Sweet Dignity was started in Penicuik last year by June Horne, and is open every Wednesday 10.30am-3pm at Penicuik Town Hall . Following its success June decided to provide the service on the east side of the county. Last Friday the service began at the house attached to St Luke and St Anne’s Church in Mayfield.
Heather McKie is running Sweet Dignity Mayfield, which will be available every Friday 1am-2pm. She said: “Just knowing the poverty out there is crazy. It’s overwhelming. I’m from Mayfield so I see it for myself. I discussed this with June and sought out premises to enable us to open Sweet Dignity here in Mayfield.
“I spoke to my parish priest Father Andrew Garden and he said he would like that space to be used by the community.
“So I’m very excited we can use it. As it will benefit so many people out there. It’s definitely needed. Mayfield and Woodburn are two of the most deprived areas in Midlothian.
“Anybody can come along to Sweet Dignity. It’s a great feeling to be able to help others. It’s amazing.
“This service will be a drop-in and the individual will need to register their contact details on their first visit, which will be securely stored, and then they will be allocated an identification number. So if they return they can use this rather than having to state their name again to help in keeping their dignity.
“Individuals can also be referred by an agency, support worker or self referral.”
Heather explained more about what Sweet Dignity does. She said: “We aim to provide clothing for all ages and gender, household and baby goods. There will also be a ‘special occasion wear’ borrowing system (wedding, communion, prom, gala day). We will also have shoes, boots and sports shoes of all sizes, both for children and adults.
“We would also like to have start-up kits for individuals obtaining there own tenancy after being in temporary accommodation or gaining property for the first time. We can help with bedding, towels, lampshades, cooking equipment and small electrical appliances etc.
“This charity will not be for financial gain as no money will be handed over, the items are donated and will be given away. The support of local volunteers is paramount to our service to be able to function.”
Paula Swanston, Home Link Family Support manager, said: “We are delighted to support the opening of Sweet Dignity in Mayfield. We have been able to provide many of our families with additional household goods and clothing since the opening of the project in 2018. This is a valuable service which will no doubt make a big difference to many more families across Midlothian.”
Mayfield and Easthouses Development Trust (MAEDT) development worker Sharon Hill said: “MAEDT are proud to support Sweet Dignity. It will be an invaluable service for all in our community. It will ensure that everyone in Mayfield has access to good quality clothing. It’s a great way to recycle clothing and provide a much needed service in our area regardless of your income or financial situation.
“Let’s hope that this marks a change in attitudes, opinions and behaviours regarding recycling, reusing and re-purposing our unwanted items.”
For more information see the ‘Sweet Dignity’ Facebook page.