Edinburgh care charity teams up with football foundation to aid Edinburgh’s most vulnerable

Leading Edinburgh care charity and community hub, the Eric Liddell Centre has received funding from the Celtic FC Foundation to enable the charity to provide home-cooked meals for some of Edinburgh’s most vulnerable people.

The centre is an Edinburgh based care charity and community hub, providing specialist Dementia support, Carers Programme and a Befriending Service.

The charity has been providing key support to vulnerable people across Edinburgh for 40 years and has been leading through its expertise to change perceptions of living with dementia, disabilities and mental health issues.

The newly launched Lunch Collection Programme is the second year that funding from the Celtic FC Foundation has enabled the Eric Liddell Centre to provide winter-warmer lunches to support vulnerable isolated people, some of whom are living with dementia.

John MacMillan, CEO, Eric Liddell Centre said:

“The Eric Liddell Centre’s Lunch Collection Programme was launched this month and builds on our successful Lunch Delivery Programme that was supported by Celtic FC Foundation in 2020, which delivered almost 5,500 lunches to vulnerable people throughout the city of Edinburgh.”

“The new Lunch Collection Programme again aims to support meals provided Monday to Friday every week until the end of March, when we hope the present COVID-19 restrictions may be eased to some extent. Our Chef will be able to provide up to 50 wholesome and healthy lunches each day for individuals who really need this crucially important support.”

“We’ve made a solid start since the beginning of January and have provided 126 lunches for local people to date – their loved ones, family or carers collect their freshly prepared food from the Eric Liddell Centre and take it home to be enjoyed. We aim to have delivered 2,000 to 3,000 lunches to local people by the end of March.”

The developing situation with COVID-19 and national guidelines inspired the Eric Liddell Centre to seek to relaunch the lunch provision – one of its most appreciated community assistance programmes in 2020. The programme targets vulnerable people, who are living locally to the Centre from the EH9, EH10 and EH11 areas.

The charity’s first city-wide Lunch Delivery Programme was also supported by the Celtic FC Foundation and the Eric Liddell Centre’s neighbour, McLarens on the Corner during the first lockdown in 2020. The Lunch Delivery Programme started on the 6th April and delivered over 5,400 lunches during 14 weeks of operation with the help of over 70 volunteers.

John MacMillan commented:

“As a community hub we do everything we can to keep the local community together, especially now during these difficult times. The aim of this wonderful food service, the Lunch Collection Programme is to support and to focus on the most vulnerable people living in our neighbourhood. We are very thankful to the Celtic FC Foundation for their ongoing support and for allowing us to give back to the community again by supporting them with much needed lunches. “

This time all the meals are being prepared by the Centre’s own chef Fiona Lemmon, who usually prepares the food served in the Eric Liddell Centre’s Cafe Connect, the Day Care Centre and for groups who hold meetings in the centre including Daybreaks Lunch Service and the Liddell Lions.  She has worked at the Centre for six and a half years and knows many of the people who use the dementia day care services and their carers.

Fiona said:

“I have always loved preparing delicious food for people to enjoy each day when our café was open. Now that the building is closed because of COVID-19, I feel it is an absolute privilege to know that the home-cooked meals I prepare are going to people who need them. This service not only provides them with meals as people tell me it gives clients something to look forward to.”