The company behind the regeneration of parts of North Edinburgh has made a substantial donation to help the homeless this Christmas.

Urban Union who are behind Pennywell Living has donated £1,500 to Crisis in Scotland and Turning Point. This gift is made instead of throwing a Christmas party for staff this year. Crisis in Scotland has over 250 volunteers who provide people with hot meals, distribute wellbeing packs and create online activities as well as running a telephone befriending service. Their Skylight centre provides support for those making their way out of homelessness, and help is tailored to the individual.

Turning Point Scotland which provides support for people who are dealing with mental health conditions, learning disabilities or are homeless. This is the charity which has led on the Housing First approach to homelessness by ensuring a roof over someone’s head first and other help after that.

Urban Union has partnered with Invisible Cities to train up to eight people who have experienced homelessness and develop a new walking tour proposed to launch in early 2021.

The group will undertake training to help with confidence building, public speaking and customer service skills and have the opportunity to become an official Invisible Cities guide or access further support to pursue a career path of interest to them.

Neil McKay, Managing Director of Urban Union, said: “Our focus at Urban Union is to not only build new homes, but to create strong relationships and support the communities in which our developments are based. We are pleased to be able to support Crisis as well as work with organisations like Turning Point and Invisible Cities, who carry out brilliant work supporting the displaced and vulnerable across Edinburgh and Glasgow.

“We hope our donations will allow them to continue to provide crucial and important services through what are difficult times for many over Christmas.”

Kirsty Potter, Fundraising Manager from Crisis in Scotland said: “We are very grateful for this generous donation from Urban Union which will make a real difference to people in Scotland without a home this Christmas. It will help bring comfort and dignity to people being supported in hotels, BnBs and other forms of temporary accommodation this Christmas. Everyone deserves a home, and donations like this will help people in incredibly challenging situations access the support they need to end their homelessness for good.”

City of Edinburgh Council’s Convener of Housing, Homelessness and Fair Work, Councillor Kate Campbell said:“We’ve worked together to put our most vulnerable residents first during this crisis – but the biggest challenges are still to come. Making sure people can access the right support when and where they need it is an absolute priority. So it’s great to see these funds going to Crisis and Turning Point to help them help others. Particularly at this time of year.”