New funding helps Edinburgh's homeless
In Celtic mythology, the Rowan tree was known as the traveller’s tree, with powers to prevent people on a journey getting lost. Rowan Alba supports those whose lives are chaotic due to drug or alcohol dependency, domestic abuse or mental health issues. The organisation works across Scotland to reduce the chances of these vulnerable people becoming homeless or, where they are homeless, to provide the care and support they need.
The Follow Me project is a unique Rowan Alba service offering support for homeless people in Edinburgh who have experienced abuse. With an excellent and well deserved reputation for the support it provides, the project had been running for two years but was nearing the end of its initial funding when it approached The Cranfield Trust for help in preparing a development plan to ensure long term sustainability.
For Service Manager Kirstie McGregor this was her first managerial role. She formed a strong working bond with Trust volunteer Bob Kelly, whose managerial and business development skills meant that he was a great match for the project. Bob coached Kirstie as she developed her ideas into a more structured business case, explored future development ideas and prepared realistic budgets and plans to support it.
As Kirstie says: “Being from a different background, Bob was really objective and helped me to approach things in a different way. I feel much more confident that I have a good plan which I can communicate to funders clearly and the structured business case will help me to deliver the service in the future. It was a very positive experience and I have really developed as a result."
Bob then helped Kirstie to assess a Lottery application that she wanted to submit, and was as thrilled as the whole team at Follow Me when the service was awarded £412,002 by The Big Lottery Fund Scotland’s Investing in Communities programme.
Helen Carlin, Rowan Alba’s chief executive, said: “We are delighted to be able to help so many vulnerable adults with the support of the Big Lottery Fund. The grant provides stability for four years, for our organisation and our service users, in what is undoubtedly a hostile and challenging environment for many individuals and those trying to support them. The benefits of working with The Cranfield Trust cannot be understated.
Bob continues to support Rowan Alba and has recently agreed to join the charity's board of trustees.