Giving Back

At Underbelly we’re proud to support a number charities both locally in the areas we host festivals and events and also nationally. If you would like your charity to be considered as a partner for one of Underbelly’s events, please get in touch using our contact us form.

Connection Crew

Connection Crew started out in 2005 and since then they have employed 248 people with a history of homelessness to complete 136,017 hours of work. 

Underbelly has worked with Connection Crew since 2012. In 2018 we’ve contributed 2527 hours of work to people who have been homeless. Getting ex-homeless people into work and breaking the cycle of homelessness. 

Over the last 6 years Underbelly has contributed 11,448 hours of work to the Connection Crew.

For more information on Connection Crew visit - connectioncrew.co.uk

One City Trust

2018 marked the sixth year of Underbelly producing Edinburgh’s Christmas on behalf of Edinburgh City Council. In 2018 saw the brand-new feature Silent Light which fused together the 2016 hit Street of Light and sell out Fringe show Silent Adventures. 50p from every ticket purchased from Silent Light was donated to the OneCity Trust. 
The mission of the OneCity Trust is to fight inequality and exclusion in the City of Edinburgh. Established in 2003 in response to the OneCity report of the Lord Provost’s Commission on Social Exclusion, the Trust uses the idea of a ‘community foundation’ to give people and organisations a means to reach across the divides of the city and support those who are excluded from the community. 
Underbelly through Edinburgh’s Christmas chose to support OneCity Trust because of its simple and effective way to make a positive impact on local communities now and in the future. 
  
Some of the projects in the City which OneCity Trust has funded include Edinburgh Tool Library, Fern’s Kitchen Catering, Fetlor Youth Club, Community One Stop Shop, Craigmillar Literacy Trust, Milan SWC, SABS, Big Hearts Trust, to name but a few. 

A further 16,013 free Silent Light tickets were given away with 36 local charities benefiting, such as Aid and Abet who work with people leaving prison to help them in recovery and to  avoid homelessness, Edinburgh Young Carers dedicated to working with and supporting young carers, North Edinburgh Childcare who provide flexible and affordable childcare enabling parents to access training and education, Barnardo’s Edinburgh who care for vulnerable children and young people and Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre.
Underbelly raised almost £20,000 through Silent Light donations, for this fantastic cause. 

For more information on One City Trust visit - onecity.org.uk

Fair Saturday

On 1 December, Edinburgh’s Christmas took part in St Andrew’s Fair Saturday which is a new initiative delivered in a partnership between the Scottish Government and the Fair Saturday Foundation. St Andrew’s Fair Saturday is a mass celebration of the benefits of arts and culture whilst supporting social causes. Scotland was the first country to celebrate it as a nation-wide festival in 2018. This pilot edition was a partnership between the Scottish Government and the Fair Saturday Foundation. On that day, all proceeds from Silent Light went to support three charities: Deafblind Scotland, National Deaf Children Society and Royal National Institute of Blind People. With over 3,200 people attending Silent Light that day, Edinburgh’s Christmas raised £11,807 for the charities! 

For more information on St Andrew’s Fair Saturday visit - standrews.fairsaturday.org

Food Bank/Trussel Trust

Every year, Edinburgh’s Christmas works very closely with The Trussell Trust food banks around the city, encouraging residents to donate non-perishables, toiletries and unwanted Christmas gifts to a food bank donation point located at the Christmas Market in Princes Street Gardens. 

In 2018 Underbelly donated 222.3kg of food and non-perishable items to the Edinburgh Food Project which went to the Edinburgh North West, Central and East food banks. In addition to this Edinburgh’s Christmas raised just under £1,000 in financial donations for the food banks and gave 12,000 free tickets to their users. 

For more information on Edinburgh Food Project visit - edinburghnw.foodbank.org.uk

The Brain Tumour Charity

Underbelly held the Big Brain Tumour Benefit for the second year running during the Fringe in 2018, in the magnificent 900-seater McEwan Hall. The line-up included Susan Calman in her only Fringe appearance, joined by Joel Dommett, Nish Kumar, Zoe Lyons, David O’Doherty and Rhys Nicholson. The event sold out and all ticket income (£15,000) went directly to the Brain Tumour Charity, this was matched by Underbelly raising a total of £30,000 on the night and more in online donations. This amount then increased again through £2,600 worth of donations from the online JustGiving page and bucket collections.

In addition to the above £15,042.33 was raised for The Brain Tumour Charity from donations during Christmas in Leicester Square, Edinburgh’s Christmas and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay. 

For more information on The Brain Tumour Charity visit - thebraintumourcharity.org

NSPCC

Edinburgh’s Christmas 2018 charity partner was NSPCC who work with children who’ve been abused to rebuild their lives, protect children at risk, and find the best ways of preventing child abuse from ever happening. Voluntary donations make up around 90 per cent of their funding to help this great cause. Through Box Office and charity collections on Edinburgh streets – including the official start of the festive season in the city, Light Night – Edinburgh’s Christmas raised £13,594 for NSPCC. 

For more information on NSPCC visit - nspcc.org.uk