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Crisis launches ‘hybrid’ mix of support over Christmas

Covid will not stop Crisis from supporting people in Edinburgh and the Lothians who are experiencing homelessness this Christmas, the charity has said as it launches a new programme of activity over the festive period.

Following the pandemic, the homelessness charity has transformed the way it provides both its Christmas and year-round services.

This year, staff at Crisis Skylight Edinburgh will be providing a ‘hybrid’ mix of online and in-person events aimed at providing support and helping guests take their first steps out of homelessness.

The Skylight will run events including a fitness day, carol service, coffee morning and wellbeing sessions for people experiencing homelessness in Edinburgh and the Lothians, while also delivering over 300 hot meals – ‘deliveroo’-style – to people over Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Crisis will also offer support to its members remotely through phone calls and virtual events, to ensure no one is alone at Christmas.

In total, 200 volunteers will help Crisis deliver its services in Edinburgh.

But the charity still needs materials to make up the wellness packs and giftboxes distributed to people experiencing homelessness. 

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Crisis providing vital Christmas services for people experiencing homelessness at one of the toughest times of year. Crisis Skylight Edinburgh is one of 11 centres across Britain which provides services and support to thousands of people experiencing homelessness every year to help them take their first steps out of homelessness. 

The charity relies on the generosity of its supporters to provide services for people experiencing homelessness. To make a donation, please go to www.crisis.org.uk/support.

Edinburgh Skylight director Coleen Kelly said: “No one should be homeless and alone at Christmas. It’s not right that anyone should spend the holidays rough sleeping, in temporary accommodation or separated from friends and family.

“Crisis works to support people at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness all year round, but Christmas can be a particularly difficult time for people experiencing homelessness.

“Covid has meant we’ve made some changes to our Christmas services to ensure we can keep our members, volunteers and staff safe, but that will not stop us from working with our volunteers to offer support to people in Edinburgh.

“We don’t want, or intend, to be here delivering our Christmas services in another 50 years. We know it’s within our reach to end homelessness altogether – and what’s happened during the pandemic has reinforced that – but until that time comes, we’ll still be here at Christmas and all year-round helping people directly out of homelessness and campaigning for the social changes needed to end it altogether.”