Towards the end of last year some of the Strathmore team visited the Edinburgh based charity Fresh Start. Our team saw first-hand the brilliant work they do within the local community and we look forward to supporting them over the coming year with our first Starter Pack collection day arranged for January 25th.
Jen McQuistan from the Fresh Start team has very kindly written a guest blog to tell us a little more about them and the work they do:
“A home is somewhere where we feel safe, secure, warm and loved. However, for many, a wrong choice, bad experience, bereavement, or relationship breakdown can result in the loss of their home. Homelessness can mean sleeping on a friend’s sofa, staying in a homeless B&B or hostel or in the worst scenario – sleeping rough on the streets. This can have a devastating effect and lead to feelings of isolation and despair.
Being offered a new home is a lifeline, a chance to make a ‘fresh start’. However, being given a tenancy is only a first step, what next? Being homeless means you have nothing, and imagine moving into a new flat or house with nothing. You have no cups, cutlery, kettle, cooker, towels, duvet, sheets – nothing. Furnishing a house and making it a home when you have nothing is an overwhelming prospect.
This is where Fresh Start steps in; we are a small, Edinburgh based charity and our mission Statement is ‘helping people make a home for themselves’. One of the ways that we do that is by providing goods in the form of Starter Packs of everyday household items such as mugs, cutlery, curtains, cleaning products – all the small things that are so important. These Starter Packs help people in the initial stages of their new tenancy, to lessen the financial burden and stress involved in setting up a home. We also provide Hit Squads to help decorate up to two rooms, turning an empty shell into a real home. Through our cooking classes and our Growing Spaces, we provide opportunities for people to learn new skills, build confidence and self-esteem. Finally, our Training Initiative provides those who are unemployed with skills, experience and qualification to get back into the workplace.
Through your help and the support of businesses like Strathmore, Fresh Start can make a real difference to someone’s life, helping them settle in their home and gain the skills and confidence they need to feel part of a community again and move forward with their lives.
Jen, Fresh Start”