Mark Frankland

I'm raising cash to make sure the First Base food bank survives the winter

Fundraising for First Base Agency
raised of £15,000 target
by 128 supporters
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First Base Agency

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RCN SC033690


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OK, fair enough. This is a bit nuts. A lot nuts actually. See the picture of the blue football shirt? Well, it ain't just any football shirt. It is a Scotland shirt for the discerning, patriotic smaller Scottish dog. Believe it or not we have had forty of these donated and they are all in serious need of a good home.

Well in a few days time Scotland will be taking on the Auld Enemy at Wembley and your wee pooch must be desperate to wear the colours. So here's the good news. If you were to give any kind of donation to this page one of these canine shirts might just find its way to you in the post so long as you give me a bell on 077770 443483 to sort it out.

Yeah, I know. But these are times when frontline charities like First Base need to clutch at every straw we can find!


I really don't want to make any kind of big deal out of what I'm doing here! I guess in a way I am about to put my money where my mouth is. In September I will live off one of the First Base Agency's emergency food parcels for half a week. 

Check out the picture above. I know. It isn't going to be so very hard, right?. And it shouldn't be so very hard. All of us at First Base are pretty proud of the emergency food parcels we have been handing out for the last 13 years. We are very much aware that the REALLY hard part of living off emergency food is being in a position where you NEED to live off emergency food. It is a very bleak place indeed to find yourself in. We see this every single day in the eyes of those who come into First Base.

I am lucky. I don't need emergency food. Not right now at least. So I am not asking for your support for any kind of recognition of me doing something remotely difficult. Instead I am asking for support for something much more profound. Over the coming eight months of winter over 3000 people will come through the doors of First Base. Each and every one of them will be in the miserable position of finding themselves unable to buy food to eat. And we will all do our very best to make sure each and every person who comes to us will leave the building with a bag full of the kind of food I am about to live off for a few days.

But there is a problem. A pretty big problem. As I write these words we have enough funding in place to just about keep the doors open until the end of December. Then nothing. January nothing. February nothing. March nothing. Three long, cold winter months when hundreds and hundreds of people will need us to be there to provide emergency food.

Sadly this is a problem we are only too familiar with. Every frontline charity in Britain knows how it is to live on the edge of a funding cliff. It is hard and it is stressful. Our local community is utterly amazing when it comes to donating food. Last year we received over £40,000's worth. When I spend my three days eating emergency food I will be lucky enough to have a fresh loaf of bread donated by Greggs and a pack of ham donated by Brown Brothers. The list of our food donors is a long one and we feel honoured to be supported by so many.

However the bags of food that arrive every day will never pay our electric bill. Or the phone bill. Or the rent. Or wages. Or the detailed accounts we are legally and rightly obliged to produce for the charity regulator. Or fuel in the tank to deliver made up food parcels to the 20 collection points we bow have across the region.

These are the boring bills which cover the nuts and bolts of keeping the doors of any front line charity open. They are boring but unavoidable. And the money to cover these boring bills is our life blood. By hook or by crook we need to find £20,000 before the end of March to ensure our doors stay open. It won't be easy. Anything but. However it is a situation we are only too familiar with. We have faced down this kind of funding crisis many times over the last 13 years and we are confident of doing so again. Never once have we turned away a single person who has come to us for emergency food. Not once. We're all pretty proud of that record and we have no intention of allowing such a thing to happen in the coming winter.

So. How can you help? Well there are two options. Of course you can donate a few quid on this page and if you do so we will be hugely appreciative. Or maybe you might want to go a stage further and do exactly what I am doing - live off a First Base emergency food parcel for half a week and raise so cash either with a page like this one or by using more traditional sponsorship forms. So how would that work? Easy. You can call me on either 07770 443483 or 01387 279680 or you can e mail me at I will then deliver you a three day food parcel and sponsorship forms should you need any. Tell you what. I'll throw in a full signed set of my back list of books as a thank you. Then it is a case of eating emergency food for three days and chasing in a few donations. 

So that's that I guess. Please support us either by donating to this page or by starting up a page of your own. Maybe I will see you soon with a box of food and a bag of books!

All the best


About the charity

First Base Agency

Verified by JustGiving

RCN SC033690
First Base is a drug, alcohol and gambling information centre. Our services include support projects for Veterans, families and women at risk of violence as a result of addiction problems. We deliver presentations, training, issue food parcels and give ‘signposting’ advice to visitors to the Agency.

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