Angus mum is giving families in need a brighter beginning

Ashley McDonald

Ashley McDonald

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A kind-hearted Angus mum has set up an organisation to give families in need a helping hand.

Ashley McDonald (34), moved to Montrose three-and-a-half years ago, and has launched Bright Beginnings to help struggling families with children under five in the North Angus, Mearns and Aberdeenshire areas.

After giving birth to daughter Ava 18 months ago, says she wanted to get back into her charity work.

Ashley said: “I essentially just wanted a purpose again.

“I adore my daughter and I love my stepchildren but it just wasn’t quite enough, I needed something to make me ‘me’ and not just mum. The charity work let’s me meet people in the community because I’m not from Montrose.”

Ashley said Bright Beginnings started after she made one of Ava’s baby walkers available for free on a Facebook page.

She said: “I got it free from a friend and I thought I’m not going to try make money off of it, so I said ‘free to a good home, anyone that needs it I can deliver if need be’.

“A lady got in touch straight away and said, ‘my friend’s daughter has just had a baby, she’s only 16, she’s got an eight-week old child and they don’t have money, the family don’t have money and they have nothing’.”

After finding out the baby was a girl Ashley gathered everything she could spare and dropped it off for which the young mother was extremely grateful.

Ashley added: “It makes you feel good to be able to try and help someone, so I thought maybe I could do this on a slightly larger scale whereby I could start taking in donations and helping some local families.”

The families she helps are by referral only.

Ashley contacted the healthcare worker who helped her with Ava, who pointed out that Montrose and North Angus did not have access to the same kind of support charities as Arbroath and Dundee.

Items needed include baby and children’s clothes up to age five, blankets, prams, highchairs, toys (no soft toys), baby equipment, new underwear for toddlers and new bedding for children and babies.

There are drop-off points for Bright Beginnings in Montrose and Brechin and pickup may be available. For more details on the drop-off locations or to donate email brightbeginningsangus@hotmail.com or get in touch via Facebook on www.facebook.com/brightbeginningsangus.