Festive message from Lord Provost Frank Ross

Edinburgh is a very prosperous city and one of the best places in the world to celebrate Christmas – but it isn’t the most wonderful time of the year for everyone.

As we head into 2019, we still have more than one in five children living in poverty in Edinburgh and 16% of households see their income fall below the poverty threshold. This has to change and I am pleased to see efforts being made all around the city to give back and help others in need.

This winter, 26,000 tickets for the Edinburgh’s Christmas Silent Light show on George Street will be donated to charities. This will help those from poorer and isolated communities around Edinburgh take part in the city’s festive celebrations.

Underbelly will also be donating 50p from every single ticket sold towards a cause very close to my heart – the OneCity Trust. As Edinburgh’s civic charity, the OneCity Trust helps projects which support some of the most vulnerable citizens in the Capital and those at risk of inequality and exclusion. In the last year, it has awarded over £100,000 in grants and with Underbelly’s support, an additional £60,000 could be available.

At the Council, we’ll be doing our best to look out for our communities and the most vulnerable in our society. Our employees will be making sure children in our care receive Christmas presents from Santa and a full Christmas dinner. Volunteers will spend their Christmas Day working with those without a roof over their head to help people who are homeless find secure temporary accommodation.

Our Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership will be working to deliver care for anyone and everyone who needs it this winter, while our gritting team will be working round the clock to keep main roads on key routes safe in case we experience bad winter weather - but we need citizens to grit their own residential roads too.

Please look out for those in your own communities if you can. Whether it’s by supporting a local charity or helping your neighbours by gritting the street and keeping it safe, there are things all of us can do to make the festive season a little easier for those who find it hard.

I hope you have a happy, healthy start to 2019. If you would like to find out more about the OneCity Trust and give back too, please visit onecity.org.uk.

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