The Bethany Care Shelter is currently operating from the Old Waverley Hotel. We take the safety, security and care of our guests, staff and volunteers very seriously.

Once our team was made aware of an alleged assault within the hotel via a news outlet, we immediately looked into the allegation. We do not allow any violence or even threats of violence to be tolerated therefore we have treated this allegation with the utmost importance. It was distressing to consider that a person in our care might have suffered harm in this way within one of our services as each person is highly valued and deeply matters to us. Upon investigation it was determined that an individual had taken his belongings out of the hotel himself, could not recall this, and then told staff that he thought they could have been taken from his room. He later remembered where he had left them outwith the premises and returned with some of them. This all transpired before the weekend. He was not assaulted in the hotel and he didn’t have his belongings stolen in the hotel. He was still resident at the hotel last night and was supported by the multi-disciplinary team in continued safety.

As an organisation, Bethany Christian Trust is committed to relieving the suffering and meeting the long term needs of homeless and vulnerable people in Scotland. Last month, we relocated our Care Shelter team, increased to 18 professional support staff, to the Old Waverley Hotel on Princes Street. We are working with the Council and other partners to provide advice, support, health interventions and positive move-on options for guests in this new environment. It is our desire that every man and woman who steps inside the Care Shelter is treated with love, respect and dignity; and that they are provided with safe and secure accommodation that observes social-distancing guidelines, access to hot meals and professional support.

Since September 2019 the Care Shelter has supported 921 people out of a rough sleeping predicament, with over 850 people not needing to return to the service for shelter and support. Since moving to the hotel we have supported 245 people over 31 nights and with our partners enabled 189 people in moving on from requiring the Care Shelter service.

– Alasdair Bennett, CEO of Bethany Christian Trust