At our hub in Edinburgh, we help people facing homelessness turn their lives around. While our hubs and charity shops are temporarily closed because of coronavirus (COVID-19), we’ve been making the support we offer the best it can be through our Time for Change peer mentoring programme, supported by Baillie Gifford.
As well as giving people who have first-hand experience of homelessness a chance to gain valuable workplace skills as part of our team, it means that those we support also get personalised help from those who have faced very similar circumstances.
Lyndsey and Michael are two of our peer mentors who – thanks to your support – are using their own experiences to help homeless people in Edinburgh.
‘I first heard about Shelter Scotland while using a foodbank, as my Universal Credit had been stopped,’ Lyndsey explains. ‘It would be very sad if they didn’t exist as they help so many vulnerable people.’
‘Without Shelter Scotland, there wouldn’t be anyone to challenge councils and the government. The big issues wouldn’t be addressed, and people wouldn’t be aware of their rights,’ Michael adds.
As well as helping improve the outreach we can offer, the programme also means that our mentors can gain valuable work experience to help them develop their careers. Having recently faced a fear of public speaking to be a guest speaker at a housing and homelessness event in Edinburgh, Lyndsey is also on course to earn the qualification she needs to help get a paid job supporting people.
‘It’s been amazing to be part of Time for Change,’ she says. ‘The thing I’m most proud of is doing my speech as I’ve a major fear of public speaking. I’m going to keep volunteering while doing my college work as I really love it.’
By donating today, you’re helping make sure that we can continue to run our peer mentoring programmes, so that peer mentors like Lyndsey and Michael can continue to provide valuable support to all those facing homelessness.