Royal welcome at homeless project
Published Wednesday, 10 October 2012
A project that gives support to homeless people has received a Royal seal of approval.
HRH The Princess Royal came along to the Eva Burrows 1st Stop Project, in Halfway, to see for herself what the project, which is managed by the Salvation Army for South Lanarkshire Council, is all about.
It provides short term accommodation and support for homeless adults from the Cambuslang, Rutherglen and Halfway areas, providing them with support and somewhere to live for up to 56 days while they look for more permanent accommodation.
During this time staff work with them to help them get ready for living in their own homes or supported accommodation as well as providing opportunities for them to learn new skills that will lead to a greater degree of independence.
Val Holtom, the council's homelessness manager, said: "This project offers an invaluable service, providing a stepping stone from homelessness to independent living.
"It is wonderful to have the opportunity to show The Princess Royal what a vital difference it can make to people's lives."
The Eva Burrows 1st Stop Project also shares the premises with The Eva Burrows Day Centre for older people, which has been beneficial to both groups.
The older people project has been open for 11 years and, during that time, has offered care and support to 413 families, creating a 'home from home' that aims to help older people stay active and build friendships with each other.
The Princess Royal's visit coincides with more than a decade of partnership working between South Lanarkshire Council and The Salvation Army on the 1st Stop Project.
Annette Finnan, the council's head of Area Services, said: "The council, in partnership with the Salvation Army, provides much needed temporary accommodation and support to homeless households in a positive setting."
This week's visit by HRH Princess Anne provided an opportunity to recognise the excellent service provided and the achievements of our project.
Major Russell Wyles, divisional leader of The Salvation Army in the West of Scotland, said: "This is a fantastic day for the community, project and centre itself which recognises the work that goes on and support available.
"The visit afforded us an exciting opportunity to demonstrate our belief of changing people's lives in communities and enhances the already strong ties we have with the council and residents of the local area."
HRH Princess Anne toured the premises speaking to residents and staff, as well as seeing first hand the work which takes place on a daily basis.
Representatives from the Overton Tenants and Residents Association, Davy Kiers and Barbara Park, also met The Princess Royal as part of her visit to the centre and provided her with an insight into the relationship the centre has with the local community
Helen McKay, the Salvation Army's Eva Burrows 1st Stop Project centre manager, said: "This has been an exciting day for everyone, allowing us an opportunity to show that the project is much more than a hostel or shelter for the night. We help and encourage people to reach their full potential."
The tour was followed by the unveiling of a plaque to commemorate the visit, with HRH Princess Anne presented with flowers and The Salvation Army's book, Portraits - A Month in the Life of The Salvation Army, by residents Jimmy Barr, 47, and Margaret Jones, 92.
Sandra Sneddon, The Salvation Army's Eva Burrows Day Centre manager, said: "We have been working with the council for more than 12 years on this site.
"We have had so much fun preparing for this visit as so many of the people here have fond memories and respect for the Royal family. They are delighted she took such a great interest in them."