A north-east charity is asking for donations of surplus offshore thermal wear to help its staff and service users keep warm in the depths of winter.
Aberdeen Cyrenians has been working throughout the Covid-19 pandemic to provide care for vulnerable people and those experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
In recent months, these services have taken place outside to allow staff and service users to socially distance.
However, while this is less of a problem in summer, with temperatures currently struggling to get above freezing it is far more of a challenge.
Emma Bellu, fundraising and communications manager at Aberdeen Cyrenians, said: “In a lot of cases we’re able to provide support remotely via phone or text. But the vulnerability of many of our service users mean that they need more contact.
“Obviously, with the weather at the moment, it’s a lot harder for people to engage with services as much as they need to because they’d usually go for a walk or stand at the doorstep.”
Initially, Aberdeen Cyrenians issued a call for excess jackets and fleeces, with North Sea giant Chrysaor, offshore catering supplier Compass Group, as well as M&H Carriers, quickly stepping up to the mark.
The charity is now asking for donations of offshore thermal wear, such as leggings and t-shirts, which can keep service users warm while they’re with support staff.
In total, it’s looking to provide support for around 200 people across the Granite City.
Due to covid restrictions, Aberdeen Cyrenians is currently unable to take public donations individually.
However, Ms Bellu said if a company were to do a collection on the charity’s behalf then it would be able to accept that.
She added: “We’ve got enough coats for now but we’re after anything that allows our service users to keep warm. If they’re having to go for walks out in the cold then they’re more likely to engage if they’re warm while doing it otherwise they might be put off.
“My husband works in oil and gas and I’m aware that it’s pretty cold offshore and a lot of people have the specialist clothing that can help with that. It’s an environment that many locals will be familiar with and an area where they might be able to help.”
Since the initial appeal went out earlier this week Ms Bellu said they’d have a great response, with people trying to help out in “lots of different ways”.
She added: “We’ve had amazing donations from oil and gas companies over the years. Many people that are in poverty today are also in work so it’s not even their own staff that are immune to the issues that we support. They’ve contributed in a big way for a number of years.”