Cyrenians CEO column: Charity marks 50th year of tackling homelessness
3rd July 2018
This week Cyrenians staff welcomed the first residents into the Social Bite Village where we are providing the support on behalf of Social Bite. It’s a great day and doubly special for us at Cyrenians because it is 50 years ago to the day when Cyrenians welcomed the first residents into our first ever community…
Time is ticking down on Dollar Park floral clock
29th June 2018
A joint initiative between the Cyrenians and the Rotary Club of Falkirk has led to the landmark timepiece once again being planted out at the entrance to the popular greenspace. However, the aim is for a proper working clock to be in place by this time next year.
First arrivals at Social Bite’s homeless village will move in this weekend
27th June 2018
The first arrivals at Social Bite’s homeless village will move in this weekend…Charity partner Cyrenians will also help residents achieve independency through their support staff on site. Cyrenians chief, Ewan Aitken, said: “When people apply, they apply to be part of a community, they’re not applying for a tenancy.
Charity boss is a Leading Light of the third sector
14th June 2018
Ewan Aitken has been named as a Leading Light of Scotland’s third sector…
New Cyrenians centre a step forward in helping children resolve conflicts
13th June 2018
Graham Boyack’s article on the International Academy of Mediators conference and William Ury’s session highlights the far reaching benefits and potential of mediation…
Profile – Ewan Aitken – CEO with a passion
12th June 2018
Whether or not he wins the Leading Light award his staff have entered him for, we think Ewan Aitken deserves a mention on our pages…
Cyrenians launch “Nobody Chooses This” campaign
24th May 2018
To mark their half century the Edinburgh charity are going to raise half a million pounds from businesses so that they can continue their work with the capital’s homeless.
Read more here
Ewan Aitken: That political decision that’s making people homeless
22nd February 2018
Homelessness remains on the rise. Austerity, a political choice, is producing more destitution than ever. Social isolation, a consequence of many different competing issues, is one of the biggest drivers of vulnerability.
Read more here
Opening the Flavour and Haver Cook School
12th February 2018
Cyrenians celebrated the completion of our fantastic new Food Education Cook School, Flavour and Haver, with our special guest Prue Leith.
Find out more here.
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Ewan Aitken: Burns’ suffering helps his poetry resonate today
25th January 2018
It never ceases to amaze me that the poet whose life and work we celebrate across Scotland and the world this week – Robert Burns – was only 37 when he died. Read more here.
Clock set for a comeback
19th January 2018
For years it was an eyecatching and useful adornment to Falkirk’s Dollar Park, and now two local groups are eager to see it fully restored.Read more here.
Science behind family arguments ‘can solve damaging disputes’
18th January 2018
A new digital resource to explain why family arguments can be so damaging to prospects and life chances has been launched today at a major conference in Glasgow…
Read more here.
Hibs star kicks off our sleeping bag appeal
9th December 2017
As the nights draw in and temperatures plummet, day to day life becomes even more perilous for those who find themselves sleeping rough.Read more here.
Edinburgh Cheer: It’s time to eradicate the isolation felt by people sleeping rough in Edinburgh
7th December 2017
According to new research, two-thirds of Scots say that they would never stop to speak to a homeless person in the street. Read more here.
Club centurions deliver donation to Cyrenians Good Food Depot
30th November 2017
Ewan Aitken: The importance of ‘unselfie-ish’ attitudes
3oth November 2017
I took an “unselfie” – a “selfie” with my face hidden – this week, something many folk have suggested is an improvement! Read more here.
Social Bite Village appoints manager
29th November 2017
Homelessness and inclusion charity Cyrenians has appointed a manager for the Social Bite Village set to provide a home for up to 20 people affected by homelessness. Read more NEN, Scottish Housing News, The Edinburgh Reporter, TFN.
Families affected by imprisonment to take part in activities for Book Week Scotland
27th November 2017
The aim is to reduce re-offending by encouraging family contact, since maintaining close contact with family has been shown to reduce the risk of re-offending by up to six times and yet almost half of prisoners lose touch whilst in jail….
Read more here
The empathy gap: why don’t you meet people who think differently to you?
