Volunteers needed to give lifeline to homeless people in Edinburgh this Christmas



Tony warming up with a free cup of tea during the Rough Sleeper Centre Crisis at Christmas
Tony warming up with a free cup of tea during the Rough Sleeper Centre Crisis at Christmas

From hairdressers to caterers, performers to podiatrists, dedicated volunteers are needed to help bring Crisis’ temporary centre in Edinburgh for homeless people to life this Christmas.

A temporary Crisis at Christmas centre will be open in Edinburgh on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day with centres also set to open across London, Coventry, Birmingham and Newcastle. As well as warmth, companionship and hot meals, guests can access much needed wellbeing services and specialist advice on housing, work and benefits.

Carlos Blanco fills out Thank-You stars with Crisis Volunteers at Crisis at Christmas Link Rough Sleepers
Carlos Blanco fills out Thank-You stars with Crisis Volunteers at Crisis at Christmas Link Rough Sleepers

Crisis Skylight centre Edinburgh is run by hundreds of volunteers from all walks of life. Registration is now open at crisis.org.uk/volunteer, with a huge variety of roles on offer, including:

  • General volunteers who chat to guests, serve food and make sure the centres are happy, welcoming places to be.
  • Service volunteers, including hairdressers and caterers, who give guests access to services they usually miss out on.
  • Logistics volunteers, who drive vehicles and co-ordinate deliveries - all essential to making Crisis at Christmas happen.
  • Entertainment volunteers, such as musicians and artists, who use their talent to bring some Christmas cheer to guests’ lives.

With over 35,000 people making homelessness applications to Scottish local authorities in 2014-15 and thousands waiting in excess of ten months for permanent housing, more and more people are turning to Crisis at Christmas to use the basic amenities their temporary accommodation simply can’t provide.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: “Christmas can be a lonely, isolating time for those without a home to call their own. Everyone deserves the shelter, companionship and support many of us take for granted at Christmas.

“That’s why the compassion and dedication of Crisis at Christmas volunteers is needed more than ever. By helping to make Christmas happen for homeless people, volunteers can not only bring some much-needed cheer to our guests but also set them up with the chance to have a more positive year ahead through the life-changing services offered at our Crisis Skylight centres.”

Regular Edinburgh volunteer, Evelyn Weir, said: “Crisis at Christmas is a fantastic event - this will be my third year and I am delighted to be coordinating the podiatry service again. My podiatry colleagues and I look after lots of pairs of feet as well as supplying some great new warm socks for winter. We’re really busy providing foot treatments over all the days and thoroughly enjoy the experience.”

@CrisisScotland



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