Category Archives: Appeals

Harbour Counselling Service – volunteers sought

Founded in 2005, Harbour Counselling Service is an independent Scottish charity with a Christian ethos, offering free counselling to people in Perth and the surrounding area.

In view of impending retirements from our Board we seek seasoned and insightful persons to help shape and deliver a successful future for a highly energetic and reputable small local charity.  These are voluntary roles offering a unique opportunity to make a positive impact within our community.  At a time of acute focus on mental health and continuing pressure on the NHS to respond, the work of Harbour makes a real difference in people’s lives. 

Ideally we are seeking a Board Chair, a Treasurer [who may or may not be a Board member] and a further member of the Board.  The current Board comprises six members, two of whom will be stepping down in the months ahead.

Since “lockdown” in March 2020 and the suspension of face-to-face counselling our service has shown outstanding resilience and fortitude in meeting the needs of clients by a mix of video and telephone counselling.

A measured re-opening plan is in place to offer a “blended approach” in the months ahead and this sits within our overall strategic plan drawn up by the Board in April 2020 for the next three years.

Although each of the above roles is specific in itself, the current board has identified the following generic skills and experience as desirable criteria:

  • Corporate governance preferably within the voluntary sector, and/or
  • Service delivery preferably within a mental health operating environment, and/or
  • Demonstrable knowledge of legal matters, or finance, or strategic planning, or faith based projects

The Board usually meets monthly and other occasional commitments can include  networking, representation, fundraising and recruitment.

Please view our website, and if these voluntary service roles are of interest, email our Chair, or call him on 07713182800 for an informal discussion in the first instance.

November 2020

Inside Out – Volunteers Please

‘Inside Out’ will be a regular bible-based ‘home group’-style facility allowing ex-prisoners, on release, to maintain and develop a church link. It will be jointly overseen by Perth Action for Churches Together and the Scottish Prison Service.

Quite a few prisoners find or renew their faith when they’re inside, but don’t always find a welcoming church when they get out. Church volunteers can help them find their way to a lasting church connection.

The plan is to meet weekly. Depending on numbers, volunteers will be asked to attend on a rotational basis (i.e. not every week). We are negotiating suitable premises. Due to Covid-19, face-to-face meetings are not currently possible, but we can arrange the preparation sessions online so that we’re ready to start when the Covid-19 situation allows.

At this stage I’m looking for interested people to sign up for the four planned preparation sessions. How the group operates thereafter will depend on the regulations surrounding Covid-19, and the Scottish Prison Service in identifying suitable prisoners for the scheme.

Andrew Symon

01738 643750

Perth Food Bank – update

The Foodbank is still open, but with reduced hours – we are currently opening on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons (12 noon to 4p.m.)  for the collection of food parcels only.    We are  asking people not to bring donations to the Foodbank, but to use the collection points at the supermarkets instead.

We are working closely with the Council and our referral agencies, many of whom are holding emergency parcels to save  some clients having to come to the Foodbank.   And the Foodbank continues to concentrate on  supporting  those whose reasons for needing a food parcel are financial,  because of lack of money; other community groups we hope are mobilising to help vulnerable people who are self-isolating and cannot get to the shops, which is obviously a different category.  We are not delivering parcels.

It is fair to say that we have been quite challenged in recent weeks, as so many of our volunteers have been unable to continue; however, we do still  have a core group of volunteers as well as our two Coordinators, who are doing a sterling job in sorting out food donations and  packing parcels.   A number of people who find they have more time on their hands at the moment have offered to help, but to be honest, we cannot have a lot of people in the Foodbank  at any one time, especially with the need to physically distance from each other, so we are unable to take up many of these offers.

How can the churches support us?   Firstly, with prayer – for our staff, our volunteers and our clients.  Secondly, the collection boxes at the supermarkets are still there, and we definitely need to keep the donations coming in, since we are obviously in for the long haul.  Please, if you are communicating with your members, let them know that we are still accepting donations.  

You can keep up to date with what we need by visiting the website  – at present, we are short of tinned potatoes, instant mashed potatoes, tinned vegetables, tinned tomatoes,  small cereal,  small bags of pasta, small bags of rice  – and of course, toilet rolls! The Foodbank van will be collecting from the supermarkets on a regular basis.

This is the situation today, Tuesday 24th March – – 

An appeal from Perth and Kinross Foodbank

To all our lovely supporters, we really need your help!

We have seen a  huge dip in the amount of food being   donated over the past few weeks, and a 20% increase in food parcels being handed out.  Our Foodbank is currently running very low on the following items:

· Pasta sauces

· Packet pasta meals

· Tinned or packet puddings

· Tinned tomatoes

· Jam

· UHT milk.

Please consider popping one of these items into our permanent collection points in the supermarkets, or at the church.   

Street Pastors – an update from Perth

It is difficult to quantify conversations, especially with folk in trouble, but of the things which can be counted in the last year Street Pastors supported 179 vulnerable people, calmed 66 aggressive situations, removed 594 bottles, from streets did 79 referrals to agencies, ensured 33 people got home, etc.

Following a request from Perth Grammar School, School Pastors have started patrolling roads near the school on Friday lunchtimes.

Developments in Scotland
Following a request from Network Rail, concerned about the large number of suicides, rail pastors now operate on the Fife Circle and the Paisley lines.

Response Pastors were deployed at the request of the emergency services following the incidents in London, Manchester and Grenfell Tower.

There are now 45 SPs who have had additional training for availability in Scotland for major and significant incidents. Further training courses are being lined up.

These developments and additional training are being provided and new areas being developed as a result of designated funding from the Church of Scotland Guild.

What of the future ?
In an increasingly fragmented society where beneath the image more people feel isolated, the love of Jesus is the same yesterday today and for ever, and the need for people to listen care and help is increasing. How can we continue to represent Jesus and His care on the streets?

To enable this to continue and grow there are THREE NEEDS

As a result of 7 Street Pastors having to retire on health grounds in the last 2-3 months, we are no longer able to cover every Thurs and Sat (and Fri in Dec). There was one transfer from
another area, but no recruits from Perth and Kinross over the last year. Had this reduction happened a month earlier one of the nights which would have been affected saw a suicidal young woman on the edge of the river and….
We read “Jesus was moved with compassion”. Half a dozen Christians in P+K being moved would ensure better coverage. Do you know of anyone willing to be moved? Training is provided (and apart from the initial 4 sessions can be spread over 2 years) Please think pray act! Get in touch with any Street Pastors or

We are very grateful to those who contribute either to Perth Street Pastors or to ATS (the umbrella body for SPs in Scotland responsible for development, training, support, QA,PVG, etc)

It is not Street Pastors doing things for God! It is exciting to know God working in and through us. For this we are deeply grateful to our prayer partners and those congregational prayer groups which support us in prayer


Foodbank – requests

Hello all – many thanks for highlighting the recent shortages at the Perth Foodbank – we had a good response to our appeal. We are now running perilously low on tinned fruit – we have only one tray left!

We are running very low in the following: Juice (long life, apple, orange, etc) , Crisps and other treats, Smash mashed potatoes , Tomatoes, Toiletries. On the other hand we are well stocked in terms of cereals, soup, beans, pasta meals, tea and coffee.

If you can get this message out to your regular donors, we would be very grateful.