Give a Bethany Buy a Bed gift to make a difference this Christmas

It's been a year of suffering for so many. Here's a simple way you can help give something back.

Bethany Christian Trust has operated a Care Shelter in Edinburgh every winter since 1996.
Bethany Christian Trust has operated a Care Shelter in Edinburgh every winter since 1996.

National Homelessness charity, Bethany Christian Trust, is encouraging Christmas shoppers to purchase a gift voucher for its brand new service, the Rapid Re-accommodation Welcome Centre.

The 'Buy-a-Bed' gift vouchers, which cost £21 each, provide a person who would otherwise sleep rough on the streets with a warm, safe place to sleep with en-suite facilities, access to three meals a day, safety from the elements, 24-hour move on support, and multi-disciplinary support services at Bethany's new Welcome Centre. The vouchers are available to purchase now online, until January 15, 2021.

Bethany Christian Trust has operated a Care Shelter in Edinburgh every winter since 1996, providing emergency shelter and care to those who would otherwise sleep rough. Prompted by the success of operating the Care Shelter in a hotel during lockdown, Bethany's Care Shelter has been modified to become the new Rapid Re-Accommodation Welcome Centre, which will run until May 3 2021, to ensure those sleeping rough stay warm and safe over the difficult Edinburgh Winter.

The service provided demonstrates the generosity of time and effort given by so many within Scotland.

Bethany has taken what it has learnt from operating the emergency Care Shelter to become a 24-hour service in a COVID safe space, operating in the Haymarket Hub Hotel.

During the day there will also be staffing support from the City of Edinburgh Council, as well as support from the Scottish Government.

Local and national government are covering the cost of the room hire, while Bethany are providing a large professional team to support those in crisis, as well as raising funds through buy-a-bed to enable this service.

The service provided demonstrates the generosity of time and effort given by so many within Scotland: around 1,000 volunteers from churches across the Lothian provide the catering and hot evening meals, while Social Bite provides daily lunches. The Welcome Centre relies upon voluntary donations from trusts, foundations, individuals, local churches, companies and communities. By buying a bed for £21 you are helping to contribute to a widespread community effort.

Alasdair Bennett, Chief Executive at Bethany Trust, said: “As we approach the season of giving, we may think about giving a gift that will truly make a difference. Giving someone the opportunity to escape the cold into safe accommodation and receive a hot meal, with love and support, can make all the difference.

“Your donation will provide our team with the means to help those most in need find a warm and loving place to stay in an emergency this Christmas and support to move on to further accommodation. When thinking of how you can make a difference this year, please think of Bethany.”

The Welcome Centre Christmas ‘Buy-a-Bed’ Gifts can be purchased online here.