The Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society’s Youth Committee held its first seminal event of the Year of Young People, with the support of the One City Trust. On Monday 12th February at the Edinburgh City Chambers, a Dinner of Togetherness and Inclusion centred around the theme of Homelessness and Community Cohesion was held.

The evening’s Chief Guest was Frank Ross, The Rt. Hon. Lord Provost and Lord Lieutenant of the City of Edinburgh.

Esteemed guest speakers included: The Right Rev Dr Derek Browning, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland; Alice Thompson, Co-Founder and Director of Social Bite; and Ameed Versace, Strategic Engagements Officer of SABS.

The event brought together a cross-section of society, people of all walks of life—particularly those who support the disadvantaged, under-privileged or under-represented—to break bread together, and served as a platform for meaningful discussions about homelessness and community cohesion in Edinburgh.

The evening began with a few speeches on the theme, and was followed by roundtable discussions on questions relating to the current policy framework encompassing the issues of homelessness and community cohesion, and an emphasis on best practises we could employ as civic, community, faith, political and humanitarian actors to contribute to the cause.

The results captured from these discussions will be collated into a consultative report as a material outcome of the meeting.

Dinner followed as an opportunity to share in civic fellowship with one another and cement relations in view of the work ahead.

Our thanks extend to all guests for their participation, and the One City Trust, particularly the Lord Provost and its chair Philip Young, for their support. It was a delight to hear of the tremendous work of Social Bite and the Church of Scotland in the area of tackling homelessness, and both in creating and improving support and rehabilitation systems.