Fire-ravaged family get a Fresh Start thanks to charity donation

Cala donates furniture to the Fresh Start team. Picture: contributed
Cala donates furniture to the Fresh Start team. Picture: contributed
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A FAMILY whose home was gutted in a devastating house fire have had their new place kitted out by a charity and building firm.

Nikki Davidson-Lloyd and her two young children fled their blazing flat unharmed but lost all of their clothes, furniture and even family pets.

After spending six months in temporary accommodation, the family have been given furniture for their new flat in Newcraighall by CALA Homes and Fresh Start.

“This is the first time in months we’ve felt good, proud and happy walking into our own home,” said Nikki, 28.

“It feels like walking into a showhome and wishing this was the stuff you had – then realising that it is actually yours. We honestly can’t thank everyone enough for all their help.”

The donation included a double bed, sofa, dining table and chairs as well as a chest of drawers and bedside tables from developer CALA.

Housing charity Fresh Start provided a cooker and Starter Packs including crockery and bedding.

The furniture and accessories were previously on display in the housebuilder’s showhomes across Edinburgh and the Lothians.

Enough items were donated by the firm to furnish 21 homes for tenants in need such as Nikki and her family.

West Pilton-based Fresh Start works with volunteers and organisations to help the homeless find new homes.

The charity, which provides support with decorating, cookers, job support and cooking classes, will hold an eight-mile sponsored walk on Friday, May 26.

It accepts donations to help stock its starter packs for people in new homes including pots and pans, crockery, plates, bowls and light bulbs.

“Moving into a new home can be a stressful time for anyone but for those who have experienced homelessness it can be even harder,” said Jen McQuistan, Fresh Start’s corporate partnership coordinator.

“Many of the people we work with have nothing when they first receive their keys and often don’t have the social or financial support to buy anything.”

Ms McQuistan welcomed the much-needed goods from CALA – the first donation of their kind the charity has ever received.

“It was fantastic to be able to provide Nikki and her family with such high-quality furniture for their new home,” she added.

“Having spent time in temporary accommodation, they are completely over the moon to now be settled into their beautifully-furnished new flat.”

Sales and marketing director at CALA Homes, Philip Hogg, said the Sighthill-based firm was happy to help.

“We are proud to support the local communities in the areas where we build our developments,” added Mr Hogg.

“Fresh Start is at the very heart of the Edinburgh community and the vital work they do to support vulnerable people in the Capital is incredible.”

“We wanted to give something back so are very pleased to have been able to contribute in this way and help out Nikki and other people who have been through such a trying and difficult time.”