StreetSmart’s annual campaign to raise vital funds to support homeless people is approaching once again, and over the past few months we’ve been working on getting some of Edinburgh’s most celebrated restaurants signed up - including Tonic’s very own The Palmerston and Ka Pao, who are participating for the first time.

StreetSmart was established in 1998 and has raised over £11.2 million for homeless and vulnerable people across the UK. It now operates in 24 cities, with over 100 homelessness charities benefiting each year - including The Rock Trust and Cyrenians in past years - with funds supporting services like the creation of beds, housing, mental health advice and training and job support.

The concept is simple: at participating restaurants during the festive months of November and December, a voluntary £1 is added to the diners’ bill. Every penny of these £1s are then passed on to StreetSmart, which uses them to support reputable charities for the homeless.

Over 500 restaurants have signed up nationwide, and this year’s participating restaurants in Edinburgh and St Andrews include:

The campaign takes place against the backdrop of spiralling costs affecting every business and every family. However, it is worth remembering that it is still those at the bottom who are hit hardest, who face the threat of eviction and life on the streets. Neil Forbes, Chef Director at Cafe St Honore and longstanding StreetSmart supporter, explains why his restaurant is taking part once again this year: “I have such admiration for the work StreetSmart does and I urge more restaurant owners to take part as it’s such an easy way to contribute to the homeless in our community.”

Last year, the funds raised by Edinburgh restaurants supported the work of The Rock Trust’s Nightstop service, which aims to provide 16-25 year olds in Edinburgh and West Lothian with emergency accommodation for up to 2 or 3 weeks in the homes of approved volunteer, as well as Cyrenians’ ongoing work to tackle the causes and consequences of homelessness.

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