Cyrenians launches five year partnership with Essential Edinburgh

Ewan Aitken

Edinburgh homelessness prevention charity Cyrenians has announced a five-year partnership with the city’s central business improvement district Essential Edinburgh.

The move will allow Cyrenians to expand its resources to directly help those currently experiencing a street based lifestyle in central Edinburgh. The additional support means the charity will be able to continue growing its holistic approach to tackling homelessness and its root causes.

The partnership was launched with a unique exhibition in St Andrew Square throughout August highlighting the reality of rough sleeping in the city centre.

Cyrenians chief executive, Ewan Aitken, said: “The partnership between Cyrenians and Essential Edinburgh is a huge step forward, and will prove to be invaluable to our organisation.

“Essential Edinburgh have already made it possible for us to expand our Navigator street outreach service in the city centre providing vital support for people rough sleeping and helping move people away from a street based lifestyle into something safer, healthier and more sustainable.”

Mr Aitken added: “Our exhibition features photography by Patrick Keast, a freelance photographer working in South-East Scotland who was referred to our Recovery service in West Lothian following an alcohol addiction relapse in 2014.

“His photos show the devastating reality of rough sleeping, and in our 50th year highlight the vital nature of the services we provide. Our partnership with Essential Edinburgh is crucial in helping us to continue supporting those living a street based lifestyle.”

Roddy Smith, chief executive of Essential Edinburgh, said: “Our businesses have left us in no doubt that tackling rough sleeping and begging in the city centre is a key priority, and we can best do this by supporting the fantastic third sector organisations in the city who are doing an excellent job in supporting the homeless community. We are delighted to be in partnership with Cyrenians’ Homeless Navigator Project which was established to address the visible problem of rough sleeping in Edinburgh.

“It is hugely important to support this vital work and I would encourage other businesses to get actively involved in this campaign and join us in helping Cyrenians raise half a million pounds as they mark their half century.”

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