HOt HOt HOt news from Fresh Start!

Posted on 11/12/2013 by


FRESH_START_COOKER_APPEALAll the latest from Fresh Start, the resettlement charity based in Ferry Road Drive: 

Edinburgh’s leading resettlement charity is calling on city residents to dig deep this Christmas to ensure previously homeless families can have a ‘HO-t, HO-t, HO-t’ meal.

Fresh Start has ‘ignited’ its annual Cookers for Christmas appeal and is calling on 2,400 Capital residents to donate just £5 to help the charity provide cookers for 150 families and individuals. The charity needs less than 1% of Edinburgh residents to donate just £5 to its annual Cookers for Christmas Appeal to ensure it meets last year’s total.

Keith Robertson, Managing Director at Fresh Start, said: “Help make someone’s Christmas.  If one if every 200 people in Edinburgh donated just £5 to our appeal, we’d be able to provide cookers for 150 families.

“This year, thanks to our new cookers re-use project, we’ll be able to help more people than ever before – but we’re only able to do this with your help.”

He added: “Dickensian as it may sound, there will be families and individuals in Edinburgh this Christmas who sit down to a cold Christmas dinner. For families who have recently been housed, a cooker is often too expensive. But with your help we can ensure some of those households don’t have to sit down to a cold meal again.”

Keith Robertson added: “Help make someone’s Christmas by donating on our Fresh Start Cookers for Christmas Just Giving Page, and spread the word through social media using #cookersforchristmas”

The charity’s new innovative cooker re-use service means it will be able to help many more people than in previous years. Historically the Cookers for Christmas donations have used to buy new cookers but Fresh Start have opened a new service – The Food Station.

Launched in September, The Food Station hosts a new Electrical Workshop where the charity can now test donated cookers which will be passed onto clients, meaning it can increase the number of people it can help.

The Food Station is a wider project aimed at addressing health inequalities, with new Food Packs being prepared there, cooking and budgeting classes, and an allotment to provide food for the cooking classes.

Nearly 600 food packs have already been distributed to Edinburgh families and individuals since the launch of the new service  to ensure previously homeless households can enjoy a hot, home cooked meal when they move into their new home. 

The decision to deliver the new services around food came after people who had been homeless said they struggled to provide home cooked food for themselves and their families when they moved into a new home, due to the costs involved in setting up a house.

The charity also said the current economic climate played a big part in people facing difficulties feeding themselves and their families.

Speaking at the launch of the Food Station service, Keith Robertson said: “I am delighted we can build on the services we already have at Fresh Start and develop them under one roof. Thanks to funding from a variety of sources, we can now reach out to even more people who are going through the transition from being homeless to getting a new home.”

The innovative new services received praise from the Edinburgh’s Lord Provost Councillor Donald Wilson, who said: “Fresh Start has long been a part of the homelessness services in Edinburgh since it was set up in 1999, delivering a handful of packs to people who were homeless in the city.

“Since then it has become significant part of the solution for homeless people looking to settle into a new house, delivering around 2,000 Starter Packs each year and providing a range of services. This new Food Station and Food Pack service is an innovative development and will help people who have been homeless have a home cooked meal from the off, as well as teach them a range of new skills.”

The service will be run from new premises at Harrison Place, Edinburgh, which is owned by the Phoenix Club, a small charity supporting people with disabilities. The Food Station will house:

·         A new Electrical Workshop to test donated cookers, which will then be passed on to clients.

·         A new Food Packs service which will give individuals and families the basics to make a hot, cooked meal in the first days of moving into a new house. This service is an extension of the current Starter Packs service operated by Fresh Start.

·         The charity will also deliver cookery classes to help people learn to cook meals on a small budget.

·         An allotment has also been created in the garden, which will provide food for the cookery classes.

Fresh Start’s new Development Worker, Angus Maclean, who comes from a homelessness and care services background, will oversee the project at Harrison Gardens.

Keith Robertson added: “The transition between being homeless and moving into a new home can often bring challenges such as financial burdens so we want to give people the best possible start in their new lives by providing them with the essentials as well as offering them support with cooking, food budgeting and training opportunities. The support from our funders and other local community projects has been a key to enabling the Food Station to open its doors.”

Fresh Start hopes to help over 60 people a year learn new cooking skills. The charity also aims to give around 150 people a cooker so they can cook for themselves.

The charity has received funding from the National Lottery Grant, NHS Lothian, Zero Waste Scotland, Rotary Club of Edinburgh and Hibbert Family Foundation. They have received help from Lloyds Banking Group, Bield Housing Association, John Redpath Electrical Contractors, G A Helmore Electricians, and CitySprint.

Fresh Start will work closely with Bethany Christian Trust and City of Edinburgh Council to ensure cookers and food reach the people that need them most. The cookery classes will be delivered and developed in partnership with Edinburgh Cyrenians Good Food Project.

To donate visit Fresh Start’s Just Giving Page: