Christmas for Edinburgh Homeless People - 2019

Sunday 22nd December at Streetwork

A rather exhausted and bedraggled looking me (by the door) outside Streetwork with a member of staff and Ellen a service user, who was delighted to receive a Christmas present.  Thank you to Christine and Tom for helping me deliver sack loads of presents to Streetwork on Sunday 22nd December, as well as deliver all the backpacks, sleeping bags, warm clothes and waterproofs.  Additional boxes of clothing and footwear were shared between the various organisations.  As we were carrying in the boxes Ellen spotted the lovely purple snow boots that were donated and asked to try one on.  It was a perfect fit and she was as thrilled as Cinderella with her glass slipper!   It was so lovely to see how happy she was.  We even managed to give her an extra, early Christmas present.   Thank you to Ellen and the Staff at Streetwork for giving us permission to use this photo and Christine for being organised enough to think of taking a photo!  Mike and I went back on Christmas Eve with some additional gifts of men's underwear and a hand bag filled with goodies for Ellen because when I was chatting to her she said she would love a handbag even though she said it wasn't a necessity, but would feel lovely. 

Some Photos

PRESENTS DELIVERED - HUGE THANKS

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who donated or assisted.  This would not have happened without you. 

 

Saturday 21st December was a massive effort from many volunteers, wrapping and stacking presents.  Service users of the Bethany Night Shelter and Streetwork received a Christmas Stocking (white bin bag!) filled with wrapped gifts and tied with ribbon with a Christmas sticker.  The plastic bags seemed the most practical option for people out in all weather conditions.  The bags contained a mixture of items such as socks, scarves, hats, gloves, underwear, toiletries and chocolate.  Streetwork  were able to distribute gifts to their service users over the Christmas period and were also providing a Christmas meal.

 

We delivered to The Bethany Night Shelter on Saturday evening (thank you to Janis and John).  The night shelter provides a bed for overnight accommodation for 63 men and 12 women and we were able to provide a Christmas Stocking full of gifts for all their users for Christmas morning.  They also received bags and boxes of additional clothing items.  Bethany and Streetwork could not believe how many presents we handed in...all thanks to you.

 

Another organisation to receive gifts was Four Square.  As Four Square operate a male hostel and a female hostel plus an additional 6 bed female unit, we were able to use Christmas gift bags for the male gifts which we filled with lovely items.  Thanks to all the donations of lovely handbags, we were able to fill and wrap handbags with coordinated outfits such as a matching scarf and sweater, necklace, cosmetics, toiletries etc.  They made beautiful gifts.  Thank you to the creative volunteers who did such a great job of putting items together.  We were also able to donate boxes and bags of clothes and items such as hair straighteners, books, umbrellas etc! 

 

Gift bags were also used for donations to Women's Aid.  These gifts needed to be passed on to Women's Aid unwrapped so items were put together into the gift bags with lovely notes of support (we included all the notes and cards of support in gifts to all the organisations). 

 

We finally finished wrapping and left the hall around 6.30/7pm on Saturday and Janis, John and myself delivered two carloads of gifts to Bethany Night Shelter that evening.  They couldn't believe everyone was getting a bag full of gifts.  We met a couple of ladies waiting outside for the night shelter to open and as we had a few additional wrapped ladies gifts in the car we gave them to these ladies.  One lady gasped when she opened the present to see a lovely sweater and make up bag filled with goodies.  She said how beautiful they were and gave us a hug.  The other lady was jumping up and down, hugging her gift.  Her gift bag also contained a small cuddly panda and she was overjoyed with this, clutching it to her chest. She looked like she had found the teddy from her childhood.   Seeing the reaction of these two ladies alone made all the effort worthwhile. 

 

Thank you to Jenny, Geraldine, Sally, Chris and Fredericka who stored and delivered all the gifts to Four Square and Women's Aid on Monday 23rd December.  Both organisations were delighted to receive so many gifts for their service users.

Just Giving Monies

We were so grateful for the Just Giving money which was used on Saturday 21st December to buy mostly men's gift items as there are many more homeless men than women but also because there were more female items donated than men's gifts.  I did an Asda shop in the morning for men's socks, underwear, deodrants, shower gel, chocolate and other items we needed. Thank you to Annie and Elaine for dashing out on Saturday afternoon to buy the additional items that we had run out of and buying additional items from their own funds.

Just Giving Receipts
Here are the receipts from the purchases made from the Just Giving account. The Asda receipt was so long it is scanned in two sections! The total was £448 and after Just Giving took their percentage for administration costs we received £392.65.
Just Giving Receipts.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [1.4 MB]

Huge thanks to the following people without whom this would not be possible....

