SIMON SAYS: Charity’s £100k winter appeal to help the homeless

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SIMON Community Scotland have made a plea for support with their annual Winter Crisis Appeal.

The aim is simple: keep people off the streets this festive period and make sure those people in need get the support they deserve.

And they are hoping to raise £100,000 to help them achieve that mission.

Fiona Williamson, Street Team Lead for Edinburgh, said: “What I can say, hand on heart, to people considering supporting our Winter Crisis Appeal, is that your support could save a life this winter.”

Simon Community Scotland provide ‘information, advice, care, support, accommodation and homes to people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness.

On their website, they add: “We meet people where they’re at. We walk alongside them. We listen. We offer hope. We never give up.”

For most of those affected by the cost-of-living crisis, it can be a choice between heating and eating this
Christmas. But, for many in Glasgow, and Edinburgh it can be a struggle to simply keep a roof above their heads.

The appeal could not have come at a more crucial time as temperatures on the streets of Glasgow tumble beyond -10°C. Glasgow is on course for the coldest December in over a decade, meaning people sleeping rough are at more risk than ever.

Simon Community has been helping people in Glasgow for over 50 years. In a statement, they said: “We’re now seeing a greater demand for our support services than ever before.”

They’re asking for fundraising and donations this year as they are set to support over 8,000 people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness – an increase of around 33% on last year. Donations will go towards their aim of supplying 1,000 “Crisis Packs”, which contain everything from toiletries to winter clothing to food vouchers.

The work carried out by Simon community doesn’t end there, they carry out lifesaving work every day.

Hugh Hill, Director of Services laid out the many ways the charity helps people in need in a recent blog post: “The team check the streets every day. We have volunteers on bikes scouring the outskirts. Our helpline allows the public and retailers to alert us to signs of rough sleeping. We have car park attendants, refuse collectors and traffic wardens sharing information. We have a network of people with lived experience who share intelligence and we do a regular street count with trusted partners between the hours of 3am and 5am.”

So far, their winter campaign has raised £70,000 on their JustGiving fundraiser – but you can help them
reach their £100000 target by following this link:
https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/wintercrisisappeal2022?invite=true

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