Deacon Blue’s Ricky and Lorraine urge people to back SCIAF’s WEE BOX appeal 

  SCIAF supporters Ricky Ross and Lorraine McIntosh are urging people in Largs and Millport to back the charity’s annual fundraiser for some of the world’s poorest communities, as they continue to be hammered by hunger and climate change. 

The Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF) launched its annual WEE BOX, BIG CHANGE appeal, which raises vital funds for its life-changing work in Africa, Asia and Latin America. 

Each year generous Scots up and down the country give up a favourite treat such as coffee, chocolate, wine or crisps, and put the money they save into a SCIAF WEE BOX. They then donate it at Easter to provide a hand-up to vulnerable communities worldwide, struggling to survive due to hunger, poverty and the climate emergency.

This year, SCIAF’s appeal focusses on the people of Zambia, in southern Africa, particularly around Kabwe, which is one of the most polluted towns in the world. To survive, most families in Kabwe grow their own food in small plots near their homes – it’s a perilous life, very much dictated by the weather. As their climate changes, life becomes more perilous still.  

Ricky said the difference the appeal can make to lives should not be underestimated. He said: “When we travelled with SCIAF, it was heart-breaking to see how many families really struggle to grow the food they need or get the necessities of life we take for granted such as water, a dry home or some money. 

“This year the campaign focusses on Zambia. For one woman that SCIAF worked with – Catherine - hunger meant poisoning her family by mistake as she had to search in the woods for mushrooms to feed her grandchildren. As a 65-year-old widow, she had to search to find food alone.  

“We also heard about Ruth and her family who face a life of extremes. Floods, droughts and storms are wreaking havoc with their lives. For so many of our poorest sisters and brothers, hunger is the beginning of a tragic downward spiral. But it doesn’t have to be.” 

Penelope Blackwell, SCIAF’ Public Engagement Director said: “Our Lenten appeal this year is so important. 

“There are so many terrible things happening around the world right now, that are in the newspaper every day. 

“But there are also ongoing emergencies in countries across the world, that we don’t hear much about; in countries like Zambia where people struggle every day to get food to eat. Places where hunger and poverty are devastating lives.

“We need your help. Please. So we can support people living in the world’s poorest places to lift themselves out of poverty. 

“Everything you can give - anything you can give - is just wonderful.” 

Lorraine, who together with Ricky travelled to the Democratic Republic of Congo with SCIAF just before lockdown, said: “I live a pretty lucky life and it’s just nice to do whatever we can, even though times are tough for lots of people in this country, to reach out a hand to help someone else. I certainly feel I have a duty to do what I can.

“Even giving a pound will make a big difference. When added together these tiny acts make a huge impact.”

For more details on how to donate, please visit To donate £5, please text SCIAF to 70490. Texts will cost £5 plus your standard network charge.