What We Do
Founded in April 2016 and awarded Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) status in 2017, Street Assist (SCIO) is a multi-award-winning charity with the aim of helping reduce vulnerability within the busy Night-Time Economy hours in the City of Edinburgh.
Street Assist operates every Friday and Saturday from 22.00 to 04.00 providing a non-judgemental welfare/first aid service to help people who have become vulnerable during the busy Night-Time Economy hours. We aim to support our emergency services and reduce the number of people presenting at Accident and Emergency (A&E) unnecessarily for intoxication and minor injuries. We provide support to people who have presented to us during their moment of crisis, mostly people who have over consumed (drink & drugs), spiking, suffering from mental health issues, victims of assault, sexual assault, domestic assault. We have helped in finding people who have been reported missing, people who have lost their friends, helped people recharge their phones, reunite them with their lost friends with the aim of making sure people don’t come to further harm and that we can organise a safe route home for them.
We have 170 volunteers who have committed to the project from many backgrounds including people who work in the health/care professions, students studying relevant subjects where volunteering with us helps to gain the public facing experience required for their future employment, people looking for experience to help them join the emergency services and many others who just want to contribute and make a difference.
Since January 2017 we have assisted over 5200 people many of whom would have ended up in A&E had we not been operational. This equates to a £4.42million saving in terms of costs, resources and staffing for Police, Ambulance and NHS staff who are then able to deal with real public safety issues and medical emergencies.
We have made many interventions where the outcome for the individual could have been much worse had we not been there and on at least three occasions where we have probably made a lifesaving intervention. We take referrals from Police, Ambulance, CCTV, Community Wardens, Taxi Services, Lothian Buses, Pub/Club Door Stewards, Street Pastors, Edinburgh University Security, and members of the public.
We work in Partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council Community Safety Partnership, Police Scotland, NHS Lothian, and many other operators within the Edinburgh Night-Time Economy to ensure vulnerability is addressed at a much earlier stage and to ensure people come to no further harm.