Support available during the holidays

18 December 2023
Holiday Closure 2023

The festive period can be a difficult time for everyone. At Cyrenians, we are committed in making sure everyone has access to the support they need and know where to turn to in a crisis.

Cyrenians support services 

Over Christmas and New Year, Cyrenians will be running on reduced capacity due to public holidays. This will affect most services from Monday 18 December to Wednesday 3 January. Some services will be open during this time – see below for details.   

Cook school  

Our Flavour and Haver cook school will be closed from the 19 December until the 3 January, during which time Crisis will be using our facilities to prepare hot Christmas meals for those who need them (starting 21 December).


Homeless Navigators and Community Link Workers will be working in Edinburgh until Friday 22 December, and will return on Wednesday 3 January. The Gambling Harm Project will be working until Thursday 21 December and will return 17 January.

Housing First support will be available throughout, clients will receive a timetable of availability from the team.

HMP Addiewell Visitor Centre 

The Addiewell Visitor Centre’s Christmas opening hours are:  

  • Christmas Eve: 9:30am – 4pm  
  • Xmas Day: CLOSED
  • Boxing Day: CLOSED 
  • 27 - 29 December: 1pm – 9pm
  • 30 December: – 9.30am – 5.30pm
  • 31 December – 9.30am – 4pm
  • New Years Day – CLOSED
  • 2 January – CLOSED

The Visitor Centre will reopen on the 3rd of January at normal working hours. 

FareShare Depot 

The Depot will be open as usual the week running up to Christmas, then closed 25 December and 26 December.   

There will be a reduced service running from 27 December to 29 December, during which time the Depot will be open from 8am to 2pm, and services will close again for the New Year until 3 January. The service will then resume as normal 7am to 4pm.

Our community pantries will finish up on 22 December and resume on 4 January. Most of the buildings that we operate out of will be closed during this time. If you require emergency food assistance, you can find a list of food support services below:

Street Support Network

Edinburgh City Mission

Empty Kitchens, Full Hearts

Recovery services 

Edinburgh Recovery Activities will have their usual café on throughout the festive period, every Wednesday, 11:30am to 3pm at Walpole Hall. A New Year event for anyone in active recovery will take place at Leith St Andrew from 8:30pm until 12:30pm. The normal weekly group will finish up on 21 December and recommence on 8 January.

For detailed information on Edinburgh Recovery Activities during the festive period, check the ERA Facebook.

LEAP residential services will be provided as normal for those currently staying. 

Support for older people in West Lothian  

The OPAL office will be closed on 22 December and will reopen 3 January. Staff will be reachable by phone or email on 22 December, 9am to 1:30pm, and 27 December and 28 December from 9am to 3pm. For detailed information on the OPAL service during the festive period, check the OPAL Facebook.

Golden Years will finish up on 22 December and start back up on the 8 January.

Reset team will be working between 27, 28 and 29 December and return 3 January.


The Community Hospital Gardens at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital and Midlothian Community Hospital are open to visitors, but will be unstaffed from 18 December to 8 January.  

The Walled Garden at Dollar Park is closed from 22 December, and will then reopen on 3 January.  

Skills and Development

Our Skills & Development services will be closed from 22nd December, re-opening 8th January.

The Creative Natives studio will be closed 18th December to 8th January.

Falkirk services 

Our Justice Outreach service will be closed from 15 December and Justice Employability will be closed from 22 December. Both will return on 4 January.

The Quest service is closed from 22 December and restarts 8 January.

We hope you are able to stay safe and warm during the holidays, and have a joyous Hanukkah, a merry Christmas and a happy Hogmanay.