May 252017
 

With thanks to Jonathan Russell, Chair of Aberdeen and District Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and member of Aberdeen Climate Action and Duncan Hart  who produced the youtube videos.

On March 25th Aberdeen Climate Action and Aberdeen And District CND jointly sponsored a meeting on the above.

The idea of the meeting was to share ideas of the challenges faced by diversification and to kick-start change. 

This is the third of five articles being produced for Aberdeen Voice and concerns a talk on Community Renewables by Jelte Harnmeajer who works for the Hutton Institute and also runs his own consultancy in Community Renewables.

Jelte’s talk was entitled ‘Resilience through renewables’ and he gives examples of where local communities by running their own energy concerns can greatly benefit their local communities. In Denmark 86% of renewable projects are owned by local communities yet in the UK it is only 4%.

However, it is now the fastest growing means of developing renewables and has huge potential in the Aberdeen and surrounding areas if we start getting our act together.

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May 252017
 

With thanks to Jessica Murphy, Account Manager, Jasmine Ltd.

A leading north-east charity has introduced three new support groups for people in Aberdeen and the surrounding area.

The new support groups, introduced by CLAN Cancer Support at its CLAN House base in Aberdeen, offer tailored support for carers, men and those wishing to explore the benefits of gentle exercