Fresh Start is an Edinburgh based charity helping people who have experienced homelessness establish themselves in their new home, through the provision of goods and services.
We collaborate with volunteers and organisations from a broad section of the community to deliver a range of services providing the practical and social support people need to resettle successfully.
Each year, Fresh Start helps thousands of new tenants, ranging from families to individuals, make a home for themselves. This can only be achieved by the hard work of our volunteers and the generosity of the donations we receive.
If you would like to help us with our work, you can donate through our Just Giving page, or see our Starter Packs page for the household goods we need. Or if you would like to learn more about volunteering with Fresh Start please click here.
Fresh Start was established in 1999 when a group of church members decided that they wanted to do something to help and support their local community.
Noticing that homelessness, deprivation and poverty were real issues for many Edinburgh residents, they went out and spoke to people who were having real, lived experience of this at the time.
Taking a person centered approach as to what people need, what would be useful and how we could help them at this difficult point in their lives. By taking this approach and speaking to people with real, lived experience of these issues, there was a feeling that although homelessness is lonely, isolating and challenging, there was an assumption that once they get a tenancy, all is well.
The sad reality is that is only the beginning of the journey. When given a tenancy, a person is only given the shell of the property, no basic essentials to make that house a home.
Starting operating from one of the group’s garage, they began putting together packs of essential household items from donations they had received locally, which would later become known as Starter Packs.
Over the years, we have grown in the services that we offer, always in response to the needs of the people in our communities. From our humble beginnings in someone’s garage to distributing over 14,000 packs per year and helping over 2,000 people, we have a come along way and will continue to work to help people make a house a home.