Supporters of a north-east homelessness charity have successfully reached the end of a mammoth 555-mile challenge.
Aberdeen Cyrenians, which supports people who are without homes, fleeing violence, coping with mental health issues, or facing a crisis in other ways, asked teams to travel 555 miles up until September for its Home and Away challenge.
The 555 miles target was designed to replicate travelling from Pittodrie to 12 other Scottish Premiership stadiums and back again.
So far, teams taking part in the event have raised more than £2,250 for the charity.
Steve McLaughlan and his team completed the challenge today by walking their final miles to the charity’s headquarters in Summer Street.
He said: “For me, helping Cyrenians has a personal meaning. Back in the early eighties I myself was homeless for a number of reasons.
“I found myself sleeping in doorways, if I got into a block of flats or a high rise I slept in the stairway and at one point slept in the back of an abandoned estate car on some waste ground just off Riverside Drive.
“My days were mostly spent trying to get food and often by going to Asda at Bridge of Dee and taking food into the toilets to eat without paying for it. I would often think about whether anyone would notice if I wasn’t there.
“Eventually I got to a point where I decided I would either spend the rest of my life, however long that would be, as a tramp or I would do something about it.
“I eventually pulled myself out of the gutter, secured some accommodation and a job. “From the late eighties, I spend my working life in sales and retail, mostly in supervisory and managerial positions.
“A few years ago I became a funeral director with Gordon & Watson and have met some wonderful and brave people.
“Cyrenians is close to my heart and if I can help even one person get back on their feet then it will be worthwhile.”
Emily Mackenzie, marketing and fundraising assistant for Aberdeen Cyrenians said: “The Home and Away challenge has been a great way for people to get active whilst also raising vital funds for our services.
“Aberdeen Cyrenians can help people who are affected by homelessness, at risk of being homeless, in crisis, or challenged by addiction and mental ill-health, so we are always needing to raise vital donations to help fund this support.
“The coronavirus pandemic has been a challenging time for many, so we really appreciate all the support from people like Steve and other teams who have taken on this challenge, and those that have supported their efforts by donating on Just Giving.
“We are asking for one last push on our JustGiving page to help us reach our £5,000 goal.”
To find out more about the challenge or to donate go to https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/homeaway