Survival Bags

The community in the Kinglassie area have donated 100 ‘survival bags’ to Kingdom Housing Association for homeless people as part of a campaign to raise awareness of the problems faced by the homeless in Fife.

Kinglassie’s ‘Rough Sleeper Mission’ campaign has collected more than 2000 essential items to fill the ‘survival bags’. Local children and parents have been volunteering, by collecting items and helping to make up the bags.

Fife resident Catherine Sala-Murray initiated the campaign and invited Kingdom Housing Association to meet with local volunteers to speak about Kingdom’s homeless accommodation.

Kingdom owns and manages the James Bank Hostel in Dunfermline and Carol Hutchison, co-ordinator along with support worker Sean Smith, visited Kinglassie to meet some of the volunteers and children to explain the issues facing homeless people and the work they do at James Bank.

During the visit, Carol and Sean saw the children filling the survival bags and receiving certificates to recognise their part in the Rough Sleepers Mission.

Sean was himself homeless, on and off for 15 years, and during the visit he was able to share his experiences with the children in a question and answer session in which he told them about the time he was homeless and how his life has now changed.

Catherine Sala-Murray, from fundraiser Kats Mission, said she was “overwhelmed” with the response from people to the Mission.

She added: “My aim was to teach the children and adults about the issues around homelessness and to try and alleviate some of the stigma attached to people living on the streets. Another goal was to give the kids an insight into fundraising and the benefits of such; by empowering them to be the focal point of The Rough Sleeper Mission. I also felt it was very important for the children to celebrate their work by sharing with others what they managed to achieve through their passion about the Mission.”

The survival bags, along with other donations, including food, were delivered to the James Bank Hostel.

Carol said: “The donations are very much appreciated and will be distributed throughout Fife. The survival bags will make such a difference to people experiencing homelessness, either living on the streets or in temporary accommodation and knowing that people care enough to do something like this, especially kids, will help them feel valued.”

Kats Mission supports various charities in Fife and if others want to get involved they can visit Kats Mission (Fundraiser) on Facebook.