Home / News & events / Hillcrest Foundation launches ‘Beds for Bairns’ initiative aiming to reduce child sleep poverty in Dundee

Hillcrest Foundation launches ‘Beds for Bairns’ initiative aiming to reduce child sleep poverty in Dundee

Posted: March 26, 2024

The Hillcrest Foundation has donated £20,000 of funding for a project providing new beds for Dundee children most in need of a good night’s sleep.

Working in collaboration with local charities Dundee Bairns and Help for Kids, the “Beds for Bairns” project aims to reduce sleep poverty by funding the provision of new beds for families living in challenging circumstances.

According to the most recent Fair Start Scotland evaluation report, 30% of Dundee children are now living in poverty, with many experiencing poor sleep conditions and sleep deprivation as a result, which can negatively impact on their daily lives and learning capabilities at school.  Catherine McBennett, a School Family Development Worker at Claypotts Castle Primary School advises that “lots of families in Dundee live in overcrowded houses.

When a toddler grows out of their cot, families who are struggling to make ends meet day in day out, need to find a significant amount of money to buy a bed and mattress.  This is out of the reach of many people and can often mean that parents give up their bedrooms for their kids, and they sleep on the sofa in the living room.  Other families sleep together with their children in the one bed they have in their home.  We know how much happier and healthier well-rested children are.  All children should have their own bed, giving them the best chance to wake up rested and ready for the day ahead.”

Representatives from Dundee Bairns and Help for Kids alongside Lesley Don and Clare McNally, at the project launch.

Lesley Don, Hillcrest Director of Corporate Services, and one of the co-founders of the initiative says: “This is a really worrying statistic, and we want to do what we can to help reduce sleep poverty in the Dundee area. We are pleased to be working in collaboration with our partners Dundee Bairns and Help for Kids on this campaign and the aim is to purchase and deliver bedding supplies for families that are referred for support. This is a pilot project that we’re raising awareness of, and we’re looking to secure future funding to support our long-term goal of implementing this in other areas of our operation in Scotland”.

Chris van der Kuyl, Hillcrest Foundation ambassador and technology entrepreneur, shares his thoughts: “The ‘Beds for Bairns’ project further demonstrates Hillcrest’s on-going commitment to help people live better lives. I would encourage organisations to support this important initiative with a view to its expansion into other Scottish cities experiencing high levels of poverty.”

Help for Kids Manager, Stacey Wallace says “We are delighted to be a part of this significant project. The Hillcrest Foundation funds will enable us to purchase new beds and supplies for the families in Dundee that really need practical support.”

Genna Miller of Dundee Bairns also comments “It is so important to us at Dundee Bairns that no child should go without the basics that they need to fulfil their potential.  Sleep has massive implications on a child’s growth, development, behaviour and mental health, all of which can impact their education and ability to thrive. This is a vital new project which will help us tackle the huge issue of bed poverty and hopefully help bridge the gap for families who face financial barriers in fulfilling what is a basic, but extremely vital need.”

 The Hillcrest Foundation’s goal is to improve people’s lives and create positive futures. Recognised as an anchor organisation in Scotland, the Foundation works in collaborative partnerships to ensure care and support is provided where it is most needed. Visit our webpage for more information: https://hillcrest.org.uk/hillcrest-foundation/

Help for Kids is a Dundee based charity. It aims to support, aid and fund, local children or causes concerning local children, who are vulnerable or disadvantaged through either social and economic circumstances or through health and disability in Dundee and the surrounding areas.

Dundee Bairns is a children’s charity, supporting community projects that are in areas of high multiple deprivation to target the most vulnerable children.