  • All of you reading this for your donations, purchases, help and spreading the word
  • The Tai Chi students and teachers for their generosity
  • Norman at Craigmillar Park Church for giving us the space to wrap the gifts
  • Tessa, Iain, Jenny and Robin who helped with transporting bags and boxes of donations to Craigmillar Park Church and sorting the items
  • Lisa, Gillian and Claudia at Kings Buildings for acting as collection points
  • Clare and Marina in Drummond Street for organising collections there
  • Colette at the Bioquarter for coordinating a collection there and delivering a packed carload to the church.
  • The generous people at National Records of Scotland, Ladywell House and University of Edinburgh School of Geosciences and Edinburgh Bioquarter for your donations
  • All the volunteers who are giving up the last Saturday before Christmas to wrap gifts
  • Everyone who generously donated money via Just Giving
  • A huge THANK YOU to ROSLIN CELLS who fund raise every year but chose our cause to benefit from their Christmas Raffle.  Roslin Cells doubled the amount raised and then staff went out and bought lots of warm clothing and items from the list.
  • Thank you to Susan for ironing all the clothes that were crushed in transit to ensure they made lovely presents.
  • Thank you to Tessa, Marnie, Fredericka and Chris for keeping the troops refreshed and fed.
  • Thank you to Joe for packing all the cars and doing the heavy lifting as well as wrapping.
  • Thank you to Christine W for coming to the hall early and helping me set up tables, signs, instructions etc.
  • Thank you to Team Four Square especially Sally, Lauren and Elaine for putting together coordinated outfits with the ladies handbags
  • Thank you to Team Bethany, Streetwork and Women's Aid, especially the team leaders for keeping everyone right.
  • Thank you to Annie and Elaine for the last minute shopping trip when we ran out of items for men.
  • Thank you to Bill, Fiona and Madgid for the gift bags and additional items
  • Thank you to Janis, John, Christine, Tom, Sally, Geraldine, Jenny, Chris, Fredericka for storing and delivering gifts and thanks to those who also offered to do this.
  • Last but by no means least - my husband for all his quiet help in the background and patience, my family and friends for dropping everything to help

Big Shout out to....Rogers Mobile Tyre Fitting

20/12/19 - I got a puncture last night and phoned Rogers Mobile Tyre Fitting.  I explained it was urgent as I had to pick up donations today, plus needed to start to move bags and boxes of items to the church this afternoon.  Roger drove to Newbridge at 7am this morning to pick up a tyre, then drove out of Edinburgh to fit the tyre this morning and had it all done before 9am!  As if that wasn't enough, this kind man would only take the money for the cost of the tyre saying it was a good cause and its Christmas.  What a wonderful man with a big Santa Claus beard!   I think he should rename his business 'Roger to the Rescue'  - THANK YOU ROGER

What we are doing and what we need...

In 2016 we received a wonderful collection of items and wrapped up a huge number of Christmas presents which went to two hostels in Edinburgh, the Bethany Care Shelter and Streetwork, as well as individuals on the streets of Edinburgh who had asked for some socks and pants.  Unfortunately due to various circumstances we weren't able to organise the last two Christmases but we will try our best this year, with your help if possible. 
 
We are collecting a mix of used and new items from the following list:
 
  • warm hats
  • gloves
  • scarves including lightweight decorative scarves
  • socks
  • tights (all deniers as these can be worn under trousers)
  • unworn or new underwear (male and female all sizes)
  • new or unopened standard sized toiletries such as shower gel/shampoo/conditioner/deodrant
  • new toothpaste/toothbrushes - if you have a dental appointment please tell your dentist as they will give you samples
  • comb/brush
  • sanitary products
  • unopened moisturiser
  • new or nearly new medium sized towels
  • selection box/chocolate
  • unused make-up/perfume samples/cleanser/make-up remover/nail polish
  • a paperback book/magazine
  • umbrellas
  • rainwear/waterproofs
  • decorative jewellery (nothing valuable) - no earrings
  • handbags
  • backpacks
  • sleeping bag
  • wrapping paper
  • Used clothing
NO ALCOHOL, RAZOR BLADES OR SCISSORS CAN BE PASSED ON - THANK YOU
 
There is a ladies hostel with 20 beds that we gave gifts to.  As many of these women have left difficult situations with nothing, I would like to collect 20 used but nice handbags and fill them with gifts.  In the 2016 collectection many of our students donated decorative jewellery and light scarves which were much loved by the ladies that received them.  These extras helped them to feel special and 'dressed up'.  One of the staff members told me she admired one ladies colourful silky scarf and the lady was delighted to say it was one of her Christmas gifts.  That lady had never received a Christmas present in her life. 
 
