AABIE Visits Rowan Alba Home For The Homeless

BLOG12th May 2023

Glenn Hogg, AABIE Trustee and Andy who lives in a Rowan Alba home-for-life

Our Charitable initiative AABIE launched in 2016 because members of AAB wanted to give back to local communities. Through AABIE our teams across AAB Group are able to support local charities and organisations to support the people who need it the most. So far AABIE has donated over £200,000 in grant funding, 4,600 hours of volunteer time and supported 135 charities across the UK.

AABIE is managed by a Board of Trustees that is comprised of current and former AAB colleagues and is chaired by one of the founding partners of AAB, Sheena Anderson. One of our trustee’s Glenn Hogg recently visited a charity we were able to support in our December 2021 grant round- Rowan Alba. Glenn joined the board of trustee’s in October 2021, following years of supporting charitable initiatives over the years. One of the best parts of being involved in AABIE for Glenn is being able to visit the charities that we’ve been able to help, meeting some of the people who have benefitted from our help and seeing the impact that our support has made to people in need.

In September 2022 there were 28,944 open homelessness cases recorded. This was the highest number since records began in 2002 and a rise of 11% on the previous year.

Rowan Alba are doing amazing things at a time where Scotland desperately needs it. They are a community that seeks to not only end but also to prevent homelessness in a compassionate, human way without judgement. Their moto is “more than just a roof” and this is evident in the way that they create and deliver services that other organisations couldn’t, stopping homelessness before it happens and getting people who have been on the streets for years, off the streets for life.

Glenn visited Rowan Alba’s homes-for-life centre Thorntree Mill. A new home for good centre with 9 modern self-contained homes. Located in Edinburgh’s Peffermill area the homes all benefit from being within a supported living environment.

During his visit Glenn met Andy, one of nine previously homeless men who has been given his own home with an en-suite room and kitchen facilities. There are also council funded support officers onsite 24/7. Before Thorntree Mill Andy spent 19 years sleeping rough but now he has his own home for life. Rowan Alba have been able to create a form of tenancy that means the men at Thorntree Mill have long-term secure tenancy agreements and they are supported in dealing with any issues they have, in their own time and in a way that best suits them. There’s no one size fits all. This provides them all with a sustainable and lasting approach for them to change their lives. AABIE was able to purchase beds and furniture for this facility.

Glenn Hogg commented: “Being able to give back is truly amazing. This was a really humbling visit that really makes you appreciate what you have but also makes me so glad that we’re able to help people through AABIE. Homelessness in Scotland is rising every day and with the rising cost of living its charities that are really feeling that squeeze. Every little really does count. In our last grant round, we pledged to help 14 more charities and I can’t wait to see how the help and support we’ll provide to these charities will impact and change people’s lives for the better.”

“Creating Thorntree Mill has been a huge achievement for Rowan Alba. Our staff have had to overcome many challenges to make this a reality for the tenants. The support we have received from AABIE has been vital in making the flats comfortable, well furnished homes.” – Karen Barr, Rowan Alba CEO

We are always looking to support charities through our grant funding rounds and also our volunteering opportunities. If you are a charity in need of support apply to our next grand round.