in the Kindle store. They can be had for a couple of quid each.

Saturday, April 13, 2019


If you you live in Annandale and Eskdale, I hope this blog of mine might be of some interest. If you don't, well not so much.

So here's the thing. If you do indeed live in Annandale and Eskdale and you are over the age of twelve, you have the chance to cast a vote to decide which charities get a share of £64,275 worth of Anti Poverty funding.

If you want to stop reading right now, then you can follow the link below straight to the voting page.

There are thirteen of us in the frame. First Base are hoping to secure enough votes for an ward of £8500.

What will we use the cash for if we are successful? That is a simple enough question to ask. We don't plan do do anything particularly fancy.

Basically, we will provide emergency food to a whole bunch of people. Probably about 2500 of them over the next year.

Is this likely to happen?

You bet it is.

Here is what we did in the month of March. Our emergency food parcels are available from 12 collection points across the region.

Annan Library   -  60

Annan Citizens' Advice  -   6

Kates Kitchen, Annan   -  40

Shelter, Annan   -  8

DGHP, Annan   -  6

Eastriggs Library   -  6

Gretna Library   -  10

Langholm Library   -  10

Moffat Library   -  10

Proudfoot Centre, Moffat  -   16

Lockerbie Library   -  40

Lochmaban Library   -  4

TOTAL   -  214

It's a lot, right? Every month these figures tend to go up. It takes a while for communities to get their heads around the idea of emergency food parcels being available from the local library.

Will it go up a whole lot more over the next 12 months? Who knows? Sadly, there seems little evidence of the UK enetering any kind of golden era. My own hunch is things will stay more or the less the same. But I could easily be a country mile wrong!

If you feel inclined to help us out, then follow the link below and cast a vote for us. The process could be easier if I am honest. I guess it will take you 5 minutes or so.

It would be really great if you could encourage a few family members, friends and work mates to do the same.

We were successful in the Nithsdale voting, but only just. We came in sixth which was enough to get us over the line. Our online campaigning was obviously not as good we hoped it might be.

Basically we need a bunch of people to do a bit of nudging, sharing and cajoling. I hope you might be willing to be one of these.

£8500 means half a week's worth of food for 850 people who might otherwise go hungry. And yeah I know, it shouldn't be this way in 2019. But sadly it is, and it will be so for the next year.

£8500 goes a long way to making sure nobody needs to go without.

Hopefully this is worth 5 minutes or so of your time. Once again, here's the link.

Thanks for making it to the end of the page!