Finish line for Aberdeen Cyrenians charity challenge

Local teams supporting north-east charity Aberdeen Cyrenians have reached the end of their 555-mile challenge to virtually tour Scottish premiership stadiums by the end of September.

The Home/Away challenge asked teams to work together to travel the 555 miles via walking, cycling or running to raise vital funds for Aberdeen Cyrenians to support services supporting those affected by homelessness and crisis.

So far, teams taking part in the event have raised over £2,250 for the charity.

Steve, who completed the challenge with his team by walking the final miles to the charity’s headquarters in Summer Street, said: “For me, helping Cyrenians has a personal meaning. Back in the early eighties I myself was homeless for a number of reasons. I found myself sleeping in doorways, if I got into a block of flats or highrise I slept in the stairway and at one point slept in the back of an abandoned estate car on some waste ground just off Riverside Drive.

“My days were mostly spent trying to get food and often by going to Asda at Bridge of Dee and taking food into the toilets to eat without paying for it. I would often think about whether anyone would notice if I wasn’t there.

“Eventually I got to a point where I decided I would either spend the rest of my life, however long that would be, as a tramp or I would do something about it. To cut a long story short I eventually pulled myself out of the gutter secured some accommodation and a job.

“From the late eighties, I spend my working life in sales/retail and mostly in supervisory and managerial positions. A few years ago I became a Funeral Director with Gordon & Watson and have met some wonderful and brave people. 

“So for me, helping the Cyrenians is personal as if I can help even one person get back on their feet then it will be worthwhile. “

Emily Mackenzie, marketing and fundraising assistant for Aberdeen Cyrenians, said: “The Home and Away challenge has been a great way for people to get active whilst also raising vital funds for our services.

“Aberdeen Cyrenians can help people who are affected by homelessness, at risk of being homeless, in crisis, or challenged by addiction and mental ill health, so we are always needing to raise vital donations to help fund this support.

“With the pandemic it has been a challenging time for many, so we really appreciate all the support from people like Steve and other teams who have taken on this challenge, and those that have supported their efforts by donating on Just Giving.

“We have already had a lot of great feedback from teams taking part in the challenge and are keen to do a similar event next year!”

To find out more about the challenge or to donate, please visit

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