Every June we celebrate Pride Month. A whole month dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community, and their on-going pursuit of equality around the world. In June 1969, members of the LGBTQ+ community fought back against a police raid of a bar in Manhattan, which was a safe haven for the gay, lesbian and transgender community. Little known to those involved at the time, but this would spark the start of an uprising for change and equality.

Pride Month is now celebrated across the globe with people coming together to show support for the LGBTQ+ community and advocate for acceptance and equality. Waverley Care, Criterion’s charity partner, work closely with the LGBTQ+ community by providing help and support to those affected by HIV or hepatitis C.

Milestone is a residential service based in Oxgangs, which was founded by Waverley Care in 1991 as the UK’s first purpose-built AIDS hospice. However, the use for Milestone has changed over the years with Waverley Care opening its doors to vulnerable people with complex needs during the pandemic. Milestone operates with a ‘no wrong door’ approach, where anyone who needs to access their services can do so. This includes many people who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness, and who have an addiction to alcohol and/or drugs as well as a range of chronic health issues.

The 2.5-acre garden is maintained entirely by its incredible volunteers and is instrumental in helping residents' mental health and well-being. Criterion marked Pride Month by volunteering at Milestone for the day, carrying out various gardening tasks to help preserve this warm and welcoming space for those who need it.

Holly Giles, Waverley Care Fundraising Manager, commenting: 

We’ve been the very proud charity partner of Criterion since 2019. Through their incredible volunteering, including cycling 176 miles from Newcastle to Edinburgh and bucket shaking at the Fringe, we’ve been able to do even more as an organisation. We’ve reached more people and raised more money to help us be there for anyone in Scotland affected by HIV and hepatitis. Volunteer Week falls within Pride Month this year and we’re delighted to celebrate the many hours Criterion have contributed to Waverley Care. They bring an incredible energy to the charity, and their passion for increasing access to HIV testing, treatment and support has inspired others to join us. We’re immensely grateful for their efforts to help us get to zero new HIV transmissions by 2030.

To find out more about how you can help, please contact Waverley Care’s fundraising team at: [email protected].