Homelessness charity seeks to raise £50,000 in one week

Homelessness charity seeks to raise £50,000 in one week

Buy a Bed Gift Card. Illustration by Liam Rotheram

Scottish homelessness charity Bethany Christian Trust is taking part in the 2023 Big Give Christmas Challenge, with donations doubled for one whole week thanks to match funding.

All donations go towards providing access to emergency assistance and accommodation at the Rapid Re-accommodation Welcome Centre, a support hub complete with private rooms, tailored care and access to positive move-on options.

The Centre opened for the 2023-24 winter season on 4th October, with demand for the service already at record heights against the backdrop of a housing emergency and the rising cost of living placing extra strain on households.

Bethany Christian Trust is working together with third sector partners, the local authority and the Scottish Government to find shared solutions.

During the first 50 nights, the Centre has already provided accommodation and support for 290 people who would otherwise be sleeping on the streets.

For this week only, from Tuesday 28th November, donations towards the charity’s Buy a Bed campaign will be generously doubled by the Mackie Foundation and an anonymous donor. Every £21 donation helps give someone facing a challenging and cold night on the streets access to a warm bed and hot meal. During the Big Give Christmas Challenge week, this gift has twice the impact, meaning each donation can support twice as many people facing homelessness.

One guest from this season, Joe, presented to the Welcome Centre struggling with poor mental health and addiction issues. He needed emergency accommodation and received 24/7 support from Bethany staff and the space to re-engage with his support network.

The Centre arranged for him to benefit from a donation of clothing, enabling him to interview for a job, and soon afterwards he successfully moved on to longer-term accommodation.

The next week, Joe met a friend at the Welcome Centre and shared his good news with the team… “I’m letting you know I got the job – feeling really excited about it. Thank you so much for all your support.”

Each gift card purchased will give one person access to:

  • A warm, safe, private room with en-suite facilities
  • 24-hour care and support from professional, supportive and loving staff
  • Three meals a day including a freshly prepared, hot two-course dinner
  • A wide range of on-site support services
  • Assistance to move rapidly out of the crisis of homelessness

Alasdair Bennett, chief executive at Bethany Christian Trust said: “Giving someone the opportunity to escape the cold into safe accommodation and receive a hot meal, with love and support will save lives. Your donation will provide our team with the means to help people most in need find a warm and loving place to stay in an emergency this winter, and support to move on to further accommodation.”

Get online and donate to Bethany Christian Trust’s campaign between 28th November at 12pm and 5th December at 12pm, to double the impact of your giving at: www.bethanychristiantrust.com/buy-a-bed.

This winter the City of Edinburgh Council is again covering the cost of the room hire. Bethany Christian Trust is providing the large professional team to support people in crisis and are raising funds through the Buy a Bed campaign to enable this service. The Welcome Centre also relies on around 1,000 volunteers from churches across the Lothians who provide the catering and hot evening meals. The Rapid Re-accommodation Welcome Centre is also funded by the voluntary donations of trusts and foundations, individuals, local churches, companies, communities, local and national government, as well as receiving support from the Caring Christmas Trees project.

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