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As many will know, it is our practice in St Machar's, every two years, to choose two charities, one local and one international, to support. We have just completed two years supporting Aberdeen Cyrenians and the Uganda Schools Trust, and the Kirk Session has now chosen the two charities for 2021/2022.

The local Charity is Cultivate Aberdeen which is a community initiative responding to Aberdeen’s need to have a dedicated organisation supporting food-growing in the City (Hilton, Seaton, Torry) and supporting those groups already making a difference within their communities. Along with growing edible gardens and running a host of community projects, Cultivate Aberdeen uses food growing as tangible evidence of communities coming together to achieve wider goals around food insecurity, mental health and wellbeing, social cohesion, and intergenerational working.

The overseas Charity is WaterAid which is an international non-governmental organisation, focused on water, sanitation and hygiene. It was set up in 1981 as a response to the UN International Drinking Water decade. As of 2018, it was operating in 34 countries.

The first opportunity to support these charities came at the Christmas Eve Carol Service, when the collection was split between the two charities. Other fundraising opportunities will follow.