Bethany raises £40k for homelessness through Christmas tree social enterprise

Crowds gather for festive celebrations under a Caring Christmas Tree on Main Street in Balerno

Thousands of Christmas trees were purchased by festive shoppers in November and December for homeless people after an annual fundraiser encouraged Scots to purchase with purpose.

Scottish homelessness charity Bethany Christian Trust sold 3,177 Caring Christmas trees to both residents and businesses across Edinburgh, the Lothians, Glasgow and Fife. The incredible response means that people who are homeless will not have to go without a warm and safe place to sleep this winter.

Scottish politicians promoting Caring Christmas Trees at Scottish Parliament

The funds raised from Caring Christmas Trees, a unique social enterprise that has been running for 15 years, go directly towards the charity’s Care Shelter and other winter projects. Bethany’s Winter Care Shelter provides a hot meal and a safe place to sleep for those with nowhere to go during the coldest months of the year.

Iain Gordon, chief executive at Bethany Christian Trust, said: “Hundreds of people had somewhere warm and dry to spend Christmas. Thanks to the incredible generosity of people who bought a Caring Christmas tree, Bethany can support and care for people who would otherwise have been sleeping rough over the festive season. We are immensely grateful to everyone who bought a tree in 2017.”

Caring Christmas Trees decorated for the Balerno Christmas Tree Festival

Commenting on the success of this year’s programme, Susan Smith, project coordinator at Bethany Christian Trust, said: “I am delighted about the response from Christmas shoppers and their commitment to purchase with purpose last Christmas. Every Caring Christmas Tree purchased with help someone in need this winter so I am pleased that we were able to sell over 3,100 trees across Scotland.”