Festive fundraising for our Winter Appeal

5 December 2023
Festive fundraising 2023

Calum Wright, Fundraising Coordinator at Cyrenians, reflects on a busy few days of community events and activities to get our Winter Appeal off to a racing start.

We had a busy weekend of events as our Winter Appeal got off to a fantastic and fun-filled start, all thanks to our amazing supporters.

This year we are highlighting that homelessness is closer to home than you might think, but that lasting change is also within reach. This message of hope is resonating with people across Scotland and we’re seeing some incredible engagement with the campaign already. 

It’s not Christmas without a panto, and through our partnership with the Scottish Sun the Pavilion Theatre in Glasgow donated the proceeds of their £5 ticket promotion for the opening two nights of Treasure Island. Not only that, but our merry group of fundraisers were there shaking buckets for the winter appeal after the performances on Thursday 30 November and Friday 1 December. 

“The Pavilion team were fantastic, and the audiences were incredibly generous – it was a really fun way to get our appeal off to a flying start!” - Laura van der Hoeven, Senior Relationships Manager at Cyrenians. 

In Edinburgh, Scotmid generously donated £1000 to our match fund, helping us to double the impact of donations to our Winter Appeal, and ASDA at the Jewel welcomed our team in to raise awareness and spread some festive cheer on Friday 1 December. 

Over the weekend, Edinburgh Zoo invited an incredible number of families, young people, community groups and volunteers to their Winter Village and Rockhopper Ice Rink. The generosity of the zoo meant that those we support could enjoy a festive day out which they would not otherwise have been able to afford, something many of us take for granted at this time of year. Participants from our services in Falkirk to support young people and their families said: 

“I or my family could never afford a day like this. I never thought I’d ever get the chance to do stuff like this – it’s been the best day - I’ll remember this forever.”  

“I’ve had a blast today – animals, zoo, food and best of all good company. I’ve been really anxious and worried that I’d never have fun again. Been stuck in my house with nothing to do. I’ve laughed the whole day and been able to have fun – massive thanks.” 

Other generous supporters included the Scottish Book Trust, who once again gave us several boxes of adult and children’s books, which this year were distributed through our pantries and proved incredibly popular! They also donated gift-wrapped children’s books for our Family Visitor Centre at HMP Addiewell, which are sure to make someone’s Christmas.  

If that wasn’t enough, on Sunday 3 December, hundreds of people took part in the fun runs at the annual Great Scottish Christmas Festival in Inverleith Park, and Cyrenians volunteers braved the cold to help make sure the event was a success by helping out as marshals and at registration, as well as running a fundraising stall with Santa hats and produce from the Cyrenians Farm. Thank you to our amazing volunteers and to Great Scottish Events for donating to the appeal! 

“I enjoyed it a lot though it was very cold! … It was a great (but chilly) day!” – Great Scottish Christmas Festival Event volunteers 

There are loads of ways to get involved in our Winter Appeal this year, and it’s been incredible to see so many people taking part in events, donating their time and giving so generously. You can help us to ensure that everyone has #RoomToHeal by engaging with our campaign on social media, sharing it with your family and friends, or getting your workplace involved.

If you want to hold your own fundraiser, you can find the campaign on JustGiving (www.justgiving.com/campaign/roomtoheal), or just get in touch with the Fundraising Team (fundraising@cyrenians.scot). 

Thank you and happy holidays!