Charities receive £2,500 donation each from Scotmid to tackle homelessness in Edinburgh and Lothians

Two charities have received donations of £2,500 from a convenience store retailer to help tackle homelessness across Edinburgh and the Lothians.
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Cyrenians and the Bethany Christian Trust have each received a £1,500 cash donation and £1,000 worth of Scotmid vouchers to help users of their accommodation services gain a sense of independence.

Ewan Aitken, CEO at Cyrenians, said: “Thank you very much indeed to Scotmid. It is such a delight to talk with an organisation that is so open to ideas and understands intuitively the importance of dignity in how we support people.

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“The vouchers will be a welcome addition to those who have been disproportionately affected by the impact of the pandemic. They will allow each person to hold on to dignity as they are able to choose food and toiletry items that meet their own preferences and needs.

“We are very grateful that Scotmid, like us, recognise the power of supporting individuals to make their own steps towards recovery and a positive life journey.”

Bethany Christian Trust will be using its vouchers to help men who are seeking to move on from a history of homelessness and addiction.

The Bethany Christian Centre provides a safe and supportive space for individuals to grow in their recovery, helping them reach a place where they feel ready to move into permanent accommodation and sustain independent living for the future.

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Alasdair Bennett, CEO at Bethany Christian Trust, said: “We are really grateful for the donation of £2,500 from Scotmid, which will go directly to supporting the men in the recovery project, contributing to the range of opportunities provided within this lifesaving service.”

Brian was a previous resident at Bethany Christian Centre and has now moved on to his own flat.Brian was a previous resident at Bethany Christian Centre and has now moved on to his own flat.
Brian was a previous resident at Bethany Christian Centre and has now moved on to his own flat.

Since April 2020, Bethany Christian Centre has accommodated and supported 26 different men who were seeking to improve their lives and opportunities.

Finding strength and confidence

Brian was a previous resident at Bethany Christian Centre and has now moved on to his own flat.

He previously suffered from depression and turned to alcohol and drugs and shut himself off from others instead of finding help to deal with his fears and insecurities.

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He said: “Although I’ve had periods of recovery from time to time, I never felt that I could see a way out and become totally free.

“I came to Bethany Christian Centre to get help for my addiction. I was lost and had no direction or hope. Coming to the centre has helped me see myself differently - that I am fully loved and accepted.

"It hasn’t been an easy programme for me but without the help of the staff, I don’t think I would have made it. With their love I have found strength and confidence within me that I never thought I could have. Now, I have more to look forward to, and I’m excited to have moved on to my own flat.

"I thank God for the people he has put in my life and for the newfound love and security that I have.”

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Harry Cairney, Scotmid chairman, said it was important for them to support the “incredible” charities that work with the local communities they serve.

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