A student is travelling more than 400 miles to investigate what life is like for Aberdeen’s homeless population.
Jonathan Kennard, 25, is travelling to from Nottingham to Aberdeen to spend just over a week on the streets.
The student, who studies social policy, health and housing at Chester University, hopes to gather enough information to launch his own homeless prevention charity after he graduates.
Mr Kennard has previously ‘slept rough’ on the streets of Liverpool in 2016, and in Stirling last year.
In the latter community, he established a site beneath the city’s viaduct and, using discarded pallets, built a shelter and survived off water, black coffee and – “for psychological relief – Irn-Bru.
This time round, he has done “far more preparation.”
He said: “I decided to come to Aberdeen for more of a challenge, as the city has a larger homeless community than Stirling.
“I’m currently preparing for the eight-day period.
“I will be fasting during the stay, so as to get a proper experience of the life of a homeless person in Aberdeen.
“I’ve been in the gym building up my strength, taking cold baths in anticipation for the temperatures and eating a special diet.”
Mr Kennard plans to sleep slightly outwith the city centre for safety reasons, but will travel back to Union Street during the day to meet and talk with homeless people.
The 25-year-old hopes to identify the key challenges faced by the homeless community and to raise his online profile during his stay, in preparation for launching his own charity.
He said: “We have great services across the UK but more needs to be done.
“We need people to be empathetic and know what homeless people are going through, and to direct them to the help available.
“I’d recommend to everyone in Aberdeen, over giving food or money, to give homeless people a bit of their time.
“I know that is hard in the world we live in today, but it really can make a difference.”
Earlier this month, Shelter Scotland released a report showing the scale of housing problems experienced by people in the Aberdeen area, with 1,355 people contacting the charity for help last year – an increase of 13% on 2016-17.
The study revealed that one in four of these people was at risk of homelessness within 28 days with 7% of the total – 90 households – already homeless or at risk of homelessness that night.
To follow Mr Kennard’s journey in Aberdeen, go to www.instagram.com/jonathan.kennard.9