Bethany asks festive shoppers to purchase Care Shelter Christmas voucher

National homelessness charity Bethany Christian Trust is giving festive shoppers the opportunity to buy a bed for people who are homeless this winter by purchasing a Christmas Gift Voucher for its Edinburgh-based Winter Care Shelter.

The Care Shelter Christmas Gift Vouchers, which cost £21 each, are available to purchase online on Giving Tuesday (November 27) and will provide a person, who would otherwise be sleeping rough and homeless, overnight shelter, safety from the elements, professional support, access to a hot meal and professional services at the Edinburgh Care Shelter.

One of the volunteers helping out at the Care Shelter

Bethany’s Edinburgh Care Shelter provides a free night shelter and sleeping facilities to people who are homeless. Started in Edinburgh in 1996 with a 2-week pilot over Christmas, the Shelter has grown over the years to span six and a half months over the winter, providing overnight shelter every day of the week from September until May.

The service is run by a small team of staff and relies on around 1,000 volunteers from churches across the Lothians. They provide church venues for people on the streets to sleep in on a nightly rota basis as well as preparing and serving a hot meal. The Care Shelter is funded by the voluntary donations of trusts and foundations, individuals, local churches, companies and communities, as well as receiving support from the Caring Christmas Trees project.

Homeless people at the Care Shelter

Alasdair Bennett, chief executive of Bethany Christian Trust, said: “If there is one Christmas gift you buy this year, please consider making it this one: to relieve the suffering for men and woman who have nowhere to lay their heads this Christmas; and to ensure we provide people, in the most challenging of circumstances, access to safe overnight shelter with a hot nutritious meal in a loving and warm environment. Christmas is a time for giving.”

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