If you have anything you think you don't need, please donate it.  We will try to make the gift parcels a mix of new and old so if you are able to purchase a bottle of shampoo for example or a shower gel and donate a scarf, that would be hugely appreciated.
 
There is also a Just Giving Page  too as last time there were a few people who asked about making a financial donation. Any financial donations will be used to purchase packs of pants, socks, chocolate etc...anything we need to make the parcels equal.  
 
Also if you can write a message of hope on a small piece of card, letter paper, anything really that can be included in a gift - it would be appreciated.  No personal details, but just a message to wish a stranger well and hope they have a better year ahead etc.
 
Please do share this as its difficult to collect a lot and a variety. If anyone is not able to bring their donation to class, I can arrange to pick it up so please email me angela@leetaichi.co.uk
 
PLEASE HELP BRING SOME HOPE AND CHEER TO A HOMELESS PERSON'S CHRISTMAS - THANK YOU
 

East West Taoist Association Summer Course

Come and experience 5 enlightening days with Master Howard Gibbon.  

 

The summer course in Scalby, Scarborough, runs from Tuesday 24th July to Saturday 28th July 2018.  

 

IIt is a wonderful opportunity to improve your skills as well as meet  students and teachers from all over the country and further afield.

 

Full details visit the EWTA website

 

EDINBURGH WORKSHOP - 9th June 2018

EWTA Chief Instructor, Master Howard Gibbon will be coming to Edinburgh to teach a one day Tai Chi course on 9th June 2018.  

 

You can attend either the full day or half day (or decide on the day). The workshop is suitable for any level and will help you develop greater understanding of your Tai Chi Form.
 
Full details are below:
  • Date: Saturday 9th June 2018
  • Time: Half Day: 10am-12.45pm, Full Day: 10am-4pm
  • Lunch: 12.50-1.20pm - complementary tea/coffee/herbals and biscuits 
  • Venue:  Barclay Viewforth Church, 1 Wrights Houses, Bruntsfield, Edinburgh, EH10 4HN
  • Cost: Half day £25, Full day £45
  • To Book: email angela@leetaichi.co.uk
 

ARCHIVE ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS BELOW

Christmas Presents for the Homeless

Students and friends sorting and wrapping Christmas presents for the homeless at Barclay Viewforth Church on Saturday 17th December 2016.  What a tremendous effort!

The students and teachers of Lee Tai Chi classes are collecting items to make up Christmas care packages for the homeless.  We've been thinking about how we can bring some cheer to many people who do not have even the basics.  

 

Simple things we take for granted are a luxury when you have nothing.  Most of us have nearly new items which we no longer need or surplus toiletries and these are all appreciated.   The majority of homeless people in Edinburgh are men but there are also a number of ladies.  

 

If you would like to purchase something new, many stores have items on the list below for £1-£5 and these are all very much appreciated.  

 

Please help us make someone's Christmas really special this year by donating/purchasing any items of the list:

 

  • warm hats
  • gloves
  • scarves
  • socks
  • tights (all deniers as these can be worn under trousers)
  • underwear (male and female)
  • toiletries such as shower gel/shampoo/conditioner/deodrant
  • toothpaste/toothbrushes
  • comb/brush
  • sanitary products
  • moisturiser
  • second hand medium sized towels
  • selection box/chocolate
  • unused make-up/samples/cleanser/make-up remover/nail polish
  • a paperback book/magazine
  • Unwanted copies of Oor Wullie/Broons/Viz
  • umbrellas
  • towels

 

PLEASE DO NOT WRAP THE GIFTS  AS IT IS NECESSARY TO ARRANGE THEM INTO ROUGHLY EQUAL AMOUNTS PER CARE PACKAGE AND ENSURE WE SORT INTO MALE/FEMALE/SIZES.  

 

IF POSSIBLE, PLEASE INCLUDE A GIFT TAG (OR JUST A NOTE) WE CAN INCLUDE IN THE GIFT, SUCH AS 'Merry Christmas, best wishes Anne' OR SIMILAR.

 

THANK YOU FOR YOUR KINDNESS - WISHING YOU A VERY HAPPY FESTIVE SEASON.

 

COLLECTION

 

Please email angela@leetaichi.co.uk to arrange collection.  Thank you.

Tai Chi with Longniddry Cubs Group

Master Grade Instructor, Jim Anderson volunteered to teach a Tai Chi session with the boys at the Longniddry Cub Pack during their celebration of Chinese New Year.

