Edinburgh Cyrenians Project Now On-Site

Work is now underway in Scotland to help homelessness charity Cyrenians transform their Good Food programme depots.

Situated in the industrial area of Leith, Cyrenians’ Good Food programme runs cooking classes for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and offers work and trainee placements. The charity also runs the FareShare Food Redistribution project for Central and South East Scotland, delivering six tonnes of food a week to c.100 organisations supporting those who are homeless or at risk of being homeless.

“The Good Food programme was originally developed in response to the fact many of our homeless participants were living in self-catered temporary accommodation with little skills or ability to cook or budget for their eating needs,” explains Cyrenians’ Development Manager Emma Jane Veitch. “We provide basic cooking skills; help with budgeting and shopping as well as advice and guidance on healthy eating.”

In addition to this, Edinburgh Cyrenians run supported accommodation communities in the City, and a farm on the outskirts of Edinburgh. Since the charity’s inception in 1968 ‘integration’ has been at the centre of their operating model and these communities focus on supporting shared living between residents and community volunteers.

Increasing demand for their services meant that Cyrenians had to take on a second depot. The charity approached CRASH for support to redevelop both depots to create a new eight person training kitchen, a larger dining area to allow communal eating, improve the operational workflow of the food redistribution programme, and create adequate ancillary rooms to support the needs of participants in the project.

In order to get the works underway, CRASH awarded a cash grant of £30,000. Patron company Arcadis has overseen the production of construction drawings and the tender process and is providing key QS services and acting as Project Manager.

A team from fellow Patron company Mott MacDonald has undertaken mechanical and electrical, plumbing and structural engineering services and designs for the depot refurbishment on a pro bono basis.

Free hire of all the site equipment including site cabin, fencing and pop up tower has been given by A-Plant and, to date, Buildbase and British Gypsum have donated materials.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of November 2017.