An Aberdeen homeless charity is aiming to raise £50,000 in one week this Christmas as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations.

Aberdeen Cyrenians have been selected to take part in this year’s national Big Give Christmas Challenge, which takes place from midday on Tuesday, November 27 until midday the following Tuesday, December 4.

The Big Give Christmas Challenge is an online, match funding challenge – meaning all donations made to the charity during this time are automatically doubled by a philanthropic champion.

Aberdeen Cyrenians are being championed by the Garfield Weston Foundation – who are celebrating their 60th anniversary this year - and will be using the money raised to fund their Street Alternatives project.

Kate Loades, Aberdeen Cyrenians, fundraising manager said "We’ve had an exceptionally busy year marking our 50th anniversary, and being selected for the Big Give Christmas Challenge means our efforts to raise funds and awareness about our work in this special year will continue in the run up to Christmas."

"This year, with benefit changes and continued austerity, we’ve seen a rise in the number of people who desperately need our services. In our Street Alternatives project, we’ve served almost 5,000 meals so far this year alone."

"We’re expecting this demand to continue into 2019 – and this is why we need people to support us by making an online donation in the Big Give Christmas Challenge week. All donations made – big or small – will have twice the impact, allowing us to help alleviate homelessness and hardship as much as we can. It costs just £6 to provide a hot meal and combat loneliness amongst some of the city’s most vulnerable individuals."

Philippa Charles, director of the Garfield Weston Foundation said "We know that charities are facing high levels of need and are really stepping up to deliver services in lots of different ways. However, to do this they need support. In celebration of our 60th anniversary year, we are delighted that our selected charities now have the opportunity to engage donors to raise these much needed funds."

The Street Alternatives Project provides a hot meal, warm showers and laundry facilities, along with advice and support, four times a week to people in the city who are sleeping rough, in temporary accommodation, without access to cooking facilities and facing social isolation.

Each month this year, the charity have provided on average 460 meals, 109 hot showers and done 50 loads of laundry – and raising £50,000 this Christmas will allow the team to continue to do this.

Online donations and proceeds from events can be donated to Aberdeen Cyrenians through the Big Give Christmas Challenge here.

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