Notre-Dame shows need for places that bring us together - Ewan Aitken
Thursday 18 April 2019
The fire at the iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris was undoubtedly a huge tragedy, with global impact. It is an impact so profound because it has brought to the surface something very deep about the importance of our relationship with the spaces in which we live, and in which we find meaning and hope.
Leith group attempts to stamp out period poverty
Wednesday 03 April 2019
Across the city over 10, 500 people suffer the socially isolating stigma of being unable to afford adequate sanitary products to meet their personal needs.
Almond Valley MSP visits ground-breaking Cyrenians project
Wednesday 27 February 2019
Homelessness charity Cyrenians hosted Almond Valley MSP Angela Constance at its West Lothian farm community this week.
Brexit means we are no longer welcoming the world – Ewan Aitken
Thursday 21 February 2019
We are less than 1000 hours away from Brexit. No-one has a plan – neither the Government nor the official opposition or the many other factions in and some now outside the main parties.
West Lothian primary school pupils raise funds for charity
Tuesday 5 February 2019
The pupils at Low Port Primary School raised over £200 for Cyrenians' Older People Active Lives service.
Cook up at Cyrenians Hospital Gardens
Friday 1 February 2019
Greenspace Scotland joined the team at the Edinburgh Royal hospital Community Gardens for a day.
Robert Burns’ strength lies in speaking truth to power – Ewan Aitken
Thursday 24 January 2019
Given the enormity of the decision it involves for all of us, I wanted to write about Brexit but in truth I found it impossible – partly because so much has been already said and partly because despite all those words no-one yet really knows whats going to happen!
Syrian Supper Club brings authentic Middle Eastern cuisine to Edinburgh
Tuesday 22nd January 2019
Edinburgh residents can now try out authentic Middle Eastern dishes prepared by members of Edinburgh’s refugee community.
Edinburgh public and businesses donate warm clothing to city’s homeless
Friday 11 January 2019
The freezing winter temperatures can be perilous for some of the most vulnerable people in society as they battle the elements to stay alive while sleeping on the streets.
Ewan Aitken: Dare to dream of an end to homelessness
Wednesday 02 January 2019
Oscar Wilde said, or at least had one of his characters in his play Lady Windermere’s Fan say, “we are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars”.
Ewan Aitken: Reach out to people dealt a hand full of ACEs
Thursday 29 December 2018
This week between Christmas and Hogmanay is in some ways a bit of a limbo, in others something of a mad dash between relatives and friends to make sure we see everyone at some point over the festive period.
Cash boost for Falkirk-based Cyrenians charity
Monday 24 December 2018
Falkirk’s Cyrenians charity has been awarded a £150,000 cash injection from the Big Lottery Fund Scotland.
Millennials get a warm welcome after losing home for being gay
Monday 24 December 2018
Millennials who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender are believed to make up almost a quarter of homeless young people in Scotland.
With the vulnerable, being stood up can mean a job well done
Friday 21 December 2018
Birgit Thaysen-Goodman can lay claim to being the most stood-up woman in Edinburgh.
A community farm nurturing cabbages and civic duty
Thursday 20 December 2018
Even on a bleak December morning, business is visibly booming out in the Midlothian countryside, where a field of healthy Tuscan cavolo nero and red cabbage makes for a vivid contrast against the grey smirr of rain.
Pharmacy provide essentials for homeless
Wednesday 19 December 2018
Lindsay & Gilmour have pledged their ongoing support for the life-changing work of homelessness charity Cyrenians with the donation of winter ‘Crash Packs’ containing essential toiletries for those who may find themselves homeless over the coming months.
Times Christmas appeal: Give offenders a fair chance on job forms
Monday 17 December 2018
Criminals must be allowed to hide past offences from would-be employers to secure a chance of an interview, a homeless charity has recommended.
Community ethos helps young people prepare for a stable future
Saturday 8th December 2018
It’s 7pm on a Wednesday evening and a group of twentysomethings are settling down to dinner.
Times Christmas appeal: Tackling family conflict so nobody becomes homeless
Wednesday 5th December 2018
For many families, December is a time of budgeting for presents and festive treats.
Cyrenians’ direct approach is helping rough sleepers find a way off the streets
Friday 30th November 2018
Nick Harrold never knows where his working day will begin.
Streetwise: the Cyrenians, a homeless charity, takes a direct approach to rough sleeping
Friday 30th November 2018
Cyrenians have been selected as one of three charities for The Times Christmas Appeal.
Ewan Aitken: I look forward to the Advent of an end to homelessness
Thursday 29th November 2018
Every year at Christmas good friends of mine try to wind me up by sending more and more outlandish Advent calendars to my children – the further removed from the message of Christmas an advent calendar is, the more likely it is to be found in my house.
Scottish Government puts ‘rapid rehousing’ at centre of new homelessness action plan
Tuesday 28th November 2018
Rough sleeping prevention and a shift towards rapid rehousing are among the key aims of a new Scottish Government action plan to bring an end to homelessness in Scotland.
Cyrenians Outreach Project marks one year of helping homeless people
Tuesday 06 November 2018
Homelessness charity Cyrenians is marking the one year anniversary of its Homeless Navigator Project.
How Syrian supper clubs are helping heal the wounds of war
Saturday 03 November 2018
At the end of a street off the bottom of Leith Walk, there’s a cluster of ordinary-looking cabins.
