Operation Dhoby Bag

Sailors from HMS Scotia, the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) unit based at MOD Caledonia in Rosyth, have collected over 500 items of toiletries to help with a community project, based in North Edinburgh.

The Maritime Reserve unit, home to more than 100 part-time professional sailors, gathered and donated essential toiletry items throughout February, to be distributed among Edinburgh’s homeless population. 

Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Henry Gibson, a long standing and decorated member of the Scotia ship’s company organised the collection, with support from all members of the unit, their families and friends. 

CPO Gibson said, “This is a really vital lifeline for those in our communities who have, for various reasons, become homeless.”

This is a really vital lifeline for those in our communities who have, for various reasons, become homeless.

Chief Petty Officer Henry Gibson

The items were collected to be passed over to Operation HOME (“Help Out Our Many, in Edinburgh”), which is a community-led initiative, partnered with Old Kirk and Muirhouse parish, North Edinburgh. 

Reverend Stephen Ashley-Emery is the minister for Old Kirk and Muirhouse Church, and also a trainee RNR chaplain at HMS Scotia. 

Stephen said, “This may seem like a simple gesture by the sailors at HMS Scotia but it will go a long way. 

“We know there are others in the local area who are less fortunate than us and struggling through challenging times, and we hope that this small, compassionate team effort from our unit will be gratefully received.”

As part of its wider social engagement with local projects and charities, the ship’s company at HMS Scotia regularly undertakes fundraising and volunteering activities to support and interact with the local community.