15th November 2017
It’s not just MPs who are out of touch – I’ve seen how many people live, work and socialise in ways that mean we rarely encounter people unlike ourselves…
Read more here
Cyrenians Recovery Hub records over 6300 visits this Alcohol Awareness Week
13th November 2017
It has been well documented by health and social care professionals, as well as debated in Parliament, that Scotland as a nation has an unhealthy relationship with alcohol…
Read more here: North Edinburgh News and Scottish Housing News and Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce.
Ewan Aitken: Social media can’t replace real human contact
3rd November 2017
Prue Leith’s Great British Bake Off time-zone Twitter slip was a metaphor for our times. That someone in Bhutan could accidentally tell us something we didn’t want to know and trigger such a huge response is a sign of both our global connectedness and our capacity to be impacted by the tiniest of actions – in this case just two words. Read more here.
‘Homeless people need help long before they end up on the streets’
18th October 2017
In an open letter in The Herald, written to coincide with Mediation Awareness Week, a number of Scottish charities have stressed the importance of early intervention in reducing the number of people presenting as homeless and have urged the Scottish Government to take note. Read more here
Ewan Aitken: Resilience is key to effect change in all areas of life
5 October 2017
“In ten days’ time I will set off to walk the equivalent of around seven half marathons in seven days as I walk the West Highland Way with my old friend Douglas Stevenson. I am doing it to raise money for Cyrenians, the homelessness and inclusion charity which, as regular readers of this column will know, is a cause close to my heart…” Read more here.
Business leaders join charities to build a positive future for Scotland
3 October 2017
“Charities and businesses across Scotland are joining forces in a first-of-its-kind event on “civic leadership”. The one-day event brings together The Open University, TSB Bank and the Edinburgh Cyrenians as well as the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce in a bid to unite the skills and common drive of both third sector organisations and businesses looking to shape the future.” Read more here.
Ewan Aitken: Bricks and mortar alone won’t end homelessness
7 September 2017
“The Scottish Government’s commitment to an “End Homelessness Fund” of £10 million per annum and a further £20m a year to tackle the impact of alcohol and drug on homelessness is very welcome. These are tiny amounts compared to what is actually needed…” Read more here.
Cyrenians launches peer support for Edinburgh’s homeless
6 September 2017
“A new service has been launched that seeks to address a visible problem with rough sleeping in Edinburgh.The Homeless Navigator Project is a new Comic Relief and Essential Edinburgh funded service within Cyrenians that aims to offer an alternative opportunity for people who are experiencing homelessness and cannot, for whatever reason, make use of the current support services that exist in Edinburgh. Read more here.
Garden provides perfect setting for Cyrenians Day
28 August 2017
“There was a little sunshine and lots of fun at the Cyrenians’ summer fete in the Dollar Park Walled Garden on Saturday. The charity, which helps maintain the picturesque outdoor space, supports those excluded from family, home, work or community.” Read more here.
Third sector groups in Scotland share £830,000 in grants
23 August 2017
“Scotland’s third sector received a major funding boost in the first half of 2017, with 46 charities sharing grants worth more than £830,000. Voluntary groups applied for awards through the Bank of Scotland Foundation’s small, medium and large grants programmes.” Read more here.
Homeless village to be built in Edinburgh before Christmas
19 July 2017
“A new village for homeless people will be up and running before Christmas. The Social Bite Village in Edinburgh will be made up of 10 two-bedroom homes that can be moved and transported. The village will be built on a 1.5-acre site of council land which has been given to Social Bite on a ‘meanwhile use’ basis, meaning it can be used until the land needs to be developed.” Read more here.
This story also featured in the following media (click links for full article):
Ewan Aitken: Judge us by how we treat enemies
22 June 2017
“Recent events in London and Manchester where innocent people have died at the hands of terrorist extremists have caused us all to ask some deeply human questions about the capacity of some people to do evil things to their neighbours in the name of their understanding of truth, be that religious, political or social.” Read more here.
City centre businesses set to fund police officers to help homeless
7 June 2017
Essential Edinburgh, the organisation which runs the Capital’s central Business Improvement District (BID), says the number of people begging and sleeping rough on the streets is on the increase. In its plan for the next five years will help fund two workers being employed by homelessness charity Cyrenians to offer direct help to people sleeping rough in the city centre. Read more here.
Ewan Aitken: Tiny steps make journey for homeless a success
25 May 2017
“Coming out from a meeting last Friday afternoon near St Giles’ I met a young man begging on the New Steps as I cut down to Market street. In these situations I prefer to offer food rather than cash. I would not suggest that’s the only or “right” option, it simply feels somehow a more human response but I have no evidence other than my own experiences to justify this.” Read the full article here.
