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Every Tuesday we provide emergency food, support, and advice to local people in need.

During the first six months of the Covid-19 crisis, we helped almost 800 individuals, and almost 1,400 by the end of 2020.  This means that in 2020 alone, we distributed almost 13,000kg of aid to local people, living in the Craigentinny and Portobello areas of East Edinburgh who are experiencing hardship.

Every client who attends our Basics Bank receives a package of household and bathroom products, as well as cupboard and fridge food essentials. Not only that, but each client is welcomed with a friendly smile and someone to talk to.  Normally we would also offer a hot drink, but we currently have to follow social distancing regulations, and minimise contact.

This is a critical service for our local community, with every client being independently assessed, and referred to us by Social Services.  We partner with Edinburgh City Mission, who help us maintain the highest standards of confidentiality, care, dignity, and respect.  We treat every client with utmost compassion and trust.  Clients receive assistance for up to six weeks, depending on their individual circumstances, and each aid parcel provides essentials for four days.

What’s in a typical aid parcel?

A typical aid parcel consists of the following items, and is scaled up in size depending on the number of people in the household.  Some items, such as toiletries, are provided on weeks one and four as required, rather than every week.

20201115_105334544_iOSFresh produce (if available)
  • Fruit, vegetables, bread, meat, milk, eggs
Tinned/jarred/bottled products
  • Baked beans, other beans/pulses, soup, fish (eg tuna/mackerel), meat (if not available fresh), vegetables (if not available fresh), luncheon meat or similar, cooking sauce (curry/pasta/ etc), rice, jam, fruit (if not available fresh), custard, drinking juice, long life milk, ketchup.
Dried products
  • Breakfast cereal/porridge, pasta/rice, noodles, sugar, biscuits, tea, coffee, stock cubes.
20201115_105539858_iOSBathroom & cleaning products
  • Toilet paper, soap, shampoo, shower gel, shaving cream, ladies sanitary protection, toothpaste, toothbrushes for each member of the household, deodorant, razors, washing powder, washing up liquid, paper handkerchiefs, household cleaning products.
Babies & children (if necessary)
  • Nappies,  baby food, baby milk, spaghetti hoops, hotdogs, meatballs, burgers, macaroni cheese

Our aid parcels can be tailored for specific client circumstances: eg some clients rely on microwaves for heating food. In situations like this we revise the package to ensure it does not contain items that require stove-top cooking.

If you feel that you need help from our Basics Bank

You will need to follow the referral process through Edinburgh City Mission.  Local agencies and practitioners such as doctors, support workers, social workers, or church ministers, who wish to refer families or individuals for food support at our Basics Bank can use the link below to access the Edinburgh City Mission referral form.

Refferral Form

If you would like to donate food or products

Our current needs: Now that we are well and truly into 2021, we are sadly seeing an increase in the number of individuals and families who need help and support from the Basics Bank.  Unfortunately this has lead to a shortage in some of our supplies.  If you would like to help us replenish our stock shelves, we are looking for donations of the following items:

Mens deoderants, shaving foam/gel, toilet rolls, washing liquid/tablets, breakfast cereals, tinned soup (not tomato), tinned pies (steak/mince), tinned meals (chicken/mince/stew), tinned tuna, tinned vegetarian meals, tinned mixed beans, tinned kidney beans, tinned rice pudding, tinned custard.

How to drop off donations: Our Basics Bank is open every Tuesday from 10:00am to 1:00pm, and can receive donations during this time.  We are also open to receive donations on the FIRST Sunday of each month from 12noon to 1pm.  Donations should be delivered at the Wilson Memorial Church rear door (access from Kekewich Avenue). Alternatively, if our opening time is not suitable, please contact us at info@wilsonmemorial.org.uk and one of our care coordinators will respond.

If you would like to volunteer at the Basics Bank

Please contact Edinburgh City Mission (EMC), who manage the volunteer recruitment and deployment process.  They will be delighted to discuss how you can help.

Edinburgh City Mission  – 0131 225 9445

Basics Bank – Providing crisis care since 2011

We have been running our Basics Bank care project every Tuesday since 2011, helping out up to 15 local families each week.  Over Christmas and New Year periods, the Basics Bank is closed, but all clients receive extra supplies in advance to ensure they do not suffer any shortages.

We are very grateful to our fantastic network of friends, churches, local schools and business who have all contributed greatly to the Basics Bank over the years, and continue to do so.  Thank-you, you really have made a difference to the lives of a lot of people in our local community.


Here are some examples of support packages recently provided to clients

Basics Bank Podcast

Listen here as local journalist and podcaster David Calder interviews Patsy Cook and Rev Mike Marsden from the Wilson Memorial Church Basics Bank.