Feb 022017
 

With thanks to Esther Green, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR

Camphill Wellbeing Trust at Bieldside, Aberdeen.

An Aberdeen charity’s consulting rooms are all set for a spring makeover – with the help of a donation from Aberdeen Asset Management. Camphill Wellbeing Trust will be refurbishing rooms at its centre in Bieldside where it provides therapeutic services, known as AnthroHealth , to around 600 patients, including those with cancer, learning disabilities and chronic conditions.

Dr Aileen Primrose, manager of Camphill Wellbeing Trust said:

“Aberdeen Asset Management’s donation is a boost to our fundraising appeal to refurbish three consulting rooms at our centre in Bieldside.

“The upgraded rooms will be inviting spaces where patients can feel comfortable, secure and relaxed. This project is vital to enable us to respond to the increasing number of people who are asking for our help.

“We are very grateful to the Aberdeen committee for supporting our project with a £1,000 donation to help more local people with health conditions.”

The Camphill centre provides AnthroHealth services to help people find new ways to address illness, build resilience and maintain wellbeing. Based on conventional medicine but extended with a holistic understanding of the patient, AnthroHealth programmes include natural-based medicines, therapies and lifestyle advice.

The charity is part of Camphill independent charities whose shared ethos is to enable people with learning disabilities and other support needs to fulfil their potential.  Six independent Camphill charities are based in Aberdeen providing different services to meet the needs of children, adults and older people primarily with learning disabilities.

Dominic Kite of Aberdeen Asset Management’s Aberdeen charity committee said:

“This donation will go towards the enhancement of treatment rooms which will ensure Camphill Wellbeing Trust can work with the increasing numbers of patients seeking its individualised programmes.”

The Aberdeen Asset Charitable Foundation was established in 2012 to formalise and develop the Group’s charitable giving globally. The Foundation seeks partnerships with smaller charities around the world, where funds can be seen to have a meaningful and measurable impact and the firm encourages its employees to use their time and skills to support its charitable projects.

The main focus of the Foundation is around emerging markets and local communities, reflecting the desire to give back to those areas which are a key strategic focus of the business and to build on the historic pattern of giving to communities in which Aberdeen employees live and work.

For more information visit http://www.aberdeen-asset.co.uk/aam.nsf/foundation/home

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May 272016
 

Hanover FitnessWith thanks to Dave Watt.

Hanover Fun Fitness is one of a number of Seniors (over 50s) keep fit classes around Aberdeen which provide both light exercise and stretching routines for those of us not still in the first flush of youth.

The participants usually meet in the Hanover Street Community centre on a Wednesday in between 11.30 and 11.45am for a pre exercise tea or coffee.

The excercise session itself takes place from 12.oo until 01.00pm.

The class is run by Fiona and she is very helpful to those who are just returning to a routine physical exercise.

Beginners are particularly welcome.

For further enquiries contact Hanover Community Centre on 01224 627328 or email hanovercc@hotmail.co.uk

Dec 242015
 
Iron Broo5

Iron Broo earlier the same day at the Winter Wonderland Festival on Union Terrace.

With thanks to Charlie Abel.

It really was a brilliant night. The 2015 Iron Broo Christmas ceilidh went with a swing at St. Margaret of Scotland’s Church hall at the Gallowgate, Aberdeen on Saturday the 19th of December.
Keen ceilidh goers traded their winter blues for their dancing shoes in preparation for the Christmas holidays.

As promised it was a good old-fashioned Scottish evening where guests were invited to bring their own beverage and snacks and enjoy a ‘reel’ ceilidh.

Families and friends came and took part in the dancing, which knew no barriers to age with children, young people and the more experienced taking part. All the dances were called and everyone was invited to join in.

Nobody was left a stranger by the end of the night.

The raffle and a ‘throw coins at the whisky’ game were held to raise money for ‘Charlie House’ a local Aberdeen children’s charity.

