Simon Community Scotland to amalgamate with Streetwork
Two of Scotland’s leading homeless charities have amalgamated to become one unified organisation.
Glasgow-based Simon Community Scotland and Edinburgh’s Streetwork have joined forces in tackling homelessness, combining the two largest street outreach teams in the country.
Following a unique collaboration that saw the charities share a CEO for over 18 months, they have now formally come together.
Under the new structure, Streetwork will retain its name and identity in Edinburgh and the Lothians, however the charities have brought their values and resources under the single Simon Community Scotland banner.
The combined organisation brings together more than 80 years of experience, profile and expertise to fuel greater impact and new solutions for those affected by homelessness in Scotland, with a reach of over 5,000 people per year.
Discussing the reason for collaborating with Simon Community Scotland, Linda Holden, Streetwork chair, said: “When we started to look for a partnership we wanted to find an organisation which had shared values but was operating in a different geographical area so that we were not competing for work but actually adding value to the sector. Simon Community Scotland fit the criteria perfectly.”
Asked about the amalgamation process within both organisations, Linda added: “No staff lost jobs in the process so we had maximum support within the organisations to make this a success. At every stage, we had to ask ourselves what is best for our service users. There is no room for agendas, internal politics or egos in this process and we have worked hard to find outcomes which work for the service users and allow us to become one organisation without compromising on that.
“Both Boards have been involved every step of the way but the true hard work has been done by the leadership team who have worked tirelessly to ensure that we completed the transition on time and with the minimum change visible to people using our services.”
Mary Craig, Simon Community Scotland chair, said: “This amalgamation allows us to extend the work that both organisations offer and combine our competencies. There is a great deal that Simon Community Scotland can learn from Streetwork and vice versa. We are sure that being one integrated team will help both organisations thrive and produce even greater outcomes for those affected by homelessness.”
Commenting on the future for the combined organisation, CEO of Simon Community Scotland, Lorraine McGrath, added: “Our aim is simply to do as much good as we can, continuing to look at where the gaps are and where there are new opportunities to test out something different, with and for the people we support across all the areas we work in. Our greatest potential lies in continuing to build new and wider collaborations with organisations that reach well beyond homelessness and social care.”
Overall, the ambition is simply to make better use of the combined resources to focus on reaching and resolving more people’s experience of homelessness and rough sleeping, across Scotland’s two main cities and beyond.