ETF Housing Blog


It has been a great pleasure working as a placement student at Tollcross Community Action Network (TCAN).  TCAN is a community organisation working in partnership with Tollcross Foodbank in Edinburgh.  TCAN provides a wide range of services mainly centred around signposting to other organisations but also including a clothes bank, books and toys.  I am very proud to have been part of TCAN.

During the pandemic, we have had to significantly change the way we run day to day.  In the last couple of weeks, we have been able to relax our rules slightly but prior to that only one service user could come inside at a time.  The hub used to be an area where service users could come and sit down, have a coffee and a chat and get advice in a less formal setting.  It has been difficult for us to adjust to the new normal as the original setup was what made the hub so special – it was a little community where anyone could pop in for something specific or for no reason at all!

Lockdown has been a huge struggle for a lot of people whether that is for financial hardship, mental health, loneliness etc reasons.  At TCAN we have really tried to help people address these issues and in the future hope to set up a telefriending service where our volunteers will be paired with service users and keep in touch regularly.  This is one of the many ways we have had to adapt during the pandemic.

I recently had a very productive discussion with Betty Stone, Convenor of ETF.  I think that ETF has been doing an amazing job challenging the Scottish Government and campaigning to improve rights for people living in social housing.  Collaborating with ETF has been great because we are both community-based organisations and although we provide different information and services, a lot of our work is relevant to the same audience.  We are excited to see where we will go in the future!

If you wish to find out more about the work of TCAN, you can either email [email protected] or phone 07871 258655.

Noel Joseph, Postgraduate Diploma Student in Adult Education and Community Development context Student, University of Glasgow

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