Iron Broo would like to thank The Devenick Dairy who donated a ‘Big Beast’ Christmas hamper, full of cheeses and goodies and Makro Aberdeen for donating a bottle of malt whisky for our whisky game. A respectable £173 was raised for Charlie House.

Congratulations to Lydia Van Beers for winning the Devenick Dairy ‘Big Beast’ hamper and to Jonathan Scott for winning the Makro Whisky game with a bottle of 12 year old Old Pulteney.

“Everyone who came tonight had a fantastic time. You can’t beat a ceilidh in a wee hall for a friendly welcoming atmosphere. It’s a really great low-cost night out for anyone. Especially welcome at this time of year. Everyone is smiling,” said Charlie Abel, Iron Broo’s accordionist and band leader.

The ceilidh at St. Margaret’s was the second performance for Iron Broo on this particular day having entertained an appreciative lunchtime crowd at the winter wonderland festival on Union Terrace. The next public ceilidhs from Iron Broo are being planned already.

Keep an eye out on their Facebook page and website www.IronBroo.scot

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Dec 172015
 

By The Battle for the Bay of Nigg Committee

A group of dedicated volunteers have been out and about in Torry for the past few days delivering leaflets about the proposed Bay of Nigg development. We want to ensure that everyone in the area is aware of the impact that this project could have on their everyday lives. We hope to deliver leaflets to every house in Torry in the coming days.

If we, as a group of ordinary folk with limited resources can do this to get our message out to the local community, why hasn’t the harbour board done the same?

The Bay of Nigg project is estimated to cost £320 million – surely some of that huge amount of money could have funded a leaflet drop to fully inform our local community of this major infrastructure project that is deemed to be of national importance?

For all those outwith the Torry area, here is our leaflet for you to view.

Leaflet scan 3

The Battle for the Bay of Nigg Committee is a group of Torry residents trying to save our Bay from this disproportionate development. We have no specialised knowledge or qualifications. We are ordinary citizens trying to make our voices heard by Aberdeen Harbour Board, Marine Scotland, Transport Scotland, Aberdeen City Council and the Scottish Government.

Our Facebook pages have already attracted a following of almost 700 people, predominantly residents of Torry. For further information, please contact us at bay.of.nigg@gmail.com

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Dec 112015
 

Bay of Nigg Mark MairThe Battle for the Bay of Nigg Committee have issued the following statement.

We would like to respond to the following paragraph from Page 46 in Aberdeen Harbour Board’s Pre Application Consultation Report (as submitted with their application to Marine Scotland):

“It is also clear that there is a small but reasonably well organised campaign who oppose the AHEP in principle. This campaign is relatively recent, having been silent during the many years of previous engagement.”

We presume that the “reasonably well organised campaign” refers to us, the Battle for the Bay of Nigg Committee. We were silent as the true scale and nature of this development was not fully apparent to us until the summer of 2015.

The widely-circulated illustrations of the harbour development are unrealistic according not only to ourselves but also to Aberdeen City Council planning officials (see recent article in Aberdeen Evening Express). Many members of the Bay of Nigg Group have attended the public consultation events, such as harbour board presentations at Community Council meetings, but there was a noticeable lack of detail in the plans which appeared rather fluid and “high level”.

For example at the Torry Community Council meeting in August 2015, when the Harbour Board was present, it seemed to surprise many Community Councillors that Greyhope Road was to be closed (temporarily for 18 months) during construction. We did not have ready access to the full facts and figures of this development until early November 2015 when the statutory 42-day consultation window opened.

Only then was the full Environmental Impact Assessment and planning documentation released to the public and we realised the extent of the harbour board’s plans.

The harbour board were invited to a debate on SHMU FM Current Affairs Show on 4 December, but declined, sending a brief statement instead. At the October 2015 Torry Community Council meeting, it was recommended by the Chair that a public meeting be held so that a full debate on the development could be discussed in depth, and the harbour board appeared to agree with this at first, however they have now decided to withdraw.

