'Street porridge sale' encourages action on homelessness

Edinburgh, December 10, 2012: Homelessness is both a matter of social justice and direct, compassionate action. That's the message behind a 'Street Porridge Sale' on 12 December 2012 in support of Streetwork, a hands-on group struggling against homelessness, its causes and consequences.

The team behind the annual Festival of Spirituality and Peace in Edinburgh are organising the event to raise both funds and public awareness.

They will be handing out bowls of porridge to passers-by on the terrace outside St John’s Church, at the corner of Princes Street and Lothian Road, Edinburgh, between 8am and 1pm. Donations for Streetwork will be very welcome.

As well as enjoying some hearty porridge on a cold day, this will be chance for people to learn more about Streetwork’s projects and to contribute to their work. Winter is the time when homeless people are most at need and risk.

Streetwork operates 24 hours, seven days a week with people in housing crisis or who are sleeping rough. It aims to advise, support and refer people for assistance, with the aim of enabling them to find a life off the streets.

“Events like the Street Porridge Sale are so important for raising awareness and support for the vital work that Streetwork does in Edinburgh,” said Jackie Brown, the charity’s Fundraising Manager.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to join the Festival of Spirituality and Peace at St John’s Church on 12th December, to chat to people, and to tell them more about how we help the most vulnerable people on the streets of the city,” Ms Brown added.

The Festival of Spirituality and Peace, founded in 2001, is one of Edinburgh's most exciting and diverse Festivals. It features over 400 activities across 21 venues each year in August. It involves top-quality speakers, conversations, performances, film, food, exhibitions, family activities, workshops, art, culture and more.

The Festival’s sponsors and team are also looking to extend their work beyond the traditional Edinburgh festival season, and are delighted to be able to support a truly worthwhile cause like Streetwork through the Street Porridge Sale on 12 December.

The Festival of Spirituality and Peace has been sponsored and supported in 2012 by the Church of Scotland, Christian Aid, Edinburgh City Centre Churches, Edinburgh City Council, Edinburgh Inter-Faith Association, Ekklesia think-tank, the Iona Community, the Scottish Government, St John’s Episcopal Church Edinburgh, and the University of Edinburgh.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

[1] For more information about this specific event, contact Annika Wolf, St John’s Church, Edinburgh, EH2 4BJ. Email: info@festivalofspirituality.org.uk Phone: 0131 2284249
[2] The Festival of Spirituality and Peace (www.festivalofspirituality.org.uk/), has a news blog, 'Spirituality and Peace News', which contains full information about past and upcoming activities: http://festivalofspirituality.blogspot.co.uk/
[3] Streetwork (http://www.streetwork.org.uk/index.html), whose activities are supported by the Scottish Government and the City of Edinburgh Council, among others, works 24 hours, seven days a week with people in housing crisis or who are sleeping rough. It is able to advise, support and refer people for assistance, with the aim of enabling them to find a life off the streets.
[4] Founded in 2001/2, Ekklesia, one of the sponsors of the Festival of Spirituality and Peace, examines politics, values and beliefs in a changing world, from a Christian perspective in dialogue with others. More information here: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/about
[5] For further comment from Ekklesia, contact: Simon Barrow, T: 07850 120413, Email: simonbarrow@ekklesia.co.uk