New Laigh Kirk hall, 35 John Finnie St, Kilmarnock KA1 1BL

Latest News


Newsletter – Spring 2022

Welcome to our Spring newsletter, with news of EACHa for churches, sup- porters, volunteers and professional colleagues. EACHa is an ecumenical grouping of over 20 churches throughout East Ayrshire. We put faith into action for the benefit of the most vulnerable and marginalised members of our community. Our motto: Each Person Matters.

We at EACHa have had an exciting time over the past few months, and we find ourselves gradually moving towards a new kind of normal. A different normal, busier than ever, and with new staff and volunteers. Numbers attending our drop-ins grow by the week, and Friendly Fresh Start is proving to be a much needed service. Emma, Craig and John have been joined by our new staff member, Julie.

Christmas was once again very busy at EACHa, but as ever so worthwhile. We were astonished by the generosity of members of our local

congregations, as well as local businesses, supermarkets, the NHS, the local community as well as Kilmarnock supporters at the Bring a Gift day on 18th December. A special mention to the Dunelm Christmas Community campaign and the Ayrshire and Arran Unison branch. We very much appreciate the support of Morrisons and Tesco in Kilmarnock throughout the year, as well as at Christmas.

All the gifts were gathered together at New Laigh Kirk over two weekends, and then were distributed to local families by children’s services, such as social services, health visitors, family nurses and children’s nurseries. Approximately 1320 gifts were received, and every single one delivered to a child for Christmas
Day. We also received very generous cash donations at Christmas. These will help us as we continue our activities this year. We cannot thank our supporters enough for your generosity. As ever we have been overwhelmed by the kindness of so many people.


Drop Ins

Our drop-ins are now running on Mondays and Wednesdays, between 1 and 3pm, and we hope soon to re-open on Fridays. After missing eighteen months during the lockdown we wondered if people would come back. We needn’t have worried, as the drop-ins are proving as successful as ever. People come for a variety of reasons, some simply for something to eat and a chat. Everyone is welcome, no-one is judged, and professional help is available if required. Our homeless nurse comes along every Wednesday, as well as staff from the Job Centre, Housing Support, East Ayrshire Advocacy among others. Truly a one-stop drop-in. Mondays and Fridays are more relaxed, with just our own staff and volunteers present, as well as the occasional service provider. We would love to hear from anyone who would like to volunteer, on a rota basis, on Mondays or Fridays. You are welcome to come along one day to see what we do. Please contact any of us if you’d like more information.


Fresh Start

Friendly Fresh Start is the project we started during the lockdown, when we discovered that many individuals and families were moving into their tenancy without simple essentials. Over the past year Friendly Fresh Start has developed into a service recognised and used by a variety of support staff throughout East Ayrshire, such as Housing Support, social services, Blue Triangle and Women’s Aid. We took on premises at 32B Grange Street Kilmarnock to operate the project, which is run by a team of wonderful volunteers. Support staff can make a referral for their clients, depending on individual need. Items which can be requested include: kettle, crockery and cutlery, pots and pans, bedding, cleaning pack, food or hygiene pack. Many of the items we distribute are donated by members of local congregations, and we purchase what we do not have in stock. The aim of Friendly Fresh Start is to help people feel safe in their new home, and to prevent repeat homelessness. Many of the requests are for people in crisis. We know from the feedback we receive how valuable Friendly Fresh Start has become. One worker told us, ‘Thank you so much. This is life-changing’.

We welcome food for the parcels we give out on Wednesdays, or send to homeless services. Foodstuffs most needed include tinned soup, main courses, tinned rice,

custard and fruit, biscuits and long life milk. For the hygiene packs we usually need soap, shampoo and conditioner, hand towels, sha

ving gel and disposable razors. All of these can be handed into the New Laigh Kirk hall, 35 John Finnie Street on Mondays and Wednes

days between 9am and 3pm.

Items for Friendly Fresh Start can be delivered to Grange Street on Monday or Wednesday mornings between 9am and 12noon. Most needed are kitchen items such as crockery and pots and pans, and cleaning materials, such as washing up liquid, bleach, basins and dustpans and brush. We have plenty bedding just now, and electrical items must be new.