All we want is for the people of Torry to be fully informed of the scale and impact of this proposal so that they can make an educated choice. Surely for a development valued at £320 million that’s not too much to ask?

The Battle for the Bay of Nigg Committee is a group of Torry residents trying to save our Bay from this disproportionate development. We have no specialised knowledge or qualifications.

We are ordinary citizens trying to make our voices heard by Aberdeen Harbour Board, Marine Scotland, Transport Scotland, Aberdeen City Council and the Scottish Government. Our Facebook pages have already attracted a following of almost 700 people, predominantly residents of Torry. For further information, please contact us at bay.of.nigg@gmail.com

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Dec 032015
 

Bay of Nigg Mark MairWith thanks to The Battle for the Bay of Nigg Committee. 

As newcomers to the planning system, we are surprised at the lack of meaningful public consultation required for major infrastructure projects of national importance.

We have been advised that as the new harbour proposed for the Bay of Nigg appeared in the National Planning Framework (NPF), the community will have an uphill battle to stop it – even though the planning application hadn’t even been submitted at that point.

We would like to know what public consultation is required before projects are accepted into the NPF as no locals we know of were involved.

Also, for a £320 million project, why are the required methods of public engagement so dated/limited – a few newspaper adverts, occasional mention on local commercial radio, but no use of social media or even a local leaflet drop. The developers have not yet arranged a public meeting (as suggested by us) so that the risks, benefits and impacts could at least be fully debated, now that we finally have access to all the planning submissions and the full detail of the development.

In our opinion, the standard of consultation has been poor – for example asking people to comment on a project when they do not have facts to hand or do not have access to an unbiased, trustworthy source that they can rely on.

The Environmental Impact Assessment alone consists of 4 volumes and weighs 25kg. Yet locals are expected to read this and make informed comments within 42 days without any support from independent experts (the consultation also coincides with the run up to Christmas – very poor public engagement practice).

To us, something with this process feels broken – however we hope that there is a robust solution so the local community feels truly involved with this major planning decision that will have a permanent impact on all our lives rather than a consultation being viewed as a ‘tick box’ exercise.

We feel that public engagement in all planning processes should be in the true spirit of the recently-passed Community Empowerment Act.

More Info: The Battle for the Bay of Nigg Committee is a group of Torry residents trying to save our Bay from this disproportionate development. We have no specialised knowledge or qualifications. We are ordinary citizens trying to make our voices heard by Aberdeen Harbour Board, Marine Scotland, Transport Scotland, Aberdeen City Council and the Scottish Government.

Our Facebook pages have already attracted a following of almost 700 people, predominantly residents of Torry. For further information, please contact us at bay.of.nigg@gmail.com

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Nov 122015
 

Bay of Nigg Mark MairWith thanks to Renee Slater.

The Battle for the Bay of Nigg Committee have welcomed the publication of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and associated planning application documentation by Aberdeen Harbour Board (AHB).

It will be a difficult task for us to assimilate and analyse the content of these documents in the statutory 42 days.

At the August Torry Community Council meeting, the representatives of Aberdeen Harbour Board stated that they hoped to have the EIA report ready for the October Community Council meeting (on 15 October) which would have given us invaluable extra time to read this vital document.

The EIA comprises four volumes with Volume 2 consisting of a total of 26 chapters. We appreciate that a non-technical summary has been provided, however we feel that we owe it to our community to read this report in full.

We have previously found that the most illuminating details are often not included in the summary versions. For a major infrastructure project of such national importance, a 42-day period to examine all the associated, lengthy documents seems woefully inadequate.

The Battle for the Bay of Nigg Committee is a group of Torry residents who are trying to save our Bay from this disproportionate development.

We have no specialised knowledge or qualifications. We are ordinary citizens trying to make our voices heard by the corporate machinery of Aberdeen Harbour Board, Marine Scotland, Transport Scotland, Aberdeen City Council and the Scottish Government. Our Facebook pages have already attracted a following of almost 700 people, predominantly residents of Torry.

