First-ever charity partnership puts the focus on helping children.
The children’s charity has deep roots in Dumfries, where the nine-day festival takes place from 23-31 January, and provides services across the Dumfries and Galloway region of south-west Scotland.
Young people will join together to make a huge Barnardo’s lantern which will be carried on a float at the front of the Burns Night street carnival which is a Big Burns Supper highlight.
The procession will include hundreds of other lanterns, made by local people, as a contribution to the 2015 UNESCO Year of Light.
Maureen Farrell, Chair of BBS, said: “Even though we attract thousands of people from all over the UK and overseas, Big Burns Supper is a community festival at heart. One of our main roles is to give children and young people the chance to enjoy getting involved with arts and entertainment.
“It’s a perfect fit for us to be working with Barnardo’s Scotland which is such an important part of the community and does so much to improve young lives.”
Big Burns Supper 2015 is part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals (a programme of events managed by EventScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government).
The partnership between BBS and Barnardo’s Scotland will allow people to donate to the charity when they book tickets online and when they attend any of the 140 shows and events taking place during the nine days around the Bard’s birthday.
A donation of £3 can also be made right now just by texting the keyword BURNS to 70500.
Festival performers include big name acts like Hue and Cry, The Undertones, Nina Nesbitt, Skerryvore and the comedian Craig Hill as well as the hugely popular Hamish the Haggis children’s show.
Street collections will also take place during the carnival.
Staff at the Barnardo’s Scotland shop in Dumfries say they are especially delighted by the link-up.
Graham Gillies, shop Manager said: “Working in the shop, I’ve first-hand knowledge of the people in Dumfries, and they’re pretty generous. We wouldn’t be here without their donations and continue support. I’m sure they’ll be right behind the festival again this year especially when they know their contributions are going to support a local charity.”
In Dumfries and Galloway the charity’s Hear 4 U service provides advocacy for children and young people who are experiencing emotional issues; involved with social work; the Children's Hearing System or for children and young people looked after/accommodated by the local authority.
Children’s Service Manager, Selwyn McCausland, said: “We’re delighted to be chosen as the first charity partners of the Big Burns Supper, we're all looking forward to being involved in the festival. Money raised for the charity will be invested in our service which supports children and young people in Dumfries and Galloway.”
The carnival is supported by the Robertson Trust, Holywood Trust and Awards for All.
Year of Food and Drink Scotland will build on the momentum generated by Homecoming Scotland 2014 with a series of exciting events and activities celebrating Scotland's outstanding natural larder.
The festival is made possible by support from many organisations including Creative Scotland, 8020 and Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Beacon Event Programme.