LET'S GIVE BACK
Somebody Cares is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) committed to improving the welfare of the impoverished of Aberdeen. As well as operating a very busy food bank, we collect donations of second-hand furniture, clothes, toys and household items which are the either given directly (for free) to those that need them, or sold at our Megastore in order to generate the income required to pay the Charity overheads.
Established in 2002, Somebody Cares SCIO exists to support those within the local area whom for many reasons are facing challenging times. The charitable purposes of Somebody Cares are:
- The prevention or relief of poverty within Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire
- The relief of those in need by reason of age, ill health, disability, financial hardship or another disadvantage.
In the UK we are living in desperate and difficult days with recession, rising unemployment, benefit changes, major increases in food prices, and rising utility bills. The Covid-19 pandemic of 2020/2021 further exacerbated the situation and has catapulted us into a possible recession that the UK (and indeed the world) has not experienced or seen the depth of in modern times.
Whilst organisations like Somebody Cares are already contributing on a daily basis an enormous amount of charitable support to Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, and positively impacting the lives of those who would otherwise be living on the streets, desperately seeking their next hot meal, or scrambling for clothes and a warm bed for their families, this need is only going to increase exponentially over the next few years.
Quite simply, Somebody Cares needs to continue to grow in the support it provides, with even more help from the local communities, supporters, corporate sponsors, charitable foundations, Scottish and Westminster government and both of our hard working local councils.
OUR ORGANISATION STRUCTURE
In order to understand how the organisation meets its objectives, it is important to know what the structure of the organisation is and how the income is generated.
We help fund our free services to those that we support by a donation of the profits from the operation of our Megastore in Hazeldene Road, Aberdeen. A firm favourite with many a local resident, there are many gems and bargains to be found amongst the huge variety of items for sale.
The Megastore re-opened its doors after the first Covid lockdown on 29th June 2020, closed again for the 2nd lockdown on 27th December 2021, and re-opened on 5th April 2021 – essentially closed for 6 months which led to substantial reduction in the income generated to run the Charity.
“When one door closes, another one opens” – and this was certainly true during the 2nd lockdown. With so many people being forced to work from home we were able to create a niche market for the sale of office furniture. Somebody Cares was taking donations of furniture from many companies around the city from early on in 2020, and we were starting to re-sell this on to those people who wanted to set up a home office, or to smaller companies setting up offices in Aberdeen. However, in January 2021, this became the main income stream for us. It has since slowed down since the Megastore re-opened its doors and the staff were re-deployed back there, but Office Furniture is set to be one of the main income streams on our priority list in 2021 - 2022.
For many years now, Somebody Cares has held a Warehouse Sale on the last Saturday of every month. The initial focus was so that we could sell a lot of the excess stock held at the main warehouse, not only to generate income, but also to create more space for the donated goods that continued to flow in. These sales lasted 2 hours, manned by volunteers, with the target shoppers being those who didn’t qualify for free donated goods, but also didn’t have the income to shop at the Megastore. By the time the sales stopped due to Covid, at the time of the 1st Lockdown in March 2020, they were generating an average income for the Charity of £7000 per month. Unfortunately, due to social distancing restrictions and the volumes of people who attended, we have not re-started these warehouse sales, although plans are in place to start them in August 2021, Covid restrictions permitting.
We are proud to present the Annual Accounts for the 9 months to March 2021.
They have been fully audited and approved by Anderson Anderson and Brown Chartered Accountants in Aberdeen
WHO WE ARE
is the leading organisation in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire providing free food, furniture, clothing and much more to the poor, the vulnerable and the marginalised people of the area.
Established in 2002, Somebody Cares has seen steady growth until the last year when the growth has been explosive and Somebody Cares, over the past year has assisted literally thousands of families, children, pensioners and individuals.
Somebody Cares has claimed for a number of years now, that no one in this area need go without and is immensely proud of the way it has been able to grow to meet a hugely increasing demand on a very limited budget.
The current financial restrictions created by recession, Government cutbacks, rapidly rising food and utility bills is creating huge problems for many highly respectable families and individuals with a frightening number of people falling into the poverty trap, where they have never been before and with no idea how to get out.
These are desperate days for a significant number of the population and it is going to get worse!!
