Midlothian MP praises Salvation Army

Ms Rowley (centre) met staff at the centre in Penicuik.
Ms Rowley (centre) met staff at the centre in Penicuik.

Midlothian MP Danielle Rowley has praised the Salvation Army for its work in helping break the cycle of homelessness.

Ms Rowley met residents and staff at Pentland House in Penicuik, which, along with its sister service the Polton Centre in Lasswade, was launched in partnership with Midlothian Council last year as a positive alternative to B&B accommodation.

Salvation Army support workers ensure residents have access to a range of vital services and information that may be required relating to matters such as housing, physical and mental health, and income. Staff and service users have been working together to develop programmes on healthy eating, budgeting, gardening and cycling. A Salvation Army chaplain is also on hand to offer people a listening ear and spiritual support.

Following her visit, Ms Rowley said: “Pentland House is enabling people to access the necessary support to get their lives back on track. I’ve been really impressed with the partnership between the Salvation Army and Midlothian Council.

“I was impressed by the standard of accommodation available to people who are trying hard to make a fresh start. The staff are clearly committed to supporting residents.”

Service manager Fi Grimmond, who manages Pentland House and Polton Centre, said: “It was a pleasure to have Danielle here. She was interested in what the residents had to say and gave us some advice on how we can take issues forward that relate to things like universal credits. The support we give through Pentland House and the Polton Centre is designed to help people overcome homelessness and get back into independent living.”

Ms Rowley was shown around the centre by Robert, one of the residents at Pentland House, who spoke about the support he was receiving from the Salvation Army to turn his life around.

Robert said: “It was nice to meet the MP who really appreciates the work being done here to help people overcome homelessness. I’ve had plenty of experience of being homeless myself so being somewhere like Pentland House with the excellent support available has helped me a lot.”