Parliamentary Candidate Ian Murray sells Buy a Bed vouchers at his local Bethany Christian Trust shop to help end homelessness in Edinburgh

On Tuesday 19 November, Ian Murray who is standing for re-election in Edinburgh South, helped sell ethical Christmas presents at his local Bethany Christian Trust shop in Morningside to help end homelessness in Edinburgh.

The Buy a Bed Christmas gifts, which cost £21 each, are available to purchase online and will sponsor a bed, access to hot food and individual support at the Edinburgh Care Shelter for someone who is homeless and sleeping rough this winter.

Bethany’s Edinburgh Care Shelter provides a free night shelter and sleeping facilities to people who are homeless. Started in Edinburgh in 1996 with a 2-week pilot over Christmas, the Shelter has grown over the years to span six and a half months over the winter, providing overnight shelter every day of the week from October until April.

The service is run by a small team of staff and relies on around 1,000 volunteers from churches across the Lothians. They provide church venues for people on the streets to sleep in on a nightly rota basis as well as preparing and serving a hot meal. The Care Shelter is funded by the voluntary donations of trusts and foundations, individuals, local churches, companies and communities, as well as receiving support from the Caring Christmas Trees project.

Commenting on the Buy a Bed Christmas gifts, Ian Murray said:

“We have a homelessness crisis in Scotland and that can only be resolved by major government intervention. However, whilst we have our fellow citizens on the street at this time of year we should support this wonderful initiative by Bethany Christian Trust to give the homeless a bed at Christmas. It’s supposed to be the ‘most wonderful time of the year’ but for some it is a fight for survival. I hope people will give what they can afford to support this wonderful cause.”