Edinburgh 2050: We could ensure no-one is homeless in Capital of future

Charlotte Turner, 27,  is Head of Organisational Development at Social Bite Fund
Charlotte Turner, 27, is Head of Organisational Development at Social Bite Fund
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A city with housing available to all and support services for those who need them is Charlotte Turner’s dream for Edinburgh in 2050

The 2050 Edinburgh City Vision offers an important opportunity for the citizens of Edinburgh to have their voices heard and I’m excited to be able to offer my own vision for the future of the Capital as part of the campaign.

I’m Head of Organisational Development at the Social Bite Fund, a Scottish-based charity with a chain of cafes, central kitchen, restaurant, and head office which is in Edinburgh. Our mission is to end homelessness in Scotland and we are leading a collaborative movement to do exactly that.

Edinburgh is already doing several things well, taking strong steps towards becoming more inclusive and fair and I think the aim of the 2050 Edinburgh City Vision, to gather the views of everyone in the city, just emphasises this. The 2050 campaign ties with Social Bite’s main ethos – to work closely with people who have not previously felt valued, or included, and help them find a voice.

In the Edinburgh of 2050, I hope that we, as a society, will have made housing readily available to all and have continuing and effective support services for those who struggle. I want us to have realised Social Bite’s aim: to be talking about homelessness in the past tense.

I’d also like to see more accessible mental health support in all schools, as well as a focus on celebrating diversity and supporting individual strengths in education.

I hope that we continue to become more compassionate as a city, to ensure everyone feels included and valued. By 2050, I’d like us to fully recognise the difficult realities in many people’s lives, especially the loneliness and isolation that can face the young and the elderly.

It is particularly important we recognise and address these factors in a world where real, face-to-face interactions are often replaced by virtual ones. We need compassionate, vigilant communities in which no-one feels isolated.

My role with Social Bite involves working to set up the Social Bite Village in Granton. This project offers up to twenty people, who have been homeless or living in temporary accommodation, extensive support in a community environment. Over 12-18 months we help them into permanent accommodation and employment, before another 20 residents are welcomed into the village – and the cycle of support from Social Bite and Cyrenians continues.

The people of Edinburgh have been greatly supportive of our efforts so far, through donations and custom at our cafes and restaurant. I hope this support continues long into the future, and I’m excited to see how much more we can achieve.

We’re looking forward to hearing what the people of Edinburgh want for their city in 2050 and will work with the city to help realise the final aim.

The 2050 Edinburgh City Vision is an opportunity for everyone to have a say in shaping our future. This means we need the views of Edinburgh people from all walks of life and from all over the city. So please make sure you share your vision for the future of Edinburgh at www.edinburgh2050.com

Charlotte Turner, 27, is Head of Organisational Development at Social Bite Fund