'Elderberries' Community Group in West Lothian

County Coach Angela Fallon teaching the 'Elderberries' at Forestbank Community Group, West Lothian

2016 Courses

An Afternoon of Meditation & Taoist Massage

 

Saturday 9th April 2016, 13:30-16:50pm 

 

At The Calton Centre, 121 Montgomery St, Edinburgh, EH7 5EP

 

Join me for an afternoon of relaxation using meditation and Taoist Massage techniques (self or partner work as you prefer).  Massage techniques are fully clothed without the use of oils. Simply wear loose comfy clothing.

 

The workshop is suitable for anyone.  The meditations are calming, bringing a deep sense of peace and the massage techniques are restorative.

 

Meditation can be done seated on a chair or lying on a mat.

 

You will need:

  • a mat or something to lie on for the massage and/or meditation
  • a cushion or something comfortable for your head
  • a blanket or something to cocoon yourself
  • a bottle of water

There will be a 10 minute break in the middle with complimentary tea/coffee/herbals and biscuits.

 

Price:  £25

 

Venue details 

 

Information & Booking:  angela@leetaichi.co.uk  or call 07786056778 (please leave a message as I may be teaching)

Easter Course with Master Howard Gibbon

 

Scarborough - 26th and 27th March 2016

 

Full Details on the EWTA website

Edinburgh Tai Chi Course

Saturday 14th May 13:30-16:50pm

 

The Calton Centre, 121 Montgomery St, Edinburgh EH7 5EP

 

Taught by Angela Fallon

 

Booking and Info: angela@leetaichi.co.uk or call 07786056778

 

 

Master Howard Gibbon's Tai Chi and Feng Shou Course - Edinburgh 13th June 2015

A very successful course led by Master Howard Gibbon.  

 

The day started with a thorough warm up followed by work on stances and Tai Chi Form. There was much pair work including 'Back to Back', Sticky Hands and Chi Expressions.  We stretched out with a number of Kaimen exercises and in the afternoon we worked on Kung Fu Sabre, break-outs inlcuding strangle holds (with lots of laughter!), rollaways and sticky sabres.

 

It was a full day but despite being exhausted, everyone looked bright eyed with beaming smiles.  Thankfully the day was punctuated by a tea break and lunch break both of which involved a rather large selection of cakes and biscuits!!

 

To add to the enjoyment of the day we celebrated Howard's 69th Birthday (14th June) and he patiently endured us singing 'Happy Birthday'!  

 

We were all delighted when 4 of our hard working teachers were awarded their coveted Master Grade Black Jackets:  Kathleen Moore, Rea Cris, Geraldine Jones and Jim Gillespie. Christine Dodson was presented with her Teacher's Certificate.  Christine and Jim Anderson took their exam at the Scarborough 2014 summer course in which they both passed with flying colours.  Jim Anderson was presented with his Teaching Certificate at an earlier date in Scarborough.   Well done to all - great achievements.

 

Despite a full on day which left us all exhausted, Howard sailed through the course and even spent the lunch break chatting with students.  The man is a legend!   One of the students commented he must have great chi and great vigour that is why he has so much hair!  Perhaps like Samson the secret to his great power is in his hair!  Next time I'll be bringing a pair of scissors to try and uproot him in sticky hands!!

 

For More photos visit the GALLERY 

Carnoustie Tai Chi and Meditation Afternoon

Carol Ford held a half day's Tai Chi and Meditation course on 25th April 2015 for her Carnoustie students.   County Coach Angela Fallon taught the session and what a lovely group of students they were.  The group worked hard on refining the Tai Chi Form and the afternoon included some Tao Yin and Kaimen Breathing Exercises.  The day was rounded off with a relaxing guided meditation to open the energy gates in the spine and allow the chi to flow freely.  Thanks to Carol for organizing the course 

Teachers Trip to Loch Tay

Nov 2013 some of the Teachers, Teacher's in Training and two Classroom Assistants took ourselves off for a weekend of training at Firbush Outdoor Centre, on the banks of Loch Tay.  We were lucky enough to have sunny, crisp weather and the Loch was so calm and flat at times it looked like a mirror. The scenery was truly spectacular and the tranquility of Loch Tay washed over all of us.  The centre is owned by the University of Edinburgh and the dining room which became a perfect Tai Chi hall had the most amazing 180 degree vista of the mountains and the loch. 

 

Kathleen took some great photos, here's one to give you an idea.

 

Angela

Tai Chi Courses 2013

Edinburgh Day Course

A big Thank You to Mark Kirby for the wonderful course in November.  There were many happy and tired students!

 

 



Some photos from previous courses