We’ve been supporting people for more than 20 years - so we have a good idea of what works. But that doesn’t mean Aberdeen Foyer is standing still. We are facing up to new challenges and putting effective solutions into action.
The Foyer has helped thousands of young people and adults in the North East of Scotland to deal with, and move on from, tough situations including homelessness, unemployment, mental illness and poverty. Now we are also working hard to tackle the causes that lead to crisis.
The next phase of Aberdeen Foyer’s mission is being led by a new Chief Executive. Leona McDermid took over in August from Ken Milroy, who retired after 22 years at the helm.
Leona, who for 10 years was an Executive Director with the Foyer, said: "Even before joining the organisation I was very aware of the Foyer's outstanding reputation and commitment to making a real difference in the lives of so many across the North East.
"The Foyer has always had an eye for innovation and solutions that matter to people and I am committed to maintaining and building on that legacy."
That means staying true to the vision set out when Aberdeen Foyer was founded in 1995. But it also means moving beyond those goals to meet the challenges of today head on.
Each year, the Foyer helps well over 1,600 young people and adults who face poverty and disadvantage in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. We start with people’s strengths, supporting them to build their own confidence, develop their talents and make real and lasting change in their lives.
We do this by creating opportunities for people to move into education, sustainable employment and independent living. Helping people to look after themselves and contribute to their communities.
Our services provide a safe place to stay for young people who are going through a period of homelessness. We support people who are unemployed to learn new skills and move into work. We engage people through education and learning opportunities. We support positive mental health and wellbeing.
We will continue to do these things with purpose and energy. And we will work on early intervention and prevention - tackling the circumstances that lead to people experiencing homelessness, unemployment and poverty.
Our staff are dynamic, resourceful and compassionate. They are ready to deliver real change and make an even bigger difference in the lives of the people with whom we work.
The Foyer values being a trusted partner, collaborating with others to improve outcomes for, and with, young people and adults who are experiencing tough times in their lives. That means understanding their needs and those of a changing regional economy.
Leona said: “I believe there is no limit to what people can achieve and that everyone has the right to a positive future. People come to the Foyer to access the support they need to continue with their lives the way they want them to be, discovering their strengths, following their dreams and knowing how to get there.
“By addressing the root causes of poverty and inequality, we will enable individuals to fulfil their potential - and strengthen their communities.”