Aberdeen Cyrenians launches locally-sourced self-care boxes to give the city a hug

Hug in a Box

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North-East charity Aberdeen Cyrenians has teamed up with local businesses to launch ‘Hug in a Box’, a mental health gift box designed to boost resilience and encourage self-care.  All profits from ‘Hug in a Box’ will go towards giving care and support to and anyone experiencing homelessness or at risk of losing their home through poverty, crisis, abuse, mental ill-health or addiction in the North-East.


With Covid restrictions continuing to impact lives across the city, the charity has seen a large increase in demand for support services, with mental health a common theme leading to crisis.  ‘Hug in a Box’ has been developed to harness the experience within Aberdeen Cyrenians along with the teams compassion and kindness.  A new self-care and wellness resource page has also been launched on the charity’s website to help support anyone struggling.

Local sustainable businesses picked for the ‘Hug in a Box’ have been keen to contribute to making a difference to those in need, with purchases of the gift boxes in turn supporting North-East employers. Suppliers include Crafted Comforts, Cairnwell Candle Company, Essentially You, Johanna Basford Colouring Books, and Mackie’s Chocolate, with the graphic designs donated by Fara West Design.

The products within the box have been carefully selected by the team at Aberdeen Cyrenians to encourage relaxation and include special items to treat, comfort, and reassure those who are struggling mentally or are simply in need of a little pick-me-up.  Gift boxes can be purchased, gifted, or donated through Aberdeen Cyrenian’s website.

Lynda Reid-Fowler, community services lead said, “We know that the pandemic has had a substantial impact on everyone’s lives, in particular our mental health and personal wellbeing. So, we developed these special care packages to try and match that much-needed ‘hug’ we have all been craving!

“We wanted to highlight the need for looking after not only your own mental health, but looking out for friends, family, and others in our community – anyone who could be struggling or facing extremely challenging times due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are so lucky to have had the support from a great bunch of local suppliers. All the products have been tried and tested and are produced to the highest standard.

“We know this year has been challenging on everyone including local businesses in the North-East, so we are excited that this has come together, supporting one another whilst also helping people in crisis.  The designs by Fara West have really brought the whole product alive and we can’t wait to share the ‘Hug in a Box’ with our customers and service users.  It’s been amazing to see so many talented and local suppliers coming together for such a great cause, and we couldn’t have done it without each and every one of them!

“We also wanted to make sure that the environmental impact of the box was considered and are delighted that as well as products being made locally, all packaging is 100% recyclable.  Such small changes can make a substantial difference in helping to look after the environment.  Those in poverty are most impacted by climate change, so we did a lot of research on how to make ‘Hug in a Box’ as sustainable as possible without compromising on the quality and design.

“We can’t wait for everyone to get their hands on Hug in a Box, and we hope that they will love it just as much as we do.

We also want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has supported us, especially throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. It has been a tough year for so many and this support hasn’t gone unnoticed!”


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