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Cookers for Christmas

Published: 22 Dec 2015 10:12

Campaign to help those who have been homeless during the festive period.

A charity is raising money to provide people who were previously homeless with recycled cookers this Christmas.

Community Empowerment Minister Marco Biagi visited the Fresh Start project in Edinburgh to hear first-hand about its work helping those who have experienced homelessness to get back on their feet and integrated into the community.

The annual Cookers for Christmas campaign not only provides people on low-incomes and those who were previously homeless with the tools to cook in their own home, but gives unemployed people practical experience of cleaning, testing, installing and delivering the cookers in the SQA accredited centre.

Mr Biagi said: "Enjoying a home cooked meal at Christmas is a privilege that many of us take for granted. It can be easy to forget that for people struggling to make ends meet and moving from temporary accommodation into their own home, a functional cooker can be considered a luxury item.

"Cookers for Christmas is s fantastic campaign that gives vulnerable people a fresh start. For people who were previously homeless it's an opportunity to settle back into the community. For unemployed people the practical experience can rebuild confidence and open up jobs prospects.

"Preventing homelessness is a priority for the Scottish Government and we are keen to highlight the vital work of third sector projects who are helping to improve people's lives."

On top of the Cookers for Christmas campaign Fresh Start prepares Starter Packs of household goods to vulnerable people, and supplies them with a Hit Squad to help decorate their new home. It also offers cookery classes and a community growing space to tackle social isolation.

Keith Robertson, Fresh Start's Managing Director, said: "After being homeless, trying to settle into a new home at this time of year is a financial struggle and a cooker is often an expensive item at the bottom of a long list.

"Through this appeal we hope to raise enough funds to provide a recycled cooker to over 100 households in need. Even a small donation can make a real difference and can give local families the chance to sit down together on Christmas Day and eat a hot dinner."

Notes to editors

More information is available is at: http://www.freshstartweb.org.uk

Fresh Start has received £42,665 funding from the Enterprise Growth Fund and £65,965 from the Enterprise Ready Fund to help develop the starter pack goods and develop training.