Edinburgh charity Fresh Start helps people who have been homeless get started in their new house.

In a nutshell…

We provide the things that people need to turn a house into a home. We have 12 different packs that we hand out that include bedding, food, cleaning materials, curtains, pots and pans. Each year, we help thousands of new tenants, ranging from families to individuals.

The story so far…

Fresh Start began in 1999 when a group of people from Edinburgh’s churches came together to find a way of tackling homelessness. The question was – how to help? The group decided to ask someone who was homeless what they could do for them.

There are now over 600 volunteers, some who help create the starter packs, others who get involved in decorating houses or providing cookery and budgeting classes.

So what happens?

The journey from homelessness to settling into a new tenancy can be a challenging one. We support our clients by providing household goods, a decorating service, and cooking classes.

There is an opportunity to work in our growing spaces, that grow fruit and vegetables. For those who are unemployed, our Training Initiative offers valuable skills and experience to help get people into the workplace.

The difference we make

We know that for most service users, if they didn’t have these basic essentials from us they would either go without or incur debt. We have had people tell us, “You saved my life.”

What matters to us?

Our Mission is to ‘help people make a home for themselves’. The words are simple, but behind those words are the passion and commitment of our staff, volunteers and donors to break the cycle of homelessness.