Charity’s ‘bot’ allows chat with virtual homeless man
21 April 2017
“An Edinburgh charity has created a Facebook messenger service which allows the public to talk to a virtual homeless person.” Read the full article here.
Homeless bot is a first for Scottish charity
20 April 2017
“A Scottish charity has become the first organisation to create a digital robot to educate the public about homelessness.” Read the full article here.
Groups call on minister to take ‘decisive action’ on homelessness
4 April 2017
“A group of housing and anti-poverty organisations has called for “decisive action” on homelessness in an open letter to Communities Secretary Angela Constance.” Read the full article here.
Scotland ‘lacks political leadership’ on tackling homelessness
3 April 2017
“Twelve leading homelessness, housing and anti-poverty groups have attacked the current “lack of political leadership” and urgency in relation to tackling homelessness in Scotland.” Read the full article here.
Ewan Aitken: No progression on solution to poverty
01 March 2017
Ewan shares his insights on how the world has progressed in technology, medicine and more; yet we have still yet to solve homelessness. Read the full article here.
Edinburgh Napier hackathon event tackles homelessness
16 February 2017
Students from Edinburgh Napier University have showcased their creative skills at a 24 hour event aimed at tackling homelessness in the city. Co-hosted by homeless charity Cyrenians, IBM, Edinburgh Napier’s Bright Red Triangle and Scottish Institute for Enterprise… Read more here
Don’t get wrapped up in the idea of a ‘perfect’ Christmas
Ewan Aitken finds that there is little evidence pointing to Christmas advertsing campaigns increasing the number of sales each year. “They may have bcome part of our Christmas tradition, eagerly awaited and delightfully competitive, but they don’t shift our cash from one retailer’s tills to another. Read more here
North Edinburgh News – Garry Fraser to Open Photography Exhibition
1st December 2016
Muirhouse film maker Garry Fraser, whose film Everybody’s Child about his journey from addiction to recovery won a Bafta in 2014, is to open an exhibition of photographs by photographer Patrick Keast on 2nd December at 4pm in the My Front Room Café on Sallisbury Place. Read more here
Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce – Bafta Winning Film-maker Garry Fraser to open Recovery Journey Photography Exhibition
29th November 2016
Film Director Garry Fraser is to open a photography exhibition by Patrick Keast on 2nd December at 4pm at My Front Room Cafe, 5 Salisbury Place, Edinburgh. Read the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce article here.
Third Force News – Charity and Uni tie-up will boost social enterprise
26th July 2016
Edinburgh-based charity Cyrenians and Queen Margaret University (QMU) have joined forces to combine their shared vision for social justice and put sustainable social enterprise at the centre of higher education. Read the Third Force News article here.
Edinburgh Evening News – We Must Heal Rifts With Our Neighbours After EU Vote
23rd June 2016
We are inherently connected as human beings, even to those we will never meet; what we do will impact others whether we wish that to be the case or not. Read Ewan’s article here.
Edinburgh Evening News – Employers Need to Look Beyond Criminal Record
30th May 2016
MORE employers need to look beyond the criminal record and recognise we all have a past, a present and a future, writes Ewan Aitken. Read the article here.
Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce – Inspiring Communities Network
3rd May 2016
There is much talk about Corporate Social Responsibility and even more about the Third sector developing partnerships with businesses as one way of making CSR a reality.
Ewan writes for the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce here.
Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce – Garry Fraser
29th April 2016
An excellent piece on Garry Fraser. Garry was one of the faces in our Tell Your Story campaign. You can read it here.
Edinburgh Evening News – Cyrenians Supporting Community Gardens as Well as Homeless
28th April 2016
By purchasing locally grown produce for its food bags, you are supporting community gardens as well as the homeless, says Ewan Aitken. Read the story here.
Source – Top Ten Scottish Food
24th March 2016
Some appreciation for our Veg Bag scheme and partnership with FareShare. Find out more here.
Third Force News – Creating a Meaningful Third Sector Collaboration
25th February 2016
Third Force News – Break the Cycle of Early Death and Homelessness
25th February 2016
The Cyrenians Farm
25th February 2016
Our latest corporate video is an excellent introduction to some of the work we do here at Cyrenians.