Supporting your chosen charity has never been more important

North East charities are working hard to keep their services going but they need our help.

As the early Aberdeen fundraising deadline approaches on Tuesday 5th May, we speak to three charities in the North East, Aberdeen Cyrenians, Befriend a Child and Charlie House to find out more about the vital work they are doing during these challenging times.

All funds raised for Aberdeen charities will be paid out within 24 hours of the May 5th deadline plus an additional 50% boost from Sir Tom Hunter.


Aberdeen Cyrenians offer a helping hand to anyone in crisis to get them back on their feet. We provide critical care and support to individuals and families who are rough sleeping, living without a permanent address or fleeing violence and abuse, ex-offenders with nowhere to go and those battling mental health, alcohol and substance issues.

Emergency response during the pandemic

As people in need can no longer come to our city centre hub to ask for support, we converted our hot food and foodbank into a delivery service called AC2U and invited charity partners to work together with us to ensure those who need food, toiletries and clothing can still get access to these. In four weeks, we’ve delivered over 4,500 care packages across the city.

We’ve also continued all our abuse, violence, justice and mental wellbeing services by moving them online, and using phone calls and other digital communication tools. Our community support workers are providing the same care and advice they would in person to service users via telephone, email and video. Lastly, in our residential projects, we have a great team of frontline workers who are tirelessly supporting our residents through this, keeping people inside, entertained and safe while supporting their mental health and addiction issues worsened by anxiety created by the outbreak.

Funds are needed now

This pandemic has been devastating for people who are already vulnerable and struggling with daily life; now everything is harder. More and more people are turning to us in dire need, and, as other services have changed and adapted, we’re finding it’s quite challenging to access the same, combined support that may have been available before.

The Kiltwalk fundraising which is being released early on May 6th will allow us to continue this vital support for people in need, people who are hungry, prisoners being released early into this completely changed world or those who have left a violent partner. We’re focussing on getting people through this, and getting them the help they need to survive during this lockdown - all the pennies and pounds really do add up right now.

See their recent video on Twitter


Befriend a Child are a children’s charity who offer 1:1 and group befriending and mentoring programmes and projects for school aged children across Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire who are facing difficult life circumstances.

The children we support come from a range of backgrounds can be referred to us for a number of reasons such as abuse and neglect, substance and alcohol misuse in the home, they could be looked after by elderly grandparents who need additional support or perhaps they are struggling with connecting to their peers and just need a friend.

Our volunteer befrienders and mentors act as positive adult role models for the children taking them on fortnightly or weekly outings which help build their child’s confidence and self-esteem, encourage them to learn new skills and show them more of what life has to offer, over time this has a transformative effect.

Emergency response during the pandemic

Due to the pandemic and the resulting UK lockdown Befriend a Child have had to flex and adapt our programmes and projects, temporarily suspending all face to face outings and group activities planned.

Our 1:1 befriending and mentoring programmes and projects have now digitised with volunteers linking in with the children they support via telephone, FaceTime, email and many alternate means. Some have opted to write letters and share stories that way, some have even sent care packages full of fun activities for the children to take part in while they’re apart.

We have been actively supporting over 160 children, young people and their families through our digital and remote befriending and mentoring programmes and projects over the course of lockdown.

Funds are needed now

With the cancellation of so many fundraising events and activities, we were due to take part in any funds raised are so greatly appreciated right now. For every £1 raised, Befriend a Child can generate £6.13 of social benefit to the children and families we support so every £1 really makes a difference to the life of a child or young person and will mean we can reach and support even more children once lockdown is lifted.

Check out their recent video on Twitter.


Charlie House is a local children’s charity which support babies, children and young people with complex disabilities and life-conditions, and their families, in the North-east of Scotland.

Emergency response during the pandemic

Since the Covid-19 lockdown and isolation began, Charlie House has seen an 80% increase in requests for support from the families we engage with as well as new family referrals. We have had to change our entire support mechanism and are now offering online and phone support – both emotional and practical, as a result, our services team are working incredibly hard to meet demand. We have also created pre-recorded information videos, on-line activities and resources, are arranging the creation and regular delivery of isolation packs including sensory toys, games, arts & crafts and pamper packs as well as disposable gloves and hand sanitiser.

Funds are needed now

The charity has obviously seen a significant reduction in income and donations, which will continue to be the case for a significant period of time. The support provided by the Charlie House team is a lifeline for some families as they adjust to the extended isolation period while juggling siblings who are currently out of school, working from home and the withdrawal of regular carers who help share their child’s care requirements. We have to continue to be able to offer this support and keep our charity functioning to ensure the families are supported now and into the future and for that we need vital funds via wonderful events such as the Kiltwalk.


Thank you for your Kiltwalk Kindness.

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