MSP rooting for charity’s Christmas tree sales blitz

A LOTHIANS Green MSP has praised a charity for using its profits from Christmas tree sales to give homeless people a hot meal and a bed for the night.

Robin Harper, who visited the distribution centre for Bethany Christian Trust’s “Caring Christmas Trees” project at the Gyle shopping centre, said the scheme provides a “beacon of hope”.

The proceeds from each tree that is sold are used to buy a person sleeping rough a hot meal, a bed for the night, breakfast and advice at the trust’s winter care centre.

Mr Harper said: “I’d like to congratulate all the volunteers who have helped and all those people who have ordered their tree from Bethany.

“This year, the tree will not only brighten up their house, it could also provide a beacon of hope for the Capital’s homeless.”

More than 3000 trees have been sold, raising over £40,000 to tackle homelessness in the city.

The charity launched the scheme last year to help fund its homeless shelter, which costs some £90,000 per year to run. Catherine Rawlinson-Watkins, of Bethany Christian Trust, said: “It’s great to have the support of the Gyle and our other distribution centres which offer people the opportunity to order a tree while doing the weekly shop.

“It’s so easy to get caught up in the commercialisation of Christmas and it’s fantastic that so many people took stock last year and made a purchase that really made a difference.”