Hero Edinburgh mum helps children with no idea where their next meal is coming from
Caroline Brown, also known as ‘Tiggy’, was nominated for the award due to her work supporting families in need during the pandemic and for her work tackling the climate crisis.
As a project manager and mother to two boys, she somehow finds time to volunteer her time on projects that are linked to local schools and the environment.
She was a significant contributor to the ‘Save our Schools’ campaign that ran in 2017, and is an integral part of a local environmental community group ‘The Village Green’ which champions green issues, supports local recycling and successfully fought to get the council to introduce a new bus service.
But during the pandemic many families in the Currie area of Edinburgh found themselves relying on foodbanks due to financial concerns.
This led to Caroline starting the ‘Community for Food’ project to help combat these issues.
The scheme initially supported three families in April 2020 but this number grew steadily to reach 49 families at the height of the pandemic.
All families were referred through five local schools in the area to ‘Community for Food’ which has supplied nearly 1400 deliveries in the past 11 months to families combating food poverty, holiday hunger, period poverty and hygiene poverty.
It is understood that the project is run by an army of volunteers of all ages that come from across the community.
And Caroline said that support from local businesses and community groups had been heart-warming and much needed throughout the pandemic.
Caroline Brown said: “No community project is successful due to one person alone. It is the hardworking, enthusiastic volunteers who drive projects forward and this is what makes a huge difference and motivates us all to strive and continue in our collective community goals.
“We have an amazing community of unrecognised heroes and I want to acknowledge all of them.
“I want to single out Moira Peterson, founder of ‘The Village Green’, who is making great strides to reduce plastic waste and putting the planet front of mind for many of us locally.
“As regards ‘Community for Food’ none of what we have achieved would have been possible without the hard-working volunteers who give their time week in week out. They all deserve an award. Special mention goes to Val Reid who herself is a community champion giving her time to many projects including ‘Community for Food’. Without Val, ‘Community for Food’ would not have gained the momentum we have achieved to date.
“‘You have no idea how much you have helped me’ is a quote from one of the mothers we support. We may have no idea, but we do know that we have removed the worry from children in our schools of where their next meal is coming from. This is what makes it all worthwhile.”
Community for Food is also an active project for young people who are taking part in their Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Commenting, Sue Webber MSP said: “Tiggy is a force to be reckoned with across Currie, Juniper Green and Balerno.
“I think if there was ever an example of someone who steps up to the plate when needed, no matter what, and someone who will come up with a creative innovative solution, it is Caroline Brown.
“She has an energy and enthusiasm that you cannot ignore, so you just have to get involved and get stuck in too!”