Abigail Jackson, Fresh Start Hub Manager
Fresh Start Hub is situated in Pilton, North Edinburgh. The Hub provides a place for people to access advice, support and information via our partner organisations and referrals to Fresh Start services.
We provide affordable food in our community pantry, good quality homewares in our shop, community meals and cooking classes in our kitchen and access to ‘Growing Spaces’, our community gardens across Edinburgh. The Hub is a safe, welcoming award-winning space, securing the Scottish Charity Award 2023 for Community Action in June this year.
We are glad to be funded by UKSPF to provide support to people in our cooking, gardening and advice & information sessions. The impact is invaluable, this has been an essential service, especially at this time with the cost-of-living crisis
Last year we noticed how many of our service users did not have English language skills and were asking about classes. We were aware of other provision across the city, but there seemed to be a gap in North Edinburgh. With the kindness of two ESOL trained volunteers, we were able to provide classes for a small group of people in November 2022. The word spread throughout the community and the classes became more popular, with the support of UKSPF funding in 2023 we have been able to securely fund these classes and support over 20 people to learn English language skills, both at beginner and intermediate level.
The classes are a way to support people who are settling into the community to feel included, valued and appreciated. They assist people to remove barriers to education, volunteering and employment opportunities in Edinburgh.
"It’s the best! There is a family atmosphere. I have the opportunity to meet other people from different nationalities, it’s very interesting” Participant
The values of respect, collaboration and empowerment are the foundation of all our work at Fresh Start and we want to provide people with opportunities and allow them to be in charge of their own journey. We would very much like to see the classes continue in the Hub and are most grateful for support from UKSPF and other benevolent funders who have come forward to make this possible.