Stirling Council Provost Christine Simpson has announced Start Up Stirling as her Charity of the Year as the organisation marked 25 years of helping people in times of hardship.
Provost and Christine Harper Start Up Stirling

Founded in 1994 by a group of local churches, Start Up Stirling’s initial mission was to support homeless people being rehoused by providing them with basic supplies. 

The charity has evolved to offer food banks and, more recently, support services for those enduring tough times and to help them on their journey to independence.

Make positive change in their lives

Speaking after hosting a civic reception to mark the organisation’s milestone, the Provost said: “For 25 years, Start Up Stirling has been providing support to local people in times of need, helping relieve poverty and suffering, and assisting individuals to make positive change in their lives.

“I was honoured to host this special reception for their special anniversary and to announce them as my charity of the year, and I look forward to highlighting their important service to the people of Stirling in the forthcoming year.“

Over 80 people attended the event in the Council Chambers last week (Aug 15). These included the Provost, Stirling Council Leader, Scott Farmer; Start Up Stirling volunteers and supporters,

There were speeches from the Provost and Start Up Stirling’s Convener, Anthony Birch, while three volunteers shared their experiences of charity work. The Provost and the organisation’s longest-serving volunteer, Christine Harper, also cut a special 25th birthday cake.

Anthony Birch, Chairman of Start Up Stirling, said: “While this is an important milestone, we are not celebrating the 25th year.

Continued dedication of staff, volunteers and supporters

“That is because the need for services like ours is ultimately a sad reflection on our society. What we do celebrate is the continued dedication of staff, volunteers and supporters who have enabled us to help thousands of people in need over the last quarter of a century.”

The idea to have a ‘Provost’s Charity of the Year’ came from a civic committee meeting when members suggested the Council raise awareness of a particular local charity.

Since 2016, Stirling Young Carers Service and the city’s Street Pastors are among the local organisation to have been honoured with the accolade.

Start Up Stirling provides three main services to help alleviate the effects of homelessness – home starter packs, crisis foodbanks and trained support.

Over the last year, Start Up Stirling provided 5400 food packs, 156 starter packs for rehousing, 252 duvets and 357 pillows.

For more information on Start Up Stirling, head here:

Picture details: 

Main Picture shows Provost Christine Simpson, cutting Start Up Stirling’s 25th anniversary cake, alongside the charity’s longest-serving volunteer, Christine Harper at the civic reception. Group picture shows the Provost alongside the charity’s trustees, volunteers and supporters.