Helping Out Our Local Communities

Earlier in the year, the Progressive team spent a day volunteering with two local charities as part of our corporate volunteering commitment. The Edinburgh team worked with a homelessness charity called Fresh Start, and the Glasgow team with Refuweegee – a charity that works closely with refugees arriving in Glasgow. We wanted to partner with these fantastic charities who do inspiring work to support some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Read on to find out more about the charities and our experiences…


The charities

Fresh Start helps people who have been homeless to settle into their new home with the ultimate goal of breaking the cycle of repeat homelessness. They achieve this by providing a range of services such as starter packs (with essential household items), cooking classes, white goods, and low-cost household items. Each year, they support thousands of people in this position.

Refuweegee supports forcibly displaced people arriving in Glasgow by enabling the existing community in extending the friendly welcome that Glasgow is world renowned for. They achieve this by providing personalised ‘welcome’ packs (containing a letter from a local resident, toiletries and local delicacies such as Irn-Bru!), emergency support packs (of various essential household items), and the Refuweegee Shop – where forcibly displaced people can collect clothing, household items, entertainment items, food and toiletries.


What we got up to

The Edinburgh team headed to Fresh Start in Pilton, to lend a hand for the day. The team were soon allocated various jobs to give the regular volunteers some support. There were food packs to be made, bedding packs for both single and double linen, and sorting and organising crockery. As a team we managed to sort through all the latest food donations into packs for individuals, couples, and families. We folded and then sorted bedding packs, with over 60 packs made up in total. The Fresh Start volunteers’ energy was contagious and their dedication spurred our Edinburgh team on. It was great to see what we managed to achieve and how many people would benefit from the latest donations.

The Glasgow team spent the day helping out at the Refuweegee Shop. This involved sorting through donations (clothes, toys, household items etc.), making up emergency support packs, and working on the shop floor as customer assistants – helping users of the Shop to find the right clothing and household items for them and their families. It was an affecting day; over 50 people used the Shop to get essential clothing, food, and household items to help them settle into life in Glasgow. It was satisfying to look back at what we’d achieved at the end of the day, knowing we’d helped people who need our support.


Heather, our Senior Research Executive, had this to say:

“What a day. From not knowing what to expect when we arrived to quickly realising just how hands-on and important this charity is, was so eye-opening. Being able to get essentials to those who need it most was great, but just as important is the warm welcome they receive and making sure people and their families feel at home upon arrival. It was a very humbling experience and I’m so glad we got the chance to be part of it. I couldn’t be more proud to call Scotland (especially Glasgow!) ‘home’.”


If you’d like to learn more about, and support, these wonderful charities, why not have a look at their ‘Get Involved’ pages here:

Get involved – Refuweegee

Get Involved – Fresh Start


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