There was great excitement at The Stafford Centre on Friday 27th August as the Edinburgh service’s state-of-the-art Urban Pod was officially opened by the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Cllr Frank Ross. 

The innovative space, affectionately named ‘Peace in a Pod’ will add to the Stafford Centre’s community resource, to help support people’s mental health, gain self-confidence and become more integrated within the community. 

Ross Iwaniec from Urbanpods & Support in Mind Scotland Fundraising Officer Iain Mitchell at the opening of the Pod

The project has been made possible following a fantastic fundraising effort by generous supporters and service users, who raised more than £15,000 for ‘Peace in A Pod’, which will provide a quiet and safe space for one-to-one counselling sessions. 

The Lord Provost & Support in Mind Scotland Area Manager Michele Mason greet guests

There was a great turnout for the opening, with the guest list including Urbanpods director Ross Iwaniec, SiMS Ambassador Marius Pelser and some of the service users who will be directly benefiting from the pod. Also joining us were Asim Ali, who along with Bilal Akram contributed £3,000 towards the project through their ‘Cheap Thrills’ driving challenge, and Todd Burgess, Lucas Martin and Pierino Crolla of Holyrood High School who, along with Matthew Aguirre, chipped in with their £3,000 prize from winning the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative.

The Lord Provost chats to Todd Burgess, Lucas Martin and Pierino Crolla of Holyrood High School who donated funds from their winning Youth and Philanthropy Initiative.

After a rousing speech from Edinburgh Area Manager Michele Mason, the Lord Provost made sure to mention everyone who had helped make the project a reality, including the anonymous supporter who got the fund underway with a £6,000 donation, as well as customers, volunteers and staff from our charity partner Lothian Buses.   

The Lord Provost cuts the ribbon to officially open Peace in a Pod!

The modern outdoor office unit fits snugly into the back garden of the bustling Broughton Street centre, and will provide a timely boost for the charity, which has endured a tough year during the pandemic. 

Michele Mason, Edinburgh Area Manager, for SiMS said: “The fundraising effort and the goodwill shown towards us from the people of the city has been magnificent. 

“The Pod and its furniture look spectacular and we have a new safe space to give everyone a big lift after the challenges we have faced together over the past 15 months. For us to get something brand new and sparkly will be really appreciated by everyone who uses it” 

Thank you to everybody who contributed to making this project a reality. This private counselling space will be invaluable to the service and its users for many years to come.


Are you interested in fundraising for us? We'd love to hear your ideas! Visit our Fundraising page for more info.

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