The boss of Aberdeen Cyrenians has announced he is moving on – to head up a national mental health charity.
Mike Burns has been chief executive of the city’s homelessness charity for nearly four years, helping to expand the services and develop the team.
He has now accepted the top job at national mental health charity Penumbra, but said he was “incredibly proud” of the work the Cyrenians team has carried out – particularly during Covid.
The charity’s head of corporate and business services Chris Bennett-Taylor will step up as interim chief.
Mr Burns said: “It has been my pleasure to lead Aberdeen Cyrenians and to work with the leadership team to grow the organisation, delivering new and expanded services to support the most vulnerable in our community.
“I am particularly proud of the team and the response to the Covid pandemic and wish Chris and the new leadership team every success.”
During the pandemic, the charity – which works with people who are homeless, fleeing abuse or battling alcohol, drugs or mental health issues – launched three new services and recruited more than a dozen new staff.
The new services include specialist support for survivors of historic abuse, a digital skills and computer donation scheme for homeless people, and a redesign of the charity’s Summer Street food hub.
Praise for strong leadership
Chairwoman Rebecca Walker paid tribute to Mr Burns and hailed his “strong and transformative leadership”.
She added: “The multiple awards won by the organisation in recent years are a testament to the fantastic work of the team in delivering care and support for those in crisis.
“This past year has been an incredible challenge like no other. The board would like to thank Mike and the whole team at Aberdeen Cyrenians for their dedication and passion throughout the pandemic.
“Chris has extensive leadership experience and has made equally important contributions to the organisation, making him the ideal candidate to provide further strong leadership and organisational stability.”