They are the people who are usually blamed for anti-social behaviour on our city centre streets.
But now residents of a homeless hostel in Edinburgh’s Cowgate, whose sleep was being disturbed by late-night clubbers and noisy stag and hen parties, have had their wish for a good night’s sleep granted after a donation of more than £7,000 to buy specially-manufactured sound-proof acoustic curtains.
Author Alexander McCall-Smith was among those who supported a fund-raising event.
Cunningham House, located in one of the city’s liveliest clubbing hotspots, and run by the Church of Scotland’s social care arm CrossReach, is home to 23 residents, with a number fighting drug and alcohol addiction.
The hostel, which already has double glazing, received £7,300 after a fund-raising effort by St Giles Cathedral Neighbourhood Group.
David Marsland, the hostel’s managing co-ordinator, said: “The Cowgate is a great location for all the services that we need but it is a noisy place at night, especially at the weekends and during the Edinburgh Festival when pubs are open until 4am-5am.
“The Cowgate is closed off to traffic and we would hear a lot of the shouting and swearing never mind the loud music.
“When people are facing crisis in their lives and are trying to get themselves back together, lack of sleep when they have meetings with social workers and nurses does not help.”
Fredie Evans, 51, who has lived in the hostel for six months, said the new curtains had made a big difference to residents’ lives.
“People who live here really appreciate that these curtains have been put up to try and help them get as good a night’s sleep as possible.
“The Cowgate is a busy street and they help blank out the noise and street light. The more we rest at night the better we function during the day.”
Simon Bolam, convener of the St Giles Cathedral Neighbourhood Group, said: “This was a great result for us. We got an enormous kick out of being able to help our neighbours such a positive way.”
Crossreach operates 13 services, supported by more than 100 staff, in locations including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Angus and the Western Isles.