Helping rough sleepers stay safe and warm

More people experiencing homelessness in Scotland’s capital will be kept warm and safe in winter thanks to funding from Allchurches Trust.

A grant of £1500 will help Bethany Christian Trust to fund bedding and equipment for its Edinburgh-based Winter Care Shelter.

Started in 1996 as a two-week pilot, the Care Shelter is run by a small team of staff and relies on around 1,000 volunteers from churches across the Lothians. Established in 1983, Bethany Christian Trust supports over 7,000 people across Scotland. The charity’s services focus on preventing homelessness as well as alleviating the suffering of people who are homeless.

Due to a rise in rough sleeping, the Care Shelter, which operates between September and May, has this month moved to a new permanent location at Diadem Church (formerly Stenhouse St Aidan’s Parish Church), allowing bed spaces and equipment to remain at the church until the end of the season.

Ruth Longmuir, Care Shelter Manager at Bethany Christian Trust, said: “We are incredibly grateful for the donation from Allchurches Trust. Their generosity will provide vital supplies, including bedding, to equip the Shelter to provide safety, warmth and care for those in need.

“We are seeing a rise in the need for our services. The Care Shelter offers a hot meal, safety from the elements, as well as access to care and support services every night throughout winter. As a result, our Care Shelter service has extended to operate for two additional months this year, making donations like that from Allchurches Trust very important.”

Paul Playford, Grants Officer at Allchurches Trust, said: “Bethany Christian Trust is fulfilling a very real need across Scotland, working in partnership with churches and other organisations to ensure people experiencing homelessness stay safe and warm and are helped to access the support they need to find a way to a better future.

“I’m delighted that our grant will enable the Trust to help even more people this winter and run its winter Care Shelter during the coldest months of the year.”