About us.

What started as a children’s yoga class in Stonehaven has grown to a community wellbeing space with a fully equipped yoga studio, healing room and mindful room with 25 people working from The Haven offering 45 wellbeing activities weekly.

However the recent pandemic has seen us transform the yoga studio into a community larder to help those most vulnerable in the area.

The service gives members of the public access to food and toiletries with no questions asked.

Starkeeper Morton: Keeper of the Haven

What do you do in the Haven?
Essentially everything in The Haven is my responsibility. The only thing I am not involved in is stocking shelves at the Haven Community Larder because the Haven Helpers say it isn't my strength. They are right.

Why do you work out of the Haven?
I work out of The Haven because I thrive working with like-minded people that have a similar work ethic and who have a shared vision for the sort of community we wish to be part of. Having a grassroots, dynamic, community space that not only empowers people but also the community, is a rare gift that needs to be protected, valued and nurtured.

What is your best well-being advice?
Defend your self-care time fiercely. Sacrificing your wellbeing is a misunderstood short term solution that has devastating long term effects. Develop boundaries around who and what you invest your time, energy and talents in. It will serve you, and everyone around you, well.

Julie Gray: Larder Manager & Volunteer Co-ordinator

What do you do in the Haven?
I am Heid Haven Helper aka Volunteer Coordinator and I also volunteer on Monday's as Larder Shift Leader. I support the Haven Helpers by organising relevant training to promote best practice at The Haven. I coordinate anything that needs volunteer help from larder shifts, donation collection, repairs to refuse disposal. I do much of the stock control within the larder which includes working with partners, ordering produce and shopping to make sure the larder is well stocked.

Why do you volunteer at the Larder?
I work out of the Haven as I fully believe in the ethos of the Haven. I am very fortunate to be part of a team of like-minded people. I was looking for a volunteering opportunity prior to the pandemic, when the Larder idea was discussed I offered my time to make it happen, food equality is a very important issue to me.

What is your best well-being advice?
Self care is important - you cannot be all things to all people.
Eat as well as you can, exercise, relax and laugh.
Do Yoga or stretch regularly.

Francesca: Community Food Project Coordinator

What do you do in the Haven?
I’m the Community Food Coordinator AKA The Haven Harvester. In February 2021 I joined The Haven as Project Coordinator for our Roots to Resilience food growing project, since then my role has evolved and the Community Larder has sprouted new projects. My role involves inspiring folk within the community to grow food at home or in their allotment for themselves and to donate to the larder. My aim is to create sustainable projects related to wellbeing, food growing and cooking and to promote the importance of everyone having the right to food.

Why do you work out of the Haven?
I work out of The Haven because I feel that wellbeing and the food we eat are inextricably linked. Through the Community Larder and the Market Square Wellbeing Space we are in a position to support people towards accessing food whilst emphasising the importance of self care. I am passionate about everything related to food. How it’s grown, how it’s harvested, packaged, transported and consumed. I want to share my knowledge and enthusiasm and find a way forward in society for a fairer and more sustainable food system. I care about food security and the reduction of food waste, and I believe everyone has the right to good healthy food. I feel lucky to be a part of the team and make a positive impact with our local community.

What is your best well-being advice?
Eat well and be active! Engage with nature as much as possible. Go for walks, listen to birds singing, feel the sun on your face and wind swirl around you, enjoy the changing of the seasons and get gardening. There is lots of evidence to support the fact that being outdoors and growing something, whether it be food or flowers, has a variety of positive benefits for body and mind.

Macaroni Morton: Chief Wag

What do you do at the Haven?
I try to say hello and get as many cuddles from as many people as possible.

Why do you work at the Haven?
When I grow up I want to be a Therapet. I get lots of experience practising with calming doon the Director of The Haven. If you meet me and I jump up on you please turn your back on me and wait till I sit nicely for your attention. If you bend down to pat me I don't need to jump up.

Best wellbeing advice?
Take an opportunity for a walk whenever possible. And don't eat cat poo. Even if your best friend is a cat. The humans don't like it when you do that.