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Pollock freshers fill shoeboxes with essentials for the homeless

As the winter draws in, the weather gets colder and wearing a trench coat becomes less of a statement and more of a necessity one can only imagine the hardships faced by those living rough. Winter is always tough for homeless people and is only made worse by the ongoing Covid-19 situation which this year has forced Scottish government to close down night shelters in favour of self-contained accommodation.

It is then a question we must pose to ourselves, how can we as students help out with the ever-present homelessness on the streets of Edinburgh?

Well that is exactly what two first year students at Pollock Halls asked themselves. Sky Macleod Lockhart and Nicole Stark have set up the EdiXmas Shoe Box Project with the aim to deliver essential items to homeless people in the local area.

Stemming from a project they were involved in at school where they sent shoeboxes with toys to disadvantaged children around the world, Skye and Nicole have adapted this idea in order to provide essential items to people living rough in Edinburgh.

‘We are so fortunate and in such a privileged position to be in these halls, so despite this year feeling quite crazy for us you can only imagine what it’s like for people without a house or support system’ Skye Macleod Lockhart

In order to raise money to buy the essential items the two have set up a Go Fund Me page and are spreading awareness of the project through their Instagram page: @edixmasshoebox. They hope to continue to spread awareness and are looking to raise money in other ways including a bake sale within the halls and a household bubble carol singing group.

The money raised will go towards the essential items that will fill the shoeboxes they have already bought. These items include toothbrushes, soap, sanitary products, PPE, blankets, hats, socks, and underwear additionally they are looking into the idea of gift cards for cafes and supermarkets bearing in mind the Covid restrictions.

They have already recruited the help of other freshers and are keen to extend this project following the Christmas period with the idea to start an initiative working with the local homeless community throughout the year, looking also to connect with local charities tackling the issue.

Out of the weirdness of being a fresher during a global pandemic, these two students have stood up to adversity and found a way to channel their energy into establishing a connection with the local and vulnerable community.

If you want to get involved follow the project on Instagram: @edixmasshoebox or donate directly to the gofundmepage

Image: Edi Xmas Shoe Box Project