North Edinburgh organisations join forces to help vulnerable over winter in Leith Gives project

More than 15 north Edinburgh charities, community organisations, local schools and rugby clubs have been brought together by the Leith Trust to support people most likely to be hit hardest by coronavirus and associated restrictions this winter as a new collaboration, Leith Gives.

By Caitlyn Dewar
Saturday, 21st November 2020, 7:00 am
17 north Edinburgh organisations have banded together to help the vulnerable
17 north Edinburgh organisations have banded together to help the vulnerable

The new collective is asking for generous donations to help the organisations involved to meet their collective aims over winter which include providing food for vulnerable families and older people in Leith, ensuring access to nutritious meals over the critical periods at the end of December and end of January, preventing people from ‘falling through the cracks’ into deeper hardship, to reduce foodbank pressure and provide, where possible, additional items to allow families to celebrate festivals and holidays including Christmas, Diwali and Hanukah.

With food banks at risk of being overwhelmed and people likely to feel more isolated during winter months, Leith Gives is hopeful that, with successful fundraising, they will be able to do everything possible to support vulnerable people over the winter months.

John Evans, of Leith Gives, said: “Leith Gives is seeking support to raise funds for vulnerable households facing a challenging lockdown amid the second wave of the COVID pandemic. This will allow us to provide tailored food hampers and other household essentials to vulnerable individuals and families in the run up to Christmas and again in late January.

John Evans is helping facilitate the combined efforts

“We also plan to provide gifts and other items people may need to celebrate Christmas, Diwali, Hanukah and other festivals, and to offer practical help to get people online and connect with loved ones or support groups.

“People in Leith and north Edinburgh are well known for looking out for the most vulnerable members of our communities and I’m confident that with their support and the collective knowledge and expertise of all the members of Leith Gives, we can spread some hope during what is likely to be a testing winter.”

The collaborating partners involved are: All Together Edinburgh, Citadel Youth Centre, Cyrenians, Dangerous Studio, Doctor Bell’s Family Centre, Edinburgh Academy, Edinburgh Community Food, Edinburgh Remakery, Fettes College, Forth Ports (Port of Leith), Hibs Community Foundation, Home Start Leith and north Edinburgh, Milan (Senior Welfare Organisation), Multi Cultural Family Base, Leith Academy, Leith Rotary, Leith Trust, Out of the Blue Print, People Know How, Pilmeny Development Project, Port of Leith Housing Association, South Leith Parish Church, The Leith Agency, The Ripple, Trinity Academy, Trinity Primary School and YMCA.

Other volunteers are BATs Community Rugby Club, Clockwork Removals, Leith Rugby Club and Trinity Rugby Club.

A spokeswoman for Milan Senior Welfare Organisation said: “We are delighted to be part of this wonderful collaboration, Leith Gives, to further support our service users during the festive season to promote harmony and togetherness. Small gestures often make the biggest differences in people's lives, especially in these difficult times where older people feel isolated and cut off from their friends and family.”

An Edinburgh Remakery spokeswoman added: “Since March 2020 the Edinburgh Remakery has focused on creating and growing services to tackle digital poverty and social isolation, by refurbishing and gifting laptops and computers to families and individuals who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford them, giving them access to vital online services, such as healthcare, education, employment opportunities, and allowing them to maintain contact with loved ones.

"We're delighted to be a part of the Leith Gives project which will ensure that we can help even more people with an even wider array of support, ensuring that we make a real, positive difference to the lives of those who need it the most this Christmas.”

To donate to the Leith Gives fundraiser, those interested can visit the Just Giving website.

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