Rotary Club of Edinburgh tees off new Food Pack service for Edinburgh


Previously homeless households in Edinburgh will be able to access a new Food Pack service later this year thanks to the generosity of the Rotary Club of Edinburgh.

The £28,840 donation will enable Edinburgh’s re-homelessness charity Fresh Start to produce the packs for the next three years, helping an estimated 2,500 households as they move into a new tenancy after a period of homelessness.

The money was raised thanks to a special Golf Day, which was held at Muirfield, Gullane, as part of the Rotary Club of Edinburgh’s Centenary Year.

The contents of the packs are still being decided on but will contain store cupboard essentials to make sure people can make a basic meal when they first move into their new home.

The new packs will be given out to homeless households referred to the Fresh Start project and will be part of its wider Starter Pack service, which already sees it providing recently resettled families and individuals with much needed items, like bedding, small electrical items and kitchen items.

The Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Rt Hon Donald Wilson, made a special trip to Fresh Start’s Pilton offices recently to inspect the proposed contents of the packs and hear more about the new service.

He also had the important task of presenting Managing Director of Fresh Start Keith Robertson with the money raised from the special Golf Day, which will enable the charity to start work on getting the new service up and running.

Lord Provost Donald Wilson said: “Rotary International is admired the world over for its selfless support of individuals, families and communities and the Rotary Club of Edinburgh has been at the forefront of this for the past 100 years.

“Fresh Start is the latest in a very long line of wonderful and worthwhile causes they have chosen to help and my congratulations go to those who have put in so much time and effort towards raising this fantastic sum of money.

“I have no doubt that it will be put to good use, allowing the charity to continue their valuable work in helping people who have been homeless to get established in their new home.”

President of the Rotary Club of Edinburgh Bob Hislop said:- “The amount raised is a significant sum in these challenging economic times and is not only a considerable achievement but a worthy legacy for the Rotary Club of Edinburgh’s Centenary Year.

“Edinburgh is a beautiful city but behind it hides poverty and it was for this reason we decided to choose Fresh Start as our Centenary Charity. We are delighted the Golf Day was such a success and that we are able to tee off a service that will help many families put a hot meal on the table.”

Fresh Start exists to help people make a home for themselves. Managing Director Keith Robertson said: “We are delighted to be chosen as the Rotary Club of Edinburgh’s Centenary charity and even more so that the money has allowed us to put in place plans for a new service.

“Very often people move into not a new home but an empty shell. We already provide a range of Starter Packs to help people have essential goods like bedding and crockery when they first move into a new house. Our new Food Pack service will help them to have a hot meal too – for some it might be the only thing they have to eat.”

The new service will operate from new premises and will be part of a larger food venture – details of which will be revealed soon.

The Golf Day was held in October last year, after the Rotary Club secured the one day a year that the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers makes available to a charity at its Muirfield course. A total of 72 golfers made up 18 teams of four players, representing a variety of corporate organisations, with supporting teams from Aberdeen, London, Switzerland and New York.

Photo courtesy of FreshStart