Five small Edinburgh charities worth supporting

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WITH so many charities out there nowadays, it’s quite easy to overlook the smaller organisations. These foundations don’t have access to the same resources for attention in the public eye, so here are five you should know about.

Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre

The wonderful people from Barklay Park are doing a fundraising 2016 dog calendar in aid of The Edinburgh Dog and Cat Homenburgh Dog and Cat Home.

The wonderful people from Barklay Park are doing a fundraising 2016 dog calendar in aid of The Edinburgh Dog and Cat Homenburgh Dog and Cat Home.

Formerly known as the Edinburgh Women’s Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre, the charity was established in and they provide emotional and practical support, information and advocacy to thousands of survivors of sexual violence.

Based in Edinburgh, the specialist agency provides support to survivors in Edinburgh and the Lothians and is often the only agency contacted by survivors in this area.

The centre is staffed by female workers who are trained to a high standard and share the view that violence against women and children is an abuse of power and should not happen.

They have specialised STAR project for young people aged 12-18 of both genders, as well as supporting women of any age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity, religious and cultural background.

Canongate Youth Project

CY was established in 1977 and since then have been providing support, recreation and training opportunities for young people aged five to 25.

They aim to help all children and young people in Edinburgh and the Lothians to be healthy, happy, and secure and gain a sense of belonging within their communities.

The Youth Work Services Team work in the Old Town, Holyrood and Southside areas of the city and The Employability and Training Services Team work with young people from Edinburgh and the surrounding Lothians.

This charity has an extensive board of trustees, committed to putting Edinburgh’s young people first, including representatives from the police, local politicians from the four main political parties Children & Families Department, and representatives from a number of community organisations, parents and volunteers.

CY provides a number of clubs and activates throughout the week including a separate children’s and young persons youth club as well as a subsidised time slot at the Royal Commonwealth Pool.

Midlothian Association of Play (MAP)

MAP has been helping children get out and play since 1996. The organisation recognises how important it is four children, and especially younger children to get outside and have a space in which they can let their imaginations run free.

The group also has special training to help those who may require extra support, helping to mitigate difficulties they may be experiencing.

They provide both services for children – which includes holiday play schemes - and for groups which work with children; from training and practical support to their annual conference.

MAP has two overarching strategic aims to help the team achieve its goals for children in Midlothian: To improve and increase opportunities for play in Midlothian; and to increase awareness and understanding of play and the child’s right to play.

Fresh Start

Being rehoused after being homeless can have its ups and downs. Many find it hard to resettle within communities and end up in a vicious cycle.

Fresh Start aims to end that, by offering support to those previously homeless. Not only do they offer emotional support, but practical too.

They are a SQA Accredited Centre, which gives trainees the opportunity to gain valuable SQA qualifications. They offer paid placements for six months; or voluntary for one day a week over three months, to give those who may have been out of work for some time the skills they may require.

They also offer cooking skills to help people cook healthy and nutritious meals on a budget.

One of their biggest services is one of their home starter kits which consisting of basic essential household goods to help people set up and sustain their homes. There are ten different packs: cleaning products; crockery and cutlery; curtains; food; pots; kitchen utensils; single or double bedding; small electrical appliances; toiletries and towels.

Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home (EDCH)

Established in 1883, the EDCH has been a safe haven to stray animals for over 100 years. By reuniting lost pets, or rehousing strays, the staff works hard to ensure the health and well-being of the animals, some of which are in a poor state when they come to us.

EDCH will never destroy an animal unless there is an extreme need to do so, such as incurable illness, extreme old age or dangerous behavioural issues.

The Home is given advice and treatment from Edinburgh University’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.

They have a policy of never turning a cat or dog away, and this is also subsidised by the kennel service they provide to owners.