An Aberdeen youth community centre has been granted funding to create a warm space cafe for its members later in the year.
Aberdeen YMCA supports children and teenagers from across the city through its various clubs and initiatives.
From September, the centre will be able to offer a warm space cafe to members after receiving £3,500 from the National Lottery.
The cafe will be a safe, warm place for young people to meet in the community, keep warm, and get support during the colder months.
Staff plan to provide members with free hot drinks and rolls while they’re there.
Gavin Begg, a youth worker at Aberdeen YMCA, said the warm space cafe will help “combat the food crisis”.
The centre has offered its members a foodbank-style service for a few years but plans to tie it in with the warm space cafe when it opens.
They receive most of their donations from a local bakery and Sainsbury’s.
Mr Begg says demand for the existing services has increased.
They currently support around 100 families around the city and see at least 50 children come through their doors every day.
He said: “What we do is try and support the families of the young people that come into the building and this warm space cafe is just additional help.
“The service is always busy, the primary school club that we do every day a lot of them are from single-parent families so money is tight – they’re trying to work and keep a family, it’s very difficult.
“So being able to support them is a really practical thing for us to be able to do.”
‘Community activity in action’
The service has been running in Aberdeen since 1958 and Mr Begg has worked at the Aberdeen YMCA for 17 years.
He says that while there have been many changes, the community is still at the heart of the centre.
As well as the primary school club, the centre opens its doors to teenagers to give them a safe space to use their resources.
The staff are supporting members to grow and harvest their own food through an environmental project, as well as organise litter picks in the surrounding area.
They also help teens with CVs, applications and interview skills.
Kate Still, the National Lottery Community Fund Scotland chairwoman, said: “National Lottery funding can make amazing things happen in local communities across the country.
“This project delivered by Aberdeen YMCA, is a great example of community activity in action, showing just what can be achieved when people come together for a common cause or to help others.
“National Lottery players can be proud to know that the money they raise is helping to support this vital work which is making a real difference to so many.”
The warm space cafe will run from Aberdeen YMCA on Skene Terrace every Wednesday between 10.30am and 12pm from September 6.
Find out more about foodbanks you can access in your area here.