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Aug 282015
 

With thanks to Esther Green, Tricker PR.

Scottish Women's InstitutesIn cities, towns and rural areas of Scotland, a new generation of women is discovering for the first time the appeal of the Scottish Women’s Institute.

They are trying activities like speed crafting, going on brewery trips, making cocktails and learning to play the ukulele at new branches that have popped in Leith, Shawlands, Aberdeen and Dervaig on the Isle of Mull.

Moves to introduce the SWI to a broader reach of women have led to the birth of pilot meetings which are being trialled in different parts of Scotland.

These less formal gatherings have been encouraging women to meet with other like-minded women to make friendships and learn new skills and interests at times of the day and week that best suit their lifestyles.

The latest pilot to get off the ground is in Aberdeen which held its first meeting on Wednesday, August 19, inspired by the new style groups that are taking root elsewhere in Scotland.

Ann Milne, the driving force behind the Granite City’s Deen Divas says:

“There has been tremendous interest in an informal group of women getting together to socialise, enjoy shared interests and above all have fun.  About 40 people attend our first meeting and we’re looking forward to developing and growing in the coming months.”

Leith SWI is part of the new generation SWI with Facebook taking the place of committee meetings and cocktail making and ukulele lessons among its meeting themes.

Member Dawn Endean says:

“It’s about people getting together because they want to make friends. We do whatever people fancy doing.”

Dervaig Divas held its first meeting in a pub in the north of the island of Mull and has been the brainchild of the SWI’s Sheelagh Still who finds it refreshing to go forward with younger people’s ideas, input and enthusiasm.

Says Sheelagh:

“We recognise that women want flexibility and may wish to dip in and out of meetings as their other commitments allow. It’s great to see new interest being generated in the SWI.”

Shawlands in Glasgow launched its new-style SWI on Sunday, 23rd August with plans to focus on women’s safety, alongside crafts and baking.

Angela Tamburrini of Shawlands sought out a local SWI to learn more about homecrafts and baking, but with none near her home decided to do something about it by forming a new group.

“That was at the beginning of June and I’ve had 80 women register their interest,” explains Angela.

“Activities will be whatever the majority want but will include speakers to talk about topics such as women’s safety.

“Some of the talent out there is gobsmacking and some of the ladies are happy to do demonstrations like make jewellery, quiltmaking, baking, decoupage, paper crafts. 

“I’d also like to help women improve their employment prospects and am thinking about getting someone from a recruitment background to give their CVs a health check – for free of course!”

SWI national chairwoman Christine Hutton is encouraged to see new members coming on board and taking an interest in the organisation and says it bodes well for the future.

Christine adds:

“The SWI will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2017 and to see fresh blood coming in, and new institutes being formed, is a positive step in the right direction.”

The new style meetings have come about as part of the rebranding of the movement introduced earlier this year to address the organisation’s ageing membership and to inspire women to join an organisation more reflective of modern lives where women work, have family and busy lifestyles.

The word ‘Rural’ has been dropped from the name, to reflect the growing membership in urban areas, while a new logo has been designed to give a fresh look along with the strapline ‘Women Together’. A new website has also been launched making it easier to search for Institutes.

Flexible meetings at different times of the day and in different venues are being trialled with new Institutes encouraged to take up themes and activities that reflect their own interests, lifestyles and communities, alongside existing SWI groups where education and training in home skills, family welfare, citizenship and friendship remain the key aims.

The new groups complement the existing network of traditional meetings that have been held all over Scotland since the organisation’s foundations in 1917.

The SWI remains one of Scotland’s most loved institutions with a membership of around 17,700 women.

For more details of how to find your nearest institute, or advice on how to set up a new one, visit www.swi.org or go to its Facebook pages at https://www.facebook.com/ScottishWomensInstitutes

Jul 302015
 

With thanks to Martin Carle, Public Relations Officer, Aberdeen City Youth Council

International Exchanges Press Release Image

The Aberdeen City Youth Council has been making excellent progress in its efforts to build strong and long lasting relationships with other youth councils and youth groups across the world.

