At the end of March this year I resigned as the co-ordinator for Craigmillar Park Church on behalf of the Blythswood Care Shoebox Appeal. To take this decision has been in my mind for quite some time and, more urgently, since the end of last year’s Appeal, and it had to be made in sufficient time for Blythswood to make new arrangements for 2018. I had already told our own session clerk of my intention to step down from the role as, strictly speaking, the relationship is not with me personally but between the organisations of Craigmillar Park Church and Blythswood Care.
I have been managing our church’s contribution to the Shoebox Appeal for 10 years. In that time the number of shoeboxes sorted has increased by around 50%; at the same time we have run fewer shifts with more helpers and trebled the throughput per hour. To achieve this has needed a substantial amount of organisation, starting in early September and finishing in January; sadly, the planning workload has become a burden and the effort during the sorting is a physical strain. Therefore I think that this is the right time to stop and I hope that someone will come forward to take over from me, either from one of the local congregations or from among our many volunteers.
I said after last year’s Appeal: “The problems of ageing congregations within the Church of Scotland and other churches are well known and they affect our handling of the Shoebox Appeal: many of our own CPC members are no longer fit and able to help; and there are too few younger members to replace them. I am in the middle, being both retired and active, but I am also 10 years older than when I started; and without the vital input from similar others I could not have managed the sorting centre. Even then, only the presence of the younger corporate crews has let us achieve the numbers processed in recent years.”
I have discussed our options with Blythswood and others in recent months because, for the same reasons already given, we need to find new volunteers to take over the organising throughout the year and especially during the two or three weeks when our Church and Hall are given over to the Appeal.
In signing off let me thank you all for the excellent work and support which you have given me over the years; it’s been fun, but I couldn’t have done it without you.