Boost for locals as Landale Court colleagues secure £5,000 funding for new Community Cafe project

Left to Right: Pauline Forbes (Landale Court reception team), Lis Rutherford (sales at Landale Court), Jess Nicoll (Brio National Sales & Marketing Manager), Starkeeper Morton (founder and CEO at The Haven Charity), Charlotte Kouri (Assistant General Manager at Brio Landale Court) Sharon Humphries (Sales at Landale Court) and Sandra Farquhar (Landale Court reception team).

COLLEAGUES at Brio Retirement Living’s Landale Court have helped the local community – securing funding that will help people who are homeless in Aberdeenshire.

The Landale Court team in Chapelton have been awarded a £4,950 grant from Touchstone, which is part of Places for People – owners of Brio. The funds will be used to help set up the Haven Community Café – creating a facility that will ensure local people who are homeless have access to essential meals and a sense of belonging.

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The news comes following the closure of the charity’s community food larder in June last year, taking away a vital local asset. Now, with the funding, The Haven Charity in collaboration with Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership has relaunched the initiative, providing nutritious meals, and a safe space where individuals who have experienced homelessness can find solace, forge connections, and build a pathway towards improved self-confidence. The funding will also provide cooking skills classes, food and hygiene training, and two social dining experiences within the next six months. 

Starkeeper Morton, founder and CEO at The Haven Charity, shared: “We are overwhelmed by the support we’ve received from the Landale Court team and cannot thank them enough for applying to Touchstone Grants for funding. 

“The closure of our community food larder, a longstanding resource for individuals experiencing homelessness and hardship, has starkly highlighted the necessity of continuing engagement in the area – which we can now do through our Community Café Project. The closure led to a detrimental impact on those experiencing homelessness, leaving them without access to essential meals and a sense of belonging. This will all change now thanks to the Landale Court teams’ tenacity in ensuring our charity thrives and helps those in dire need of support this winter. We cannot thank them enough!” 

The Touchstone Grant will fund the café throughout the winter and the project will ensure those in need will benefit positively via social connection and regular meals at The Haven Community Cafe.

Morag Stark, General Manager and Head of Customer Experience at Landale Court, added: “We’re thrilled The Haven Community Café project has received this much-needed funding. The Touchstone Grant fund is always heavily oversubscribed with applications of an incredibly high standard. We understand that all projects can’t be funded – so it was a joy to hear of our successful application. We wish everyone at The Haven the very best as they begin their much-needed project in our wider community.”

The Haven will continue to collaborate with local businesses, and community organisations to offer mentorship opportunities to those attending the café sessions. Participants will receive support and advice on various career paths, and The Haven volunteers will continue to instil a sense of purpose, to help them envision a brighter future beyond homelessness.

Starkeeper, concluded: “Our community café will be a welcoming space for all, encouraging interaction between individuals who have experienced homelessness and other community members. Through shared meals and friendly conversations, we aim to bridge social gaps and diminish the sense of exclusion that often accompanies homelessness. Our project will offer regular cooking workshops led by culinary experts where participants will learn valuable cooking skills, from basic meal preparation to more advanced techniques. This not only promotes self-sufficiency but also enhances their chances of securing future employment in the food industry and developing opportunities for themselves. Homelessness can erode self-esteem, but through our café’s supportive atmosphere, individuals will receive a sense of ownership through their engagement with feeding themselves and their community.”

For more information on The Haven Community Café, please visit:

Landale Court is an age-exclusive community, situated on a beautiful stretch of Aberdeenshire coastline. At the heart of a thriving village, this integrated retirement community features 72 brand new homes consisting of one and two-bedroom bungalows, cottages and apartments. The homes are available to a range of customers and are available to rent, part buy/part rent or to buy; they have been expertly designed for customers over the age of 55.  

For further information, visit

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