More than £100k raised for homeless people through Bethany’s Buy a Bed initiative
Supporters from across Scotland have rushed to support Bethany Christian Trust’s ‘Buy a Bed’ campaign, raising over £100,000 towards the charity’s emergency night shelter.
This significant contribution will greatly help the charity’s funding of its Edinburgh-based Care Shelter which provides people, who are sleeping rough on the streets, overnight shelter, access to food, safety from the elements, professional support and access to multi-disciplinary services such as GPs, housing advocacy and mental health nurses.
John Rodgers, director of income generation and development, said: “It’s been amazing to see people coming together across Scotland in support of this campaign. We have been blown away by everyone’s creativity and generosity. Christmas can be a very lonely time for those that are without a home and community, and we’re so humbled to see people from all over Scotland doing their part in letting those who are homeless know they have not been forgotten.
“By buying a bed you’ve not only given someone a warm place to sleep during the harsh winter months – you’ve also given them the opportunity to get additional support and find a more permanent solution to their housing crisis. Thank you!”
Started in 1996, as a two-week pilot over Christmas, Bethany’s Care Shelter has grown to span 32 weeks in response to need and is now a lifeline for hundreds of homeless people who would otherwise be forced to sleep outside during the cold winter months.
The service is run by a small team of staff and relies on around 1,000 volunteers from churches across the Lothians. The Care Shelter is funded by the voluntary donations of trusts and foundations, individuals, local churches, companies and communities.
The Scottish Government also supported the Care Shelter again this year with a vital frontline outreach grant. The Care Shelter venue is generously provided by Gorgie Dalry Stenhouse Church.
Alasdair Bennett, chief executive at Bethany Christian Trust, said: “We are truly overwhelmed by the generosity of support from individual donors, businesses, companies and churches who have given to our Buy a Bed campaign. We are so grateful that people have chosen to give towards our mission of ending homelessness in Scotland, one person at a time.
“Thanks to their generous support, this incredible amount raised will significantly contribute towards our operating of the Care Shelter right through till May. While substantial support has been generated this year, there is still a continuing need for this life-saving project alongside our wider work. Rough sleeping is only one but a very visible aspect of the complex issue of homelessness.
“Bethany Christian Trust works to not just meet people at the point of crisis, but we also aim to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place and to support people to sustain their own homes. Therefore, the need is growing and future support is vital.”