Simon Community Scotland
Simon Community Scotland works tirelessly to combat the causes and effects of homelessness and we are proud to support this visionary charity again for season 2017/18 having supported its Nightstop project in season 2016/17.
Homelessness is a cause which has resonated with our fans and they have really got behind our Big Ibrox Sleep Out events over the last few seasons. The events have been hugely successful and have collectively raised more than £100,000 for causes connected to homelessness.
We want to continue to build upon this amazing legacy by teaming up again with Simon Community Scotland and Glasgow City Mission to tackle two new projects relating to homelessness in Glasgow, and once again hold Sleep Outs to raise funds – as well as the profile of the issues involved.
Most of us see people sleeping rough on the streets and wonder what we can do to help. By working with charities such as Simon Community Scotland, who understand the problems faced by rough sleepers, we can really make a difference to those who find themselves with no alternative but to sleep on the streets.
This season, a third of the money raised from our Sleep Out events will go towards Simon Community Scotland’s new ‘Street Cycles’ project - an outreach service staffed by volunteers on bicycles.
The project hopes to support 1,300 people who are sleeping rough (25 people per week) in its first year via a team of 60 volunteers. The project will reach out to the growing number of men and women sleeping rough out with the city centre, particularly in the South and West of Glasgow.
The Street Cycles team will be able to travel further than Simon Community Scotland’s existing Street Team and thanks to panniers fitted to the bikes, will be able to carry more essential items for rough sleepers, such as sleeping bags, clothing and food.
Simon Community Scotland will organise a specialist volunteer programme to ensure that the Street Cycles team receives regular supervision and training, including cycle-patrol training and first aid.
The Street Cycles project will provide rough sleepers with a visible and friendly point of contact they can trust and talk to, whilst also providing immediate access to essential items such as food, clothing and sleeping bags.
Volunteers will also provide more long-term information and advice on where to seek shelter, food and clothing and help from other agencies such as Glasgow City Mission’s Winter Night Shelter, the Lodging House Mission, Marie Trust and Wayside Club.
A Safe Place For Everyone
Simon Community Scotland’s vision is that everyone should have a safe place to live and access to the support they need.
Each year the charity supports over 2000 people who are dealing with homelessness or struggling to maintain a safe place to live. People often find themselves sleeping rough because they have experienced a break down in family relationships. When someone is homeless they are more likely to be assaulted, violently attacked and develop a mental health issue and/or life threatening drug or alcohol addiction.
Every week, Simon Community staff find people sleeping below city underpasses, hidden and frightened. For this reason the charity’s unique ‘Street Team’ and the new Street Cycles project are so very important. The Simon Community is the only organisation in Glasgow with a Street Team, who work directly on the streets with homeless people.
Become a Nightstop Volunteer
Simon Community Scotland’s Nightstop initiative, which we supported last season, is already helping vulnerable 16 to 25 year olds who are in danger of sleeping rough.
The service provides immediate support with 3 – 5 nights emergency accommodation in the home of an approved Nightstop volunteer. Nightstop volunteers also provide a young person with a warm welcome, evening meal, breakfast and someone trusted they can talk to.
We are still supporting this project by helping Simon Community Scotland to recruit volunteers for this ground-breaking initiative. If you are interested in becoming a Nightstop volunteer, find out more here.
Lorraine McGrath, Chief Executive, Simon Community Scotland said: “We are extremely grateful and privileged to have this ongoing commitment from the Rangers Charity Foundation. The support is invaluable in enabling us to find new ways to reach more people and help them overcome the increasing challenges that the people we engage experience.”
To find out more about Simon Community Scotland, visit its website at www.simonscotland.org.