Upmarket grocery store chain Waitrose awarded over £19,000 to Edinburgh-based charity, Bethany Christian Trust, in an effort to prevent and tackle homelessness across Edinburgh and Scotland’s East Coast.

One of the supermarket’s branch locations in Morningside, which is ironically next-door neighbours to Bethany’s retail shop, chose to support the organisation’s South-East Community Development and Support programme after one of its staff members underwent a student placement at Bethany. The homelessness prevention programme is tailored to local needs and works in partnership with other charities, local authority and churches to empower local people to build stronger communities in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Dundee and Aberdeen.

Commenting on the donation, Isobel Alford, Community Development Worker from Bethany Christian Trust, said: “Waitrose has been supporting Bethany Christian Trust in a range of ways for many years and we were absolutely thrilled when they told us we had been successfully nominated for this funding. It was completely out of the blue but a godsend nonetheless as this will help us continue to develop our work in helping more local people in the South East of Scotland. We are especially grateful to Kelly Milne, the part-time partner at Waitrose, who was instrumental in making this happen whilst she was doing a student placement at Bethany in 2015. This amazing donation is the result of building and maintaining good partnership working between Waitrose and Bethany Christian Trust, a key element to building stronger, more resourceful communities.”

Mark Giles, Personnel Manager from Waitrose’s branch in Morningside, said: “I am delighted to announce that we are supporting homeless charity Bethany Christian Trust. We have worked closely with Isabel Alford and the team from Bethany on different projects over the last two years and will be doing more this year also. I am pleased that Waitrose will give the charity £19,366.00 for all the hard work they do in the community and to help those who are homeless and at risk of becoming homeless.”

Established in 1983, Bethany Christian Trust supports over 7,000 people across Scotland. The charity’s services focus on preventing homelessness as well as alleviating the suffering of people who are homeless.