Foodbank appeal as choir kicks off Edinburgh Cheer campaign

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A CHOIR singing from a open top bus and a supermarket appeal for foodbank donations have got our Edinburgh Cheer campaign off to a flying start.

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Singers from the City of Edinburgh Music School will be spreading cheer with a bus performance

Singers from the City of Edinburgh Music School will be spreading cheer with a bus performance

Yesterday we asked for your help as the Evening News teamed up with Hearts, Hibs and NHS Lothian to launch our new appeal to help make Edinburgh the “Capital of Goodwill” this festive season.

Now it’s time to get down to business as we kick off our campaign in earnest and start a month-long effort to spread kindness all over the Capital.

This afternoon we will be taking to the road with a band of singers from the celebrated City of Edinburgh Music School as they sing Christmas carols from the top deck of an open top Lothian Bus.

On hand to entertain shoppers and passers by throughout the afternoon, keep your eyes peeled if out and about in the Princes Street, Lothian Road or Waverley Bridge areas.

And it’s very much a case of the more, the merrier - if you fancy joining in then do come along and meet us.

Backed by the Scottish Government, our campaign will be working hard throughout December to find ways to improve life in Edinburgh and the Lothians for those who are facing a tough time this Christmas.

And help is at hand if you want to get involved as shoppers in Edinburgh were called to put a little extra in their basket to help prevent people in need from going hungry.

The call, from supermarket giant Tesco, comes as more than 2600 of the chain’s stores take part in the annual Food Collection.

The initiative encourages shoppers to donate long-life foods to help charities FareShare and The Trussell Trust’s foodbank network give food and support to people who might otherwise go without.

It is the 10th collection to have taken place, with Tesco pledging to top up the value of the food donated by the public by 20 per cent.

Volunteers will be on hand in store to greet customers with a list of items most needed by the charities, with shoppers encouraged to pick up items to donate at the end of their shop.

Tony McElroy, Tesco’s head of communications in Scotland, said: “Tesco Food Collection scheme is the UK’s biggest Christmas food collection, with more than three million meals-worth of food collected last year.

“We know that the items that our customers donate can make a real difference to people who really need that little bit of extra help this year - whether it is a food parcel for someone at a time of crisis, or a hot meal which means that a vulnerable person does not feel lonely and isolated this Christmas.

“This year our in-store campaign features individuals and community groups who have received help from FareShare or The Trussell Trust when they needed it. I would encourage shoppers to make a small donation at the end of their shop to help up make a big difference this Christmas.”

Customers have donated more than 43 million meals to the food charities since the scheme began and it is hoped shoppers will be just as generous this year round.

FareShare chief executive Lindsay Boswell said: “For charities doing their best to feed some of the most vulnerable over the Christmas period, these donations make a huge difference.”

But the foodbank appeal is just one of many ways in which you could make a big difference to someone’s life this Christmas.

We will be keeping you updated on what is going on and the ways in which you can help. A number of local charities and organisations will also receive help to host their own Christmas events all over the city.

Furthermore, Hearts and Hibs will both be hosting and supporting a number of events throughout December in an effort to harness the power of football to create a kinder city.