Our work with Leith Gives this winter
22 January 2021
We are among 17 other north Edinburgh charities and groups who have been collaborating as Leith Gives to support local communities this winter. The initiative has helped to alleviate hardship over December and January with organisations delivering thousands of gifts and hampers to households in Leith and the north of the city.
Over the festive period, the collaboration distributed around 1,000 food hampers which provided ingredients to make 16,000 meals at home. More than 25 Port of Leith Housing Association households each received three hampers in December and January. These were delivered by staff from T.B. Mackay Energy Services, part of the Port of Leith Housing Association Group. The most recent food hamper included additional items to celebrate Burns Night.
Four households also received carefully selected gifts to wrap as a surprise for their children over Christmas. A further 27 adults at risk of isolation were given gifts which were safely distributed by our staff.
Heather Kiteley, Group Chief Executive at Port of Leith Housing Association said: “The importance of collaboration in Leith has never been felt as strongly as during lockdown this winter. The work of specialist teams including Tenant Advice, Sheltered Housing, Community Works and T.B. Mackay, has allowed us to connect with and identify tenants and members of the community whose wellbeing was most at risk over December and January. It has been a joy to collaborate with other Leith Gives partners, and I am pleased that the hampers and gifts brought nourishment and comfort to so many people this winter.”
Amid another strict lockdown, being connected online is also essential to the wellbeing of our communities. In addition to providing food for households, Leith Gives has distributed over 200 digital devices to help people stay connected during the pandemic. Port of Leith Housing Association’s Jane Whiting has been coordinating the distribution of devices and Wi-Fi provision to households identified by the housing association’s Tenant Advice Team. This makes it possible for individuals living alone, and lacking digital confidence, to connect with family and friends during lockdown.
Despite this effort by a wide range of partners we know that many of our tenants and customers continue to find it difficult to make ends meet. We are exploring what role it can play to collaboratively make Leith a better place to live and work for all its residents.
Anita Aggarwal, Community Support Co-ordinator at Port of Leith Housing Association said: “Leith Gives has been an amazing collaborative effort from local organisations and groups and made Christmas a wee bit better for a wide range of Leithers.”