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Connect at Christmas: The charities and volunteer groups fighting to beat loneliness

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There are countless organisations working to tackle lonelieness across the north and north-east in all sorts of different ways.

The P&J’s Connect at Christmas campaign is working with as many as possible to share their stories.

Here we will be adding details about how you can get in touch with them to find out more, to donate or to volunteer.




Poppyscotland provides life-changing support to the armed forces community. The charity reaches out to those who have served, those still serving, and their families at times of crisis and need.

Money raised from its annual Scottish Poppy Appeal and its year-round fundraising helps deliver support to members of the armed forces community in Scotland by providing tailored funding and assistance.

It funds services in advice, employment, housing, mental health, mobility and respite.

  • Individuals can access support by calling 0131 550 1557 from 9am until 4pm, five days a week, or emailing
  • Veterans can also call Veterans’ Gateway on 0808 802 1212 or text 81212 out of hours 24 hours a day.


Mikeysline offers support to individuals of all ages going through difficult and vulnerable points in their life. The grassroots charity is dedicated to suicide prevention through helping to raise awareness of mental health.

Individuals can access confidential support through their text-based service or access face-to-face support at the Hive, their drop-in centre.

  • Mikeysline can be contacted by text on 07786 207755 or on social media.
  • Appointments and drop-in’s available at the Hive between 6pm and 10pm Sunday to Thursday and 6pm to 11pm Friday and Saturday.

Befrienders Highland

Befrienders Highland provides one-to-one befriending throughout the Highland area for people who are lonely and isolated as a result of their mental ill health, have memory issues or are full-time carers. Befriending is provided by trained volunteers who are carefully matched up with those referred to the charity (called friends). Befriending is about lifting people out of loneliness and isolation and helping them build their self-confidence and self-esteem to live their lives better.

  • Mental health service – Inverness office.
    • Alan Duncan, Alison Campbell, Malcolm MacSween and Ruth webster
    • Telephone: 01463 712791
  • Mental health service – Wick office
    • Catherine Patterson
    • Telephone: 07738274437
  • Memory and carer service
    • Carol Summers
    • Telephone: 01463 712791

RNIB Scotland

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) offers support to blind and partially sighted people across the country.

It recognises everyone’s unique experience of sight loss and offers a range of support including practical and emotional support, campaigning for change and reading services as well as providing appropriate products through their online shop.

  • Their free telephone helpline is available on 0303 123 9999 to give advice and information and refer people on to other services.

Western Isles Foyer

Western Isles Foyer is a small local independently-funded charity that works with young people aged 16 -26 who currently live, or are moving or returning to live, in the Western Isles who are homeless, in housing need, or are subject to other significant social disadvantages.

The objective is to support young people to secure a safe place to live support them to feel more socially included, valued, respected, and have access to opportunities to make a meaningful contribution in their local communities and inspire them to achieve their full potential.

Childline Aberdeen

Childline offers a free counselling service for children in the UK to speak about any issues, worries or problems they may have. Volunteers run the service 365 days a year and offer support, information and practical advice.

Contact: 0800 1111 or talk to a counsellor one-on-one

Western Isles Association for Mental Health

Western Isles Association for Mental Health runs a drop-in service called Catch 23 for adults with mental health issues, their friends, families and carers.

Catch 23 plays a vital role in our community in helping reduce social isolation, reducing the stigma associated with mental illness, and provides a safe place for people to come, connect and feel accepted whilst also providing people with the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities to support their recovery and helps build people’s confidence and self-esteem.

  • Westerns Isles Association for Mental Health can be contacted by phone on 01851 704964 or by email at

Linking Lives

Aberdeen Linking Lives works across the city to combat loneliness and social isolation. Since the pandemic, volunteers have been providing a telephone befriending service to elderly people who benefit from the one-hour call.

Aberdeen Foyer

Aberdeen Foyer works with young people in the north-east to support them towards independent living, learning and work. This includes providing young people who are homeless or at risk a safe place to stay, supporting the unemployed to learn new skills and offering opportunities.

Young at Heart Deeside

The group aims to provide a sustainable network of activities, clubs and support to older people in the rural communities of Aboyne, Ballater, Braemar and the surrounding villages by helping to reduce social isolation and inequality.

The Living Well Café

The Living Well Café provides social support for those affected by memory loss and dementia, their families are carers.

Contact: 07512141818 or

Grampian Autistic Society

Grampian Autistic Society (GAS) seeks to ensure the provision of the best possible education, care, support and opportunities for people of all ages with autism in the north-east of Scotland. The society also seeks to support families, to improve understanding of autism, and to develop best practice amongst carers, professionals and society at large.

Aberdeen Muslims

The group was set up by Aberdonian Muslims who have lived in the city all of their lives to promote unity in the Muslim community by working in different partnerships. They also aim to build relations with the wider non-Muslim community and act as a point of contact for information – running outreach services and helping those in need.


Neomammas is a focused interactive bonding and movement parent and baby class which runs different themed weeks and activities.

Befriending Caithness

Befriending Caithness covers Caithness, Bettyhill and Strathy, areas offering social support to help reduce isolation and loneliness.

The organisation brings volunteer befrienders and the befriendees come together and let us share their lives through socialising.

Services available include a social telephone call, conducting face to face gatherings via technology and writing letters and cards.

Befriending Caithness can be contacted in the following ways:

  • Angie House at – 07592493048
  • Elspeth Manson at – 07592493045
  • Kayleigh Sinclair at
  • From December 16, individuals can also contact the group at their office on 01955 609962 and leaving a message.

North East Sensory Services

North East Sensory Services (NESS) reaches over 6,300 people in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Dundee and Moray who are living with a sight and/or hearing loss. The charity to support these people of all ages to achieve independence through personalised support.


VSA  provides care to vulnerable people in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, including elderly people and those battling mental health issues.It provides social care for thousands of children and adults as well as services for older people, offering care at home services, activity centres and weekend day care.