I heard a great definition of friendship once and it was… “when everyone else is leaving that’s when true friends arrive.” When the world is leaving – we come in! Each weekend in Aberdeen around 20,000 people go out for a good time and most enjoy it, but for some it can turn out not as they expected. Alcohol-fuelled arguments, the pain of bereavement and just wanting to talk through life’s difficulties are some of the things that Aberdeen Street Pastors encounter.
Aberdeen SP’s have been operating for 2.5 years now, building a trusted and credible track record for meeting needs and playing a role in seeing the crime rate in the City Centre reduced. The SP volunteers frequently have wonderful God encounters, praying for the public and seeing people that would never come to church experiencing something of God’s love right out on the streets. For more information visit www.streetpastors.co.uk.
Integrate Scotland, Aberdeen
“Working towards breaking the cycle of offending behaviour.”
At the age of 19, when Caroline Crombie became a Christian, she had a growing sense that God had a purpose for her life that was more than the horizons she had perhaps placed on herself. Caroline felt drawn towards helping people break away from offending behaviours and move towards more constructive and purposeful lives in the community. After a few years which included being mentored in this type of work by an ex-offender, Caroline started looking for ways to extend the support for people so that it did not simply cease when the prison gate closed behind them and they were liberated, but continued in the community as people began to resettle. And so the work of Integrate began.
Integrate’s mission is “To relieve the needs of those in Scotland who have experienced disadvantage as a result of their offending behaviour by providing support, information and advocacy, as a practical outworking of the Christian faith.”
The concept of community chaplaincy is based on the understanding that intensive befriending and mentoring of offenders, by the Community Chaplain and volunteers can lead to a quantifiable reduction in the rate of re-offending behaviour. The charity seeks to serve individuals of all faiths and none. For further information visit www.IntegrateScotland.org.
Choices Pregnancy Crisis Centre, Aberdeen
Choices Aberdeen is a local registered charity which has at its heart the support, care, and empowerment of vulnerable women. Trained counselors provide a calm and confidential environment, helping clients to share their feelings and make sense of their choices. “The Journey”, a ten session grief counseling programme, allows clients to explore the effects of baby loss and assists them to find emotional healing. The choices team of befrienders offer support to clients who need help with the practicalities of everyday life and are there for a coffee and a chat when needed. Choices are also supporting young people to make healthy lifestyle choices by delivering workshops to build confidence, self esteem and awareness of sexual health. For more information visit www.careconfidential.com
Teen Challenge North East Scotland
Teen challenge offers hope and freedom of God to hurting people through helping men and women break free from the misery of addictions to start new lives, which they and their families can be proud of. The charity operates two residential facilities in the NE Scotland, Sunnybrae for men and Benaiah for women (Benaiah means ‘God has built’). Here the residents complete the Bible-based Teen Challenge programme, which is finely balanced between classroom and work duties.
Visit www.tcns.org.uk for more details.