Ending for New Beginnings homeless packs and Christmas toys

Mary and volunteers with some of the toys which went out to Clydesdale's children at Christmas  ( Picture Sarah Peters.)
Mary and volunteers with some of the toys which went out to Clydesdale's children at Christmas ( Picture Sarah Peters.)

Clydesdale’s New Beginnings project, launched to provide starter packs for homeless people moving into their own accommodation, is ending.

And the group’s Christmas appeal for toys for youngsters throughout Clydesdale will also cease.

But the money left in its funds will be used to provide white goods – fridges, washing machines or cookers – for single homeless people moving into housing.

Over the last 10 years, New Beginnings has helped thousands of people with its various projects for the homeless and its Christmas appeal.

“I reckon we have helped somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 people,” said Mary McLellan.

She is retiring as trustee and convener, and no one has found been to take her place.

For 10 years, New Beginnings has been based in the lodge house at Kilmory Road in Carluke, and for some of those years it also ran a furniture depot in Hamilton Street, collecting and distributing second-hand furniture to those moving into housing for the first time.

That project ended in December 2015 because of the cost of hiring vans, but it helped hundreds of people during the three years it ran for.

The little charity continued offering its starter packs, containing anything from food and a kettle to curtains, to people being newly housed.

Now, however, its Kilmory Road base is being cleared out and will close next week, while the group tackles a new project from a home office base in Lanark with the money remaining in its funds.

“We will no longer be providing the valuable home starter packs to new tenants, nor hygiene and baby packs,” said Mary.

“However, the urgent need for white goods has been identified as a very necessary project, and this will be the new focus as from the beginning of April.”

The goods provided will be new, and referrals will be taken through the organisations which have provided them in the past for as long as the cash lasts.

And recipients will be local people who have been homeless, usually the single homeless, making a home for the first time.

“The organisations and the individuals who have donates to us are all Clydesdale people, Clydesdale organisations, and we wanted to keep the benefits withing the local area,” she said.

Mary paid tribute to the volunteers who had worked so hard over the years, and to those who supported New Beginnings with donations, especially the local organisations who ran events for it.

“We would like to thank everyone, both locally and from the wider area, for the absolutely magnificent support we have enjoyed over the years and at this stage apologise if you have not yet been contacted by us to thank you for the extraordinary generosity we experienced, particularly for our last Christmas appeal,” she said.

“Although we have a different focus for the future, all financial donations received will still be used to provide for our client base needs in our local area, and we will continue to accept financial support if offered for the foreseeable future.

“Our email and telephone numbers will remain the same, and the co-ordinator can be contacted on either one.”

For further details, call 0755 473 6015.