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NewsCommunityEdinburgh based homeless trust announces return of innovative campaign

Edinburgh based homeless trust announces return of innovative campaign

AN EDINBURGH based homeless trust has announced the return of an innovative campaign which was pioneered by the pandemic.

After creating The Welcome Centre in an emergency response to COVID-19, the Bethany Christian Trust provided the homeless with en-suite accommodation.

 In a deliberate step away from congregate shelter provision, the trust has announced that the Welcome Centre will again offer care to homeless people this winter

Bethany Christian Trust Welcome Centre - Scottish News
The Bethany Christian Trust’s Welcome Centre is providing en-suite accommodation for rough sleepers in Edinburgh.

The facility will continue to provide three meals a day and 24 hour support from its base in the Haymarket Hub Hotel until May 2 next year.

Hot evening meals are prepared by volunteers whilst professional services visit to provide assistance in finding long term accommodation.

There is onsite support for mental health, addiction, wellbeing, health needs and accessing benefits.

The Welcome Centre was established in partnership with the Council and with support from the Scottish Government, run by a large team of staff, plus over 1,000 volunteers and 20 visiting partner services.

Cameron Black, Director of Crisis Intervention at the Bethany Christian Trust said: “People need genuine support when they are having the worst day of their lives and that is what they find at the Welcome Centre.

“The staff are there for people 24 hours a day to offer professional and real care. We are so grateful to the Edinburgh Collection Hotel’s accommodation and our partner agencies who do the extra mile to bring their expertise to where people are.

“All of the support from volunteers from the local churches and all who help fund this innovative project saves lives. We just couldn’t do it without you!”

Bethany Christian Trust Welcome Centre - Scottish News
From left to right: Councillor Campbell, Bethany Christian Trust’s Chief Executive Alasdair Bennett, Councillor Watt and Welcome Centre Manager Ruth Longmuir

Visiting the Centre ahead of World Homeless Day, Councillor Kate Campbell described their work as “vital”, providing the “first step on resolving people’s homelessness long term” and the “warm welcome and support” which is needed for “building trust and relationship that enable that journey to begin”.

Councillor Mandy Watt echoed this, saying that it is “crucial that we prevent homelessness by supporting people early on when they’re at risk of losing their home”.

Between 2020-2021, the Welcome Centre housed and supported over 860 people and, of the known outcomes, 97% were positive.

Relying on funding from the public, churches, trusts, businesses, council and government, the Buy a Bed will help ensure the future of their work and is set to launch on October 18.


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