In Aberdeen city alone, it is believed that there are over 50,000 people are in real trouble (confirmed by Aberdeen Council) and in the Press and Journal newspaper in mid February 2010 an article spoke of over 18,000 families living on less than £50 a week and this is predicted to rise to over 80,000 by the end of 2011.
The Somebody Cares commitment is that we are here to help these people and in the process, we are challenging the people of Aberdeen to come on the journey with us as we believe that if we can persuade the communities of Aberdeen, ie, the business community, the church community, the academic community, the residential communities and others to join with us and to support us... we can make Aberdeen and the North East unique in the land in the way it takes care of its less fortunate citizens.
A recent episode of the EXTREME MAKEOVER television show highlighted a situation where a whole city community came together to support a couple who were feeding thousands of people in Mexico and when the lady being helped saw the difference that the community support made... she spoke this phrase that we would like to pick up for our city and area...
We believe... with your help... we can help change the world of many unfortunate people in this whole area.
OUR MISSION & VISION
Somebody Cares is in a period of major growth and in these difficult days, where tens of thousands of people are in trouble, we are committed to being there for these people.
With the problems that are facing Government with major financial cutbacks and the Prime Minister asking the Third Sector (charity sector) to step in and help in what he is calling the Big Society, we are delighted to be able to say that Somebody Cares was well down that road before they came up with the idea.
We continue to expand our core operations.
We have opened the new retail outlet on the old Dobbies Garden Centre site in Hazledene Road and have reopened the hugely popular restaurant. Both are doing really well and are great value.
We have launched the ‘Aberdeen – the City that Cares’ Food
Initiative in which we are challenging the whole city to help us as we seek to provide food for thousands of people urgently needing help in the city and shire.
Somebody Cares launched the Food Appeal on the 13th December 2011 with it’s first major success. Our first task saw us making sure that many of Aberdeen’s most needy families had a great Christmas and did not go without. Working mainly with schools and some other charities, we distributed over 1200 food bags in the two days immediately before Christmas day and gave Christmas presents to every child in these families.
We recycle or reuse virtually everything we turn over which runs to hundreds of tonnes a year and we are looking to significantly expand this, especially in areas like textiles, books, bric-a-brac wood and a number of other items.
For an organisation like Somebody Cares, with our commitment to ‘being people who make a difference’, these are days of real difficulties but massive opportunity and we welcome other organisations, local government, companies and individuals to come to us with suggestions of how we can improve the impact we are making or enhance the services we offer.
Somebody Cares was created in 2002 when Jenny Taylor, inspired by seeing what Doug Stringer was doing with Somebody Cares America, decided to set up a small charity, helping people in need in Aberdeen.
‘Original Somebody Cares buildings’
A small warehouse was rented in Wellington Street, Aberdeen and Jenny started, initially in a very small way, helping people with bits and pieces of furniture and very quickly discovered that food was a key necessity for people who were experiencing tough times.
Growth was steady and Somebody Cares stayed in Wellington Street for over 2 years and then moved to a bigger warehouse in Altens.
Again growth increased steadily and as they went forward, Jenny was able to increase the volunteer base and supplied food, furniture and clothing to many hundreds of families and individuals.
2005 saw the charity move to its 13,000 s.q ft. current warehouse… which coincided with a period of significant growth.
‘Outside of Somebody Cares current warehouse in Summerhill… 13,000sq ft’
Year on year, numbers of people being helped continued to grow and in 2009, Somebody Cares gave food to over 4000 families and individuals, furnished over 1900 homes and provided clothes to hundreds and hundreds of people, helped by 90+ volunteers and recently, we have started taking on a number of unemployed people on work placement schemes and training programmes.
Right from the start, Jenny was committed to providing help to people at their point of need and for her, it was essential that this had to be for free!!
‘How can you charge people when they are in trouble and needing help?’ she would say and we are proud to say, this is still and always will be the operating procedure of Somebody Cares.
In these dark recession days that we are living in, Somebody Cares is growing literally week by week and we are now the largest charity in the area, providing free support to those urgently needing it.
Over 90% of the people we are helping are referred and we are working with 70+ agencies, churches, other charities and organisations in the city’
Somebody Cares is now in a phase of major growth with a number of new initiatives being brought in all tying in with our commitment…
‘Somebody Cares Retail Outlet’
Where there is a need… to meet that need,
Where hope is gone… to help restore hope,
Where love is needed… to demonstrate love.
HELP US HELP THOSE IN NEED