Established in 2002, the Community One Stop Shop (COSS) is situated in the heart of Broomhouse, Edinburgh, an area affected by poverty and deprivation, we also offer support to local areas ranked in the top 5% to 10% of most deprived areas in Scotland.
We have three primary strands of work:
Advice: There are various strains to our advice provision service, these are; Specialist Advice for our Black and Ethnic Minority clients, Out of Hours advice, supported by CHAI (Community Help and Advice Initiative), and our primary advice provision service. On average, our in house services support around 100 people per month. A further 40 people a month are supported through our Out of Hours advice services. Our in house advice services accrue an annual client financial gain of over £100,000.
Employability: We offer one-to-one employability support to around 25 per month. This is a tailored service and we aim to work with our clients to ensure they get the information and guidance they need; for example CV Writing, completing college applications and job searches.
Foodbank: We operate a self-referral food bank, this means that our clients do not have to obtain a referral from a professional in order to access the foodbank. This ensures that we can provide support to people who may not be accessing other services, or do not have the ability to request a referral. On average, there are 110 visits to the foodbank every month. We have collection points in three supermarkets in the city, and receive fresh produce daily from Marks and Spencer’s.
Outreach: We are currently developing our outreach portfolio. We deliver our primary services, Advice and the Food Bank at the Calder’s Community Flat in Edinburgh. The Calder’s is one of the most deprived areas in the city, with over 50% of residents living in poverty. Targeting a different demographic, we offer advice to employees at Saugthton House. We aim to ensure that everyone who needs advice can access it, regardless of their circumstances.
Ancillary Services: We offer ancillary services, these include C-Card, Credit Union, and Holiday support programmes in local schools.
The overall aim of the organisation is to alleviate the effects of poverty and support people through crisis situations.