Press Release 16th May 2013

Duncan McNeil MSP helps to cut the ribbon on the new Starter Packs premises at Empress Court.


A CHARITY for the homeless has found another new place to stay - for itself.


Starter Packs Inverclyde helps nearly 300 families a year to begin again after finding themselves homeless.


The charity has had to move several times recently for various reasons, but has now settled at Empress Court in St Andrew's Street, Greenock.


Organisers say it is an ideal location for them to receive donations and distribute packs of towels, mugs, sheets, kitchen utensils, tin openers and many other items needed to set up a home.


Co-ordinator June Glancy says Starter Packs has been accommodated in flats for the past 10 years - so she is delighted at its new home.


June said: "This is an ideal base for us."


The new premises were opened by Greenock & Inverclyde MSP Duncan McNeil, who was full of praise for Starter Packs.


Mr McNeil said: "This tremendous organisation has many enthusiastic volunteers operating from their nice, bright new premises.


"We all know that starting up a home is an expensive and challenging thing to do even with the support of family and friends - but it's a lot more difficult if you don't have anyone to turn to for help.


"Starter Packs make it possible for people to take up a new tenancy at a particularly important time in their lives."


June added: "We work in partnership with lots of agencies, including 22 local churches, and we couldn't exist without our volunteers.


"Many thanks are due to the Bank of Scotland, the Robertson Trust, Faith in Community Action Group, Scottish Power and Children in Need for grants and to, among others, the Inverclyde Tourist Group and St John's and St Bart's Scottish Episcopal churches for their donations.


"With fewer items being donated, more new goods are having to be purchased.


"We are now able to reclaim gift aid tax relief on one-off or regular donations, and a simple form which has to be completed is available from the office."