Our latest DotScot Spotlight is the Scottish charity Cyrenians, who recently made headlines with their innovative ‘Ask Alex’ Facebook-messenger bot that aims to eliminate the stigma surrounding homelessness.
For nearly 50 years, Cyrenians has served those on the edge, working with the homeless and vulnerable to transform their lives by beginning with their story, helping them believe that they can change their lives, and walking with them as they lead their own transformation.
Cyrenians work predominantly in Edinburgh, Lothians, Falkirk, Borders and Stirling but provide Scotland-wide services. Caitlin Gould of Cyrenians’ Digital Communications explains that ‘using the .scot domain was the perfect fit as a way of showing Cyrenians only operates in Scotland.’
Cyrenians work is organised around four targeted areas of service:
- Family & People
- Working with families to build resilience, resolve issues and repair relationships, support older people to stay connected in their communities and provide a safe and supportive environment for people on their journey away from addiction.
- Work & Skills
- Supporting jobseekers with barriers to access employment and by offering skills and training, we not only assist our clients into work but we keep them in employment and away from benefits dependency.
- Community & Food
- Using a range of services and social enterprises that teach people about the health and economic benefits of growing, cooking and eating good food together in our local communities.
- Home & Housing
- Offering housing advice and providing supported housing for young people, skilling people up to take ownership of managing their finances, supporting those who are homeless and experiencing severe and multiple need.
Cyrenians latest campaign to support the ongoing efforts surrounding homelessness awareness is the Ask Alex messenger bot. Users can engage in an online conversation with Alex with the aim to bust the myths and misconceptions we hold around homelessness and raise awareness of conflict at home. The Ask Alex website also uses the .scot domain.
With thanks to Caitlin Gould