TWO of Scotland’s leading homelessness charities have become one, unified organisation.
The charities have joined forces in tackling homelessness, combining the two largest street outreach teams in the country.
Following an unique collaboration, that saw Glasgow-based Simon Community Scotland and Edinburgh’s Streetwork share a CEO for over 18 months, they have now formally come together.
Emerging as a stronger influence in homelessness.
Streetwork retains its name and identity in Edinburgh and the Lothians; however, the charities have brought their values and resources under the single Simon Community Scotland banner.
Bringing together over 80 years of experience, profile and expertise to fuel greater impact and new solutions for those affected by homelessness in Scotland, with a combined reach of over 5,000 people per year.
Discussing the reason for collaborating with Simon Community Scotland, Linda Holden, Streetwork chair, stated: “When we started to look for a partnership we wanted to find an organisation which had shared values but was operating in a different geographical area so that we were not competing for work but actually adding value to the sector. Simon Community Scotland fit the criteria perfectly.”
When asked about the amalgamation process within both organisations, Linda stated: “No staff lost jobs in the process so we had maximum support within the organisations to make this a success.
“At every stage, we had to ask ourselves what is best for our service users. There is no room for agendas, internal politics or egos in this process and we have worked hard to find outcomes which work for the service users and allow us to become one organisation without compromising on that. Both Boards have been involved every step of the way but the true hard work has been done by the leadership team who have worked tirelessly to ensure that we completed the transition on time and with the minimum change visible to people using our services.”
Mary Craig, Simon Community Scotland chair, stated the following about joining with Streetwork: “This amalgamation allows us to extend the work that both organisations offer and combine our competencies.
“There is a great deal that Simon Community Scotland can learn from Streetwork and vice versa. We are sure that being one integrated team will help both organisations thrive and produce even greater outcomes for those affected by homelessness.”
Commenting on the future for the combined organisation, CEO of Simon Community Scotland, Lorraine McGrath stated: “Our aim is simply to do as much good as we can, continuing to look at where the gaps are and where there are new opportunities to test out something different, with and for the people we support across all the areas we work in.
“Our greatest potential lies in continuing to build new and wider collaborations with organisations that reach well beyond homelessness and social care.”
Overall, the ambition is simply to make better use of the combined resources to focus on reaching and resolving more people’s experience of homelessness and rough sleeping, across Scotland’s two main cities and beyond.
Notes to editors:
For further details, please contact Scott Crawford at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0141 418 6980.
Founded in 1991, Streetwork is a homeless charity that enables life off the streets for people in Edinburgh.
Streetwork’s street team is regularly joined by the likes of GPs and vets, to provide practical assistance to people sleeping rough (and any pets they might have). Every day, the team reach out, respond and help people resolve their homelessness so that they can recover and thrive.
Streetwork operates out of two premises in central Edinburgh: One on South Bridge and one on Holyrood Road (a support and amenities hub for people who are homeless). From the hub, the following services are provided: Individualised support, health services, digital skills training, employability services, washing facilities, telephones, internet access, correspondence address, etc.
For more information on Streetwork, please visit: http://www.streetwork.org.uk.
About Simon Community Scotland
Simon Community Scotland has been working alongside people who experience homelessness in Scotland since 1966.
It delivers around 170,000 hours of support every year and engages with up to 3,000 people at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness. It operates a Street Team from premises near Glasgow’s High Street and also provides accommodation, including emergency accommodation, in 12 locations across Glasgow, North Lanarkshire and North Ayrshire.
For more information on Simon Community Scotland, please visit: http://www.simonscotland.org.
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Contact: Scott Crawford