Our lives are busy and we must get on with them. With everything going on in our own lives, everyday pressures usually mean other people’s problems are, well they are just that. This often means that when we are confronted face to face with homelessness, poverty or a stranger in need it is easy to assume, judge, avoid and ignore. However, I have been recently getting to know a charity with the sole purpose to change this way of thinking and do just the opposite. I have been getting to know the Edinburgh Cyrenians and I think you should too.
Edinburgh Cyrenians is a charity working towards a society that values and includes all. Their focus is not only the homeless but also those who are isolated, impoverished, suffering from addiction or social exclusion. Over the past 40 years the charity has supported and empowered people to fulfill their potential. Help is offered with respect for the dignity of each individual and with the aim for finding real and lasting solutions to their problems. Edinburgh Cyrenians also encourage members of local communities to show compassion and open their hearts and minds to those who reject or have been rejected by community or society.
The independent charity provides innovative help to hundreds of people in need every year and has developed a range of inter-connected services. It didn’t take me long in my research to come across the dreams being sowed at Cyrenians Farm Community near Kirknewton.
Watch the Cyrenians Farm films here “Sowing Dreams”
The farm is a social enterprise with dual objectives. The first objective is to support homeless individuals with shelter and much needed work-based opportunities. The second is looking for opportunities to make an income so the farm does not have to be fully reliant on grants or donations. The farm provides accommodation for a number of homeless individuals aged from 16-25 and offers them a safe and enriching environment to settle for a period away from the pressures experienced in their lives.
The farm is also home to sheep, chicken, bees and a thriving market garden. More than a place to live the farm offers a sense of belonging and involvement in an alternative community made up of individuals in a position similar to their own. The farm allows its inhabitants a place to review where they are as well as the ability to begin to see a pathway for progression. This is a place where individuals can start to build real hopes and aspirations which simply didn’t and couldn’t exist three months prior. Combining real transferable skills with a new sense of hope and aspiration equips the individuals at the farm with the ability to look forward and take control of their own lives.
While Edinburgh Cyrenians is busy generating understanding, optimism and enthusiasm for change. Here at Impact48, we need to gather helping hands, extra brainpower, fresh ideas and energy from volunteers for the Edinburgh Cyrenians Impact48 weekend in October. If you would like to volunteer please get in touch with us! Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are also looking for financial support for the weekend in the shape of a sponsor. Could your business help? Find out more and get in touch with us at email@example.com.
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Images courtesy of cyreniansfarm.org.uk