Degree of Doctor

Honoris causa

 Sister Aelred Timmins RSM


Sister Aelred Timmins RSM is a nun and a member of the Sisters of Mercy of the Union of Great Britain. Born in Kilkenny, Ireland, she has spent most of her life in missionary work. After completing her novitiate in England, she first came to Edinburgh in the early 1970s to work in primary education in West Pilton, including establishing support for families suffering from HIV and Aids in the 1980s. After returning from a sabbatical year in Nepal, she opened in 1993 the Homeless Project at the Mercy Centre in Lauriston Gardens, close to the University’s central campus.

She has dedicated 50 years of her life to the selfless championing of those who are the most disadvantaged and marginalised in our society. The Homeless Project assists up to 200 people every day, including the homeless, asylum seekers and those coming off various addictions, by offering meals, facilities, advice on welfare and other issues, and generally a place of refuge and calm. Many of our students volunteer at the Homeless Project.

This award is given by the University of Edinburgh in recognition of Sister Aelred’s dedication to helping the most vulnerable and marginalised for 50 years and leading the Homeless Project since 1993.

Presented by Professor Enda Delaney, MA, PhD, Professor of Modem History

11th July 2022

The McEwan Hall

The University of Edinburgh