Army of volunteers to help the homeless this Christmas

Homeless at christmas web

Crisis at Christmas will support hundreds of homeless people over five days

7th December 2017 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

A record number of volunteers have signed up to help homeless people in Edinburgh this Christmas.

More than 400 helpers will be joining Crisis at Christmas this year to provide good food, friendly company, healthcare and clean clothes to support those who face spending the festive season sleeping on the streets.

Last year, the charity held a two-day event which welcomed more than 300 guests.

However this year there will be five days of activity (from Christmas Day to 28 December, and New Year’s Day) at the Southside Community Centre in Edinburgh. 

As well as warmth, companionship and hot meals, those who attend will also be offered specialist advice on housing, work and benefits, and an introduction to Crisis’ year-round services which support people to leave homelessness behind for good. 

The centre is run by Crisis Scotland staff with the support of an army of volunteers, some who have volunteered for many years and others who have joined up to ensure increased demand will be met.

Each day will be different with a range of activities and entertainment held, and volunteers will fill roles from drivers to chefs; hairdressers to podiatrists and many more.

Long-term supporter Kerry Smith said: “I started volunteering at Crisis five years ago, after signing up as a general volunteer. Giving a little bit of my time to help others felt like the right thing to do.

“From the second I walked in I knew I had made the right decision. Seeing all the services available to those who needed it most and the enormous part the volunteers play in making it all happen blew me away.”

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: “Without our volunteers, Crisis at Christmas simply wouldn’t exist to help provide a warm, safe place to those with nowhere to call home.

“It’s because of their generosity that we can bring thousands of people friendship, support, and life-changing services each and every Christmas.

“And though we work all year round to help people experiencing homelessness – we know that the Christmas season should be a special time for everyone and that no one should have to spend it alone.

“So as our charity turns 50, we will work harder than ever to make homelessness a thing of the past. And until then our volunteers will remain at the heart of what we do.”

Online registration is still open, with a limited number of roles still available.