The biggest progress ACYC has made is the recent exchanges it has had with the University of the Basque Country.

Youth Councillors travelled over to the university where they met with the speaker of the Basque Parliament, the Basque Youth Council and the representatives from the Ministry of Education.

The ministry was kind enough to have prepared a 2 hour presentation on teaching Basque languages at schools. On their visit to Aberdeen, the representatives of the Basque Country met with local politicians, council officers and ACVO.

More recently, ACYC chairperson Piotr Teodorowski had a conversation with the Secretary General of the Tunis Youth Council. As a further step, the two bodies plan to organise and hold a video conference on terrorism, which shall be organised later in August.

Youth Council representatives have also met with representatives of our twin city Gomel to celebrate 25 years of the relationship.

On future plans for the youth council, chairperson Piotr Teodorowski says

“International exchanges and cooperation is a great opportunity for young people to learn much more about the world. Aberdeen City Youth Council tries to stay in touch not only with our twin cities but also with any similar regions to ours. “

It really is a small world!

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[Aberdeen Voice accepts and welcomes contributions from all sides/angles pertaining to any issue. Views and opinions expressed in any article are entirely those of the writer/contributor, and inclusion in our publication does not constitute support or endorsement of these by Aberdeen Voice as an organisation or any of its team members.]

Jun 252015
 
Zachariah Raja with the brick he laid as part of the ongoing Masjid Alhikmah project in Aberdeen. (3)

Zachariah Raja with the brick he laid as part of the ongoing Masjid Alhikmah project in Aberdeen.

With thanks to Paul Smith, Citrus Mix.

Community support for a landmark development in the heart of Aberdeen has been set in stone during a fitting ceremony to mark the latest stage of construction.
The Masjid Alhikmah, on the city’s Nelson Street, will feature community and youth facilities as well as prayer halls for north-east Muslims.

On Friday, June 19 families gathered to play their part in the build process when they took the opportunity to lay bricks in the foundations of the three-storey building.

The event coincided with the start of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting.

Each of the bricks had been sponsored during a fundraiser for the development earlier this year, with the Alhikmah Foundation continuing to work towards hitting its £1.7million target. More than half of that sum has already been donated, with the effort aided by the donation of the site.

Recent events included a sponsored expedition to Snowdonia earlier this month, with 12 intrepid participants, and next on the agenda is the latest in a series of fundraising dinners on July 1 at the Hilton Treetops in Aberdeen. Full and half tables for the Iftar dinner are available.

With costs being met entirely by community fundraising, the dedication of the project’s supporters has been welcomed by foundation committee members. The organisation’s annual report for 2014 has recently been published, outlining progress to date.

A spokesman said:

“Masjid Alhikmah is a community focused facility and we are incredibly grateful to all who have contributed. The sponsorship of the foundation bricks is an excellent example – with many families quick to support that initiative. We are delighted to welcome everyone to the site to set their bricks, a very symbolic part of the project.

“Every penny spent on the project will come from fundraising by our supporters and the response has been excellent. There is still a great deal of hard work to be done to realise our vision, but the energy and the commitment of the many people who are fundraising is an inspiration to everyone involved in the project.”

Masjid Alhikmah will feature space for worship, funeral preparations, dedicated women’s facilities and a family community centre. There is an active Muslim community living in and around the city of Aberdeen and the facility is designed to help create unity and foster a sense of harmony between Muslims and fellow north-east residents. The name chosen for the new centre stems from Arabic. Masjid translates as “a place of congregational worship” and Alhikmah as “wisdom”.

CHAP Group’s construction division is the main contractor for the structural and external aspects of the scheme. Work began in January, with the structural steel frame of the building now in place and the exterior due to be completed by August. The second phase will include all interior work.

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