BY Ryan McDougall | August 16 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Cambuslang parish hopes to add shower facilities to free provisions for the needy

In May, St Bride’s Church introduced a laundry facility for people of all faiths and none who are struggling toContinue Reading

In May, St Bride’s Church introduced a laundry facility for people of all faiths and none who are struggling to afford electricity, and for others who may not own a washing machine or tumble drier.

Parish priest Fr Paul Morton has said he now hopes to expand the services offered by the parish to the community.

“There are some people who have been using [the washing machine] regularly,” he said.

“I know that electricity is an expensive thing for families on lower incomes, and doing laundry can be a big drain on reserves, especially if you are in a critical position. For some people, they have to choose between electricity and food.”


Fuel poverty

Fr Morton said the parish launched the initiative in response to the fuel poverty crisis.

Energy Action Scotland has stated that almost a quarter of Scottish households are affected by the problem.

UK Power estimates that one washing cycle costs around 50p, and larger families may go through two loads a day, meaning the electricity bill for laundry alone can cost £30 a month.

In the Cambuslang community, however, many locals are finding the help they need at St Bride’s parish.


Pope inspiration

“I think some people thought it was a crazy idea at first, to tell you the truth, Fr Morton explained.

“But Pope Francis has implemented the same sort of initiative at the Vatican, so I suppose if there’s been any inspiration, it comes from him.”

The parish also provide free lunches every Wednesday afternoon in a service run by dedicated volunteers, and Fr Morton said the parish hopes to bring in even more initiatives to help the community in the future.

“The long-term plan is to have a shower room attached to the facility for all to use. Another thing we hope to follow up with is to bring in towels and soap too,” he said.


Making a difference

Referring to the wider initiative, he added: “I don’t expect a big line of people to be at the door waiting to use the washing machine, but I think the fact that people know it’s there is making a difference.

“If you’re in a family and your washing machine breaks down and you can’t wash or dry your clothes, it’s a major crisis, and I’m happy that people know the church is a place where they can come that will make them feel welcome and give them the chance to do this.”

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