2015 marked the Foyer’s 20th anniversary of supporting people in the North East of Scotland towards independent living, learning and work.
It was young people who faced multiple issues resulting in homelessness that prompted the formation of Aberdeen Foyer in March 1995. While the Foyer has moved well beyond the early focus on those aged 16 – 25 to encompass a much wider age range of programme participants, learners and tenants, young people remain a priority group. For young people the transition from adolescence to adulthood can be difficult. We listen and respond to the hopes and aspirations of those we accommodate, helping them plan for life beyond the Foyer – a safe home, a job, friends and family.
In recent years we have also sought to broaden our reach, to move ‘up stream’ to work with younger people to prevent crisis in later years and also to work with older people, particularly in moving into employment.
Much of what we do at the Foyer is about enabling people of all ages who have faced difficulties in their lives to progress into work. Being in work brings about lasting change to people who have faced challenges in their lives, helping them move on from homelessness, poor health and wellbeing, offending backgrounds and substance misuse. Having a job provides a real sense of purpose, belonging and worth and opens up opportunity.
From small beginnings in 1995 we now work on average with 2000 people a year. The growth of the organisation has been fuelled through our positive and practical response to need, matched with an eye for opportunity and a focussed sense of purpose.
Looking to the future we see new challenges ahead as changes in the welfare system impact on individuals, families and communities. The concerns of 20 years ago which prompted our formation still remain, albeit the context and environment has moved on. We want to be even better connected to the communities we serve in the North East. We want to continue to be responsive, innovative, enterprising and adaptable. We see an increasing importance of providing opportunities for volunteering in our work, to build capacity in individuals and communities.
We take great pride in the impact we have made working to support and strengthen communities, addressing the causes and consequences of poverty and inequality. In Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire people have moved into their own homes, into jobs, have improved education, skills, health and quality of life.
Their success is our success.
In the last 20 years we have stayed focussed on realising the vision set out by our founding partners:
- providing a safe place to stay for young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness
- enabling people to move towards and into work
- improving access to health services and promoting good health, healthy choices and lifestyles
- being enterprising, developing and operating businesses to support our work