Radio Forth Befriending Scheme Continues To Tackle Loneliness Across Scotland
Thursday 01 November
Radio Forth are revisiting their ‘Take The Time’ campaign to celebrate the beginning of Befriending Week as they continue their extensive work to combat loneliness across Scotland.
Ewan Aitken: You can eat out and help the hungry and homeless too
Thursday 01 November
"It’s hard enough living through the insecurity of homelessness, without also not being able to access the facilities to cook affordable meals. Yet this is the daily reality for so many people in temporary accommodation in our city."
Hibs boss to front top team for £1.3bn City Region Deal
Monday 29 October 2018
A solid line-up of leaders from the private and third sectors have been appointed to advise on the Edinburgh and South-East Scotland City Region Deal.
A Journey Worth Travelling - Blog by Ewan Aitken
Friday 26 October 2018
“If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together” may or may not be an African proverb, its origins being uncertain; but it holds a truth which I have seen lived out in a perhaps unlikely but quite delightful group of travelling companions with whom I have the privilege of sharing a journey, not geographical in nature, but of curiosity, compassion, service and ambition.
Falkirk’s Arnotdale House to have new use
Tuesday 16 October 2018
After lying empty for seven years, a plan to breathe new life into Arnotdale House in Falkirk’s Dollar Park, has been approved.
Edinburgh restaurants join campaign to help feed the homeless
Thursday 18 October 2018
Diners eating out in restaurants, bars and cafes in the run-up to the festive season are being asked to pay for cookery classes for the homeless.
Young homeless in Edinburgh to benefit from conflict resolution workshops
Friday 12 October 2018
Cyrenians will continue to transform the lives of the homeless in Edinburgh and Lothians with the help of £7,500 from Aberdeen Standard Investments Charitable Foundation to offer conflict resolution workshops to 100 more young people.
Ewan Aitken: Conflict is not confined to cup semi-finals in Scotland
Thursday 04 October 2018
Though it looks likely to soon be changed, the Scottish Premier Football League’s decision to hold both semi-finals of the 2018 Betfred Cup on the same day in the same venue, has been met with a barrage of criticism from police, transport, players, the clubs involved, commentators and many more besides.
Green schemes scoop £1m funding boost
Tuesday 02 October 2018
Green projects involving everything from hospital patients growing their own food to creating homes for frogs are to benefit from a major funding package from Scotland’s nature agency.
Shelter Scotland Declare National Housing Emergency
Friday 21 September 2018
A NATIONAL housing emergency has been declared by a major homeless charity after the number of people seeking help surged to record numbers.
Rob Davidson: Whether it’s Scotland or Malawi, climate change is having an effect on farmers
Friday 14 September 2018
Alena Dishoni lives nearly 8,000 miles away, but we have much in common. As farmers, we both depend on the climate and we can both see it is changing for the worse.
Ewan Aitken: Patrick Keast photos illustrate importance of partnerships
Thursday 06 September 2018
If you head up to St Andrew Square you’ll see some photographs of city life. Set in the heart of our city they are a window into the lives of some who are on the “edge” of city life – even though many are physically not far from the exhibition which contains their images.
Homeless charity's Hibs hook-up is a real game changer
Thursday 30 August 2018
Homelessness charity Cyrenians has provided more than 600 free lunches at Hibs’ Easter Road Stadium.
Photographer captures harsh life sleeping rough in Capital
Wednesday 29 August 2018
A hard-hitting photography exhibition is turning the lens on life on the streets in a partnership between city businesses and homeless prevention charity, Cyrenians.
Cyrenians announce five year partnership with Essential Edinburgh
Monday 27 August 2018
The partnership between Cyrenians and Essential Edinburgh is a huge step forward, and will prove to be invaluable to our organisation...
Why do homeless people 'vanish' during the Fringe?
23rd August 2018
As Edinburgh’s population triples during August with an influx of visitors desperate to experience the iconic festival, those less fortunate flee to the outskirts of the Capital...
Cyrenians column: New Edinburgh Inclusive Homelessness Services plans welcome
21st August 2018
I was very pleased to read about the plans for the new Integrated Homelessness Service in Edinburgh.
Joint letter to the Home Secretary on concerns over the effect of Brexit on volunteering
21st August 2018
This week Cyrenians joined partner organisations to counter sign a letter to Home Secretary Sajid Javid MP regarding growing concerns about the impact Brexit is having on the number of successful Tier 5 volunteering applications.
Housing First fund takes ‘significant step’ with first wave of new support
Tuesday 07 August 2018
Five projects that will aim to help hundreds of homeless people across five cities in Scotland off the streets and into a secure tenancy with support have been awarded the first wave of support from the Housing First Scotland Fund.
Cyrenians consortium to head up Housing First Edinburgh
Tuesday 07 August 2018
Cyrenians has been announced as the lead organisation for a new fund aimed at tackling homelessness in Edinburgh. The Edinburgh based homelessness charity, who are currently marking their 50th year, are delighted to be selected as the lead organisation in the ambitious Housing First Edinburgh programme.
More Social Bite cash goes to fund projects
Monday 06 August 2018
Five projects supporting hundreds of homeless people have been awarded funding from Social Bite.
Charity looking for volunteers to befriend elderly people
28th July 2018
The Cyrenians' OPAL (Older People, Active Lives) scheme is on the lookout for new volunteers.
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