Edinburgh homeless charity scoops £400k

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HUNDREDS of homeless people stand to benefit from a £400,000 windfall aimed at helping those down on their luck find jobs and get back on their feet.

The charity Crisis Skylight Edinburgh is celebrating today after being awarded the money from the Big Lottery Fund.

Around 300 of the project’s long-term unemployed will be targeted under the plans and provided with support to help turn their lives around.

The charity provides classes, workshops and job coaching sessions.

It was founded in 1967 in response to the Ken Loach film Cathy Come Home shown the previous year, about a young couple who lose their home and a publicity campaign led by reforming Conservatives William Shearman and Iain Macleod highlighting the plight of homeless people.

Ann Landels, director of Crisis Skylight Edinburgh, said the funding coup would help “hundreds more homeless people to take steps towards finding independence and moving away from homelessness”.

“The money will be used over a three-year period to increase the amount of support we provide on a one-to-one basis,” she said.

Ms Landels stressed that finding the right job encouraged “self-respect and financial stability”. “Our aim is to help the homeless, long-term unemployed, change their circumstances,” she said.

“The first stage in this 
process is to encourage them to volunteer as this helps build their confidence and self-esteem, it also enables people looking for work to learn new skills and organise their time.

The Big Lottery Fund is responsible for delivering 
40 per cent of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery with the Scotland Committee making decisions on all devolved projects.

Maureen McGinn, Scotland Chair of Big Lottery Fund, said the funding award to the Crisis Skylight Edinburgh was part of a £4.5 million war chest handed out to ten different UK projects.

She said: “All these groups reflect the main aim of our Investing in Communities programme which is to bring real and lasting improvements to communities and the lives of those most in need.”

“This includes today’s specific investment in Crisis UK, the national charity for single homeless people, which will support their initiative to help young homeless people in Edinburgh find employment and build positive futures.”

newsen@edinburghnews.com