A Spring in Our Step

I find it impossible not to be optimistic at this time of year.

Even with the first wave of cuts beginning to bite from today. Even knowing much worse is to follow, slicing not just into our funding but – more devastatingly –  into the personal and housing benefits of the people we’re trying to help; people already living on the fragile margins.

Ah, but the warmth in the sunshine, the longer days… It’s also the time of year at Cyrenians when we emerge from our corporate reflection and planning season with a cartload of fresh ideas to make the world a better place – albeit in small ways.

Readers of this blog are always very welcome to throw in more ideas and suggestions. We might even give prizes!

We’ve got some fantastic research coming out soon that will demonstrate that the Homeless Prevention Service saves money as well as misery, and we’ll be arguing that every local authority should have one. We’re looking to make Cyrenians Communities even better at helping young people to turn their lives around… In fact all of the services have plans to step forward.

Stirring at the bottom of the garden?

It looks like we’ll be growing more Community Gardens in partnership with NHS Lothian and our friends at Standard Life are lending us a staff member to help expand our surplus food distribution enterprise. Continuing the food theme we’re beginning to look towards setting up a Cookery School that provides the same great service to those that want it and can pay for it and those that need it and can’t pay. There’s even thought of a Fifteen-style restaurant if we can find a building, business support and start-up investment.

And if I was ever tempted to indulge in self pity, our customers are on hand to bump me out of it. The young woman recovering from heroin addiction who we helped with our crisis fund to buy a fitted bra (see Canary in the Coal Mine, below) sent me a wonderful letter of thanks with these words: “You wouldn’t believe how much it’s helped. Not just the back ache, but its given me that bit of confidence and helped me walk taller. It’s people like Cyrenians that give people like me a second chance and they believe in me. Thank you so much.”

Being able to help someone else is the best feeling in the world. If more people realised that we wouldn’t be talking about cuts.

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