Aberdeen Cyrenians offer a helping hand

Aberdeen Cyrenians offers a helping hand to anyone experiencing homelessness or at risk of losing their home through poverty, crisis, abuse, mental ill-health or addiction. 

Starting life as a soup kitchen organised by Aberdeen University students, for over 50 years we have been at the heart of Aberdeen supporting highly vulnerable people in the north-east. 

Through our community projects and residential services in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, we provide homelessness prevention; emotional and practical support including basic essentials such as food, toiletries and clothing; advocacy, support and information to secure temporary and permanent homes; poverty support including benefits advice, IT access and skills training; as well as social support and crisis intervention. 

At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we set up AC2U with support from Aberdeen Foyer,  CFine and Social Bite, and have been delivering food, toiletries and other essentials.  So far we have delivered over 8,000 care packages to people in crisis across Aberdeen and the surrounding area. 

Our volunteers are at the heart of the organisation supporting disadvantaged people in our community.  We have a team of 97 volunteers who support us in many different ways – packing food parcels for people in need; preparing hot food for those who don’t have a kitchen or cooker, and running yoga classes allowing our service users to boost their physical and mental wellbeing. 

Our volunteers also drive for us, collecting fresh food from local businesses, collecting supermarket donations and picking up collections from local schools, religious groups and youth organisations. 

We also have pro clothing-folders and bag packers, who help us keep our service user wardrobe organised neat and tidy, and volunteers who support us with social media, fundraising and community talks. 

During COVID-19 we’ve had to limit our operations to staff only to follow government guidelines on protecting our highly vulnerable service users with multiple and complex needs.  The work of our volunteers is greatly missed by the organisation and our service users and we look forward to welcoming them back as lockdown restrictions ease and we implement new practises to ensure safety and wellbeing.

We’re indebted to these selfless individuals who give up their time to support some of the most disadvantaged people in our community. They all embody our principles of selfless care, compassion and understanding, and it will be fantastic when we can see our volunteers back in our hub on Summer Street again. 

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