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Fresh Start

Fresh Start was established in July 1999 to provide services that support the resettlement of homeless people in the community.

Fresh Start was set up by ordinary church members who wanted to do something practical as a response to the growing crisis of homelessness.  Fresh Start now offer a package of five services - four of which are part funded by Edinburgh Council.

Fresh Start has three main aims:to enable Edinburgh churches to work provide opportunities to do something practical to help homeless help homeless people to make a success of a new tenancy.

Their services include;

Starter Packs

The Starter Pack Service provides new tenants who have been homeless with essential items to set up their home.  The packs help relieve the financial burden that many new tenants face.  Around 2,000 new tenants benefit from this service each year.

Hit Squads

The 'Hit Squad' is a team of volunteers who provide a painting and decorating service.  This service is available to new tenants who have been homeless and are receiving ongoing support from a recognised agency


The befriending service provides support for new tenants who have been homeless.  A trained volunteer will meet on a regular basis with the new tenant for social activities and emotional support.  They meet weekly and the length of the meeting will vary depending on the activity it could be out for a coffee or a trip to the cinema.

The New Training Initiative

In January 2006 we launched our PAT testing service and training initiative, which provides young people who have been homeless with an opportunity to gain work based skills, training and paid work experience.

Electrical Testing

This service tests and re-cycles small electrical goods which congregations and individuals have donated throughout Edinburgh.  The electrical goods are then distributed to new tenants across Edinburgh via local furniture projects.

Cookers for Christmas

Each year Fresh Start appeals to the churches for the annual cooker's appeal.  Money raised in this appeal goes to buy new electric cookers for new tenants who have been homeless.  This service is run in partnership with Bethany Homemaker, Shelter Families project and Follow Up.

Contact Information
Susan Johnston
Tel: 0131 476 7741
E- mail:


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Company Registration No. 278156. Scottish Charity No. SC 029210