Teen Challenge wins prestigious charity award

Teen Challenge North East Scotland, which helps men and women find freedom from life-destroying addictions, has won a prestigious charity award.

The organisation was recognised for its mammoth Buy Benaiah campaign – which saw Teen Challenge raise money to purchase £535,000 women’s addiction recovery refuge, Benaiah – at the Celebrate Aberdeen Awards on Saturday, September 8.

Buy Benaiah was named ‘Best Fundraising Campaign Of The Year’ at the ceremony, which was organised to shine a light on organisations and people who make a difference in the community though working for the benefits of others.

The award recognised a truly team and global effort, with people across the world rallying behind the Buy Benaiah campaign.

The centre – which is located in rural Aberdeenshire, providing a peaceful retreat where women suffering from addictions can take time out to rebuild their lives – was previously rented.

With the property purchased, Teen Challenge can now help many more women to break free from the nightmare of addictions on a permanent basis.

Throughout the campaign, an array of activities was organised by supporters to raise the money required to buy the property.

Area Manager of Teen Challenge North East Scotland, Gordon Cruden, personally completed a host of gruelling challenges.

These included the Hungry for the Homeless and Addicted Challenge, where Gordon slept rough on the streets of London, Cardiff, Dublin, Edinburgh and Aberdeen over the course of a month.

Gordon also took to the road to undertake three motorbike challenges; The Euro Bike Challenge, visiting 47 European countries in 30 days, the American Motorbike Challenge, covering 50 US States in 30 days, and the Australian Motorbike Challenge; a 10,000-mile circumnavigation of the country over 28 days.

Other activities undertaken by big-hearted supporters included sky-dives, shark swims, tea parties and a ‘Toddle for Benaiah’, completed by a group of youngsters with their parents.

Skerry Read, managing director, Hampton Associates – which sponsored the Fundraising Campaign Of The Year Award – said: “All three finalists in the Campaign of the Year award category were really inspirational and it was difficult to pick a winner.

“However, Teen Challenge really stood out as a group which not only showed an inordinate amount of enthusiasm and determination when it came to achieving its goal, and in doing so raised a phenomenal amount of money, while generating significant amounts of media coverage, but one which changed the lives of so many either directly or indirectly.

“Everyone at Celebrate Aberdeen and Hampton Associates would like to congratulate them on a truly wonderful achievement and wish them all the very best for their fundraising efforts in the future.”

Gordon commented on the award win: “We are thrilled to have been awarded ‘Best Fundraising Campaign Of The Year’ for our Buy Benaiah initiative, as it recognises the amazing efforts of people from across the community and indeed across the world – from Australia to the USA – for their contribution.

“These people helped to make Buy Benaiah happen, allowing us to support many more women to break free from addiction in the years ahead.”