With our upcoming production of Godspell, we have linked with Simon Community, a Scottish Homelessness Relief Charity.
The Simon Community began life in London in 1963. It was founded by Anton Wallich-Clifford, a probation officer who felt there was more that could be done for increasing numbers of people sleeping on the streets in the city.
Along with many volunteers Anton worked to build alternatives to institutional care and established the first Simon Community House. People are still offered accommodation, support and care from volunteers who work and live alongside them in this large group home.
In 1966 volunteer members from the Simon Community in London came to Scotland to help a man called Danny who they had supported in London and was now again needing support back home in Glasgow. They went on to set up the first Simon House in Glasgow, using the same approach with volunteers living alongside residents.
In 1989 the first paid staff were recruited, marking the beginning a new future of service delivery working alongside Local Authorities to find solutions for an increasing number of people experiencing homelessness.
Over the last three decades their services have grown and developed. There are now more than 160 people employed in providing support and care to people experiencing homelessness.
Their focus is still entirely on responding to homelessness and their approach remains true to those early values of coming alongside the people they support, wherever they are, and working with them to find their own solutions and to move forward to a safe home and stable life.
They were formally known as the Glasgow Simon Community. In 2015 they changed to Simon Community Scotland, to better reflect what they do today. Their ethos, values and mission remain unchanged: they are committed to do all they can to combat the causes and effects of homelessness. They want everyone to have a safe place to live and access to the support they need.
If you want to follow the journey epilogue took to support simons, take a look at our justgiving page: