Let’s make Edinburgh and the Lothians the Capital of Kindness this Christmas

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This is the first year that the Evening News has teamed up with Hearts, Hibs and NHS Lothian - through their Big Hearts charity and Gamechanger social partnership - as well as a range of other supporters including Tesco, the Scottish Government, Network Rail, the Carillion Waverley Station Improvements team, the Cyrenians, Streetwork, the Bethany Christian Trust and Destiny Angels. Our hope is that together - and with your help - we can make Edinburgh and the Lothians a kinder place.

We are delighted with the response to the campaign so far and are very pleased to tell you that there has been huge interest already in one of our main initiatives, the opening of Tynecastle and Easter Road stadiums on Christmas Day to serve dinner to those who are facing a hard time. More about that later.

Edinburgh Cheer is supported by the Edinburgh Evening News, Heart of Midlothian FC, Hibernian FC, NHS Lothian and host of other supporters. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Edinburgh Cheer is supported by the Edinburgh Evening News, Heart of Midlothian FC, Hibernian FC, NHS Lothian and host of other supporters. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

You may have seen that we have also launched a sleeping bags appeal. Despite all the great work that is being done to tackle homelessness in the Capital, there are still many people who are facing the prospect of sleeping on the streets this winter. On the advice of our charity partners we are inviting donations of good quality new (rather than secondhand) ‘four seasons’ standard sleeping bags as well as Bivvy bags to keep them dry.

See here for details of where you can drop off sleeping bags or make a cash donation:

READ MORE: Hibs star kicks off our sleeping bag appeal

We are also looking for volunteers, some with specialist skills, others with simply a willingness to lend a hand.

Firstly, do you speak Arabic or know anyone who does and would be able to help welcome some of our guests at our Christmas Day dinners who are from Syria? We want to make everyone who attends feel as welcome as possible and need help to do that. If you can help please email us at edinburghcheer@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk

On Tuesday, 19 December, Gamechanger will be opening Easter Road at 7pm for a community movie night, with food, Christmas songs and a screening of the Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life. It promises to be a special night. Could you help us out on the evening? We need volunteers to help serve up popcorn and show people to their seats. If you would like to get involved as a movie night volunteer, then please email us at edinburghcheer@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk

Finally, for today, our charity partners The Cyrenians are working on a series of projects this Christmas which will make a huge difference to the lives of some of Edinburgh’s most vulnerable citizens.

If you are interested in any of the volunteering opportunities listed below then please contact Fiona Sloane, volunteering support officer, on 0131 475 2354 or at volunteer@cyrenians.scot or register at cyrenians.scot/volunteer

Monday 11 December 10am – 4pm, Cyrenians Farm, 12 Humbie Holdings, Nr Kirknewton, West Lothian EH27 8DS

30 volunteers to help with general manual work. Cyrenians social enterprises at the farm raise funds to support outreach services to vulnerable people.

Tuesday 12 December 10am – 4pm, Cyrenians Farm, 12 Humbie Holdings, Nr Kirknewton, West Lothian EH27 8DS

30 volunteers to help with general manual work. Cyrenians social enterprises at the farm raise funds to support outreach services to vulnerable people.

Tuesday 12 December 2pm - 6pm, Cyrenians Good Food Depot, 84/86 Jane Street, Edinburgh EH6 5HG

4 volunteers to help at the food redistribution depot where Cyrenians help to divert food from landfill to those who need it most.

Thursday 14 December 2pm - 6pm, Cyrenians Good Food Depot, 84/86 Jane Street, Edinburgh EH6 5HG

4 volunteers to help at the food redistribution depot where Cyrenians help to divert food from landfill to those who need it most.

Monday 18 December 10am – 4pm, Cyrenians Farm, 12 Humbie Holdings, Nr Kirknewton, West Lothian EH27 8DS

30 volunteers to help with general manual work. Cyrenians social enterprises at the farm raise funds to support outreach services to vulnerable people.

Tuesday 19 December 10am – 4pm, Cyrenians Farm, 12 Humbie Holdings, Nr Kirknewton, West Lothian EH27 8DS

30 volunteers to help with general manual work. Cyrenians social enterprises at the farm raise funds to support outreach services to vulnerable people.

Tuesday 19 December 2pm - 6pm, Cyrenians Good Food Depot, 84/86 Jane Street, Edinburgh EH6 5HG

4 volunteers to help at the food redistribution depot where Cyrenians help to divert food from landfill to those who need it most.

Friday 22 December 2pm - 6pm, Cyrenians Good Food Depot, 84/86 Jane Street, Edinburgh EH6 5HG

4 volunteers to help at the food redistribution depot where Cyrenians help to divert food from landfill to those who need it most.

Thank you once again for your support. Please help us spread the Edinburgh Cheer message by sharing this email with anyone you know who might be interested and encouraging them to sign up for our campaign news letter at www.edinburghnews.com/edinburghcheer

Support our Christmas campaign to make Edinburgh the Capital of Kindness - Sign up HERE