Destiny Angels: making Christmas possible
For many, Christmas can be a very isolating and challenging time of year, especially for those facing poverty, struggling with poor mental health and broken family relationships. Working with local partners in the voluntary and public sector, ‘Destiny Angels’ give out hundreds of hampers to people in need across Edinburgh to show that people care and to help make Christmas possible.
‘Destiny Angels’ is part of Destiny Church, Edinburgh, and provides emotional and practical support for anyone facing hardship across Scotland’s capital. The Angels are well-known for their work with those who are homeless and rough sleeping, providing hot drinks, food, warm clothing and a listening ear during the week through their ‘Destiny Street Impact’ teams
Destiny Angels’ Social Action Coordinator, Elizabeth Bowes, explained: “As a church, we’re not OK with the fact that 1 in 5 families in Edinburgh live below the poverty line, that last year there were over 3,300 homeless presentations across our city, and that 18% of children live in low income households. Through our different Destiny Angels social action outreaches, we aim to show our community that people care and to express love in practical and intentional ways. This Christmas, we’re delighted once again to be able to work with agencies across the city to support some of the most vulnerable families and communities in our area.”
Now in its seventh year, the Destiny Angels’ Christmas Hamper Appeal sees Destiny Church work with charities and organisations across the city who are supporting local communities at grassroots level. Some of the charities being supported this year include Women’s Aid, Turning Point, Cyrenians, Citadel Youth Project, Streetworks, The Welcoming Association and Pregnancy and Counselling Support Scotland.
Destiny Angels’ Christmas Hamper Coordinator, Natalie Morgan, said: “It’s been so inspiring to see people from across the community pull together to support the appeal and help spread Christmas cheer. We’ve had employees from businesses such as Costa Coffee, Scottish Widows, BNY Mellon and GSA Student Accommodation give of their time to help wrap and pack hampers, as well as providing gifts & food donations.”
Destiny’s Youth Leader, Mark Johnston, has also been working with schools across the city to help engage young people in the appeal. He shared “through having local youth involved in the appeal, it’s been amazing to see young people engage with the issue of local poverty on a personal and emotional level, and to be so generous with their donations and time as a result.”
Alison Fair, Depute Head for Leith Academy, explained that her school “were delighted to collect donations and assist in the packing of Christmas Hampers for Destiny Church. All members of the school community contributed. This appeal links into one of our most important key values as a school– caring for others.” Similarly, Erin Dresser, Religious and Moral Education Teacher at Craigroyston Community High School, commented that the school “is delighted to be given this chance to give something back to the wider Edinburgh community at Christmas. The hamper collection teaches our pupils the power of putting our values and beliefs into action, as well as the important lesson that no kind gesture is too small.”
Each ‘box of love’ contains festive food items and gifts to help those struggling to enjoy a Christmas meal and know that someone is thinking of them.
The Destiny Angels team are well on their way to reaching their hamper target, but are still looking for financial donations to help make up an additional 120 hampers before Christmas. Businesses and members of the public are being encouraged to contact Destiny Angels to find out how they can help sponsor a hamper of festive food and gifts.
For more information about how to get involved in Destiny Angels’ Christmas Hamper appeal, visit https://destinyedinburgh.com/what-we-do/social-action/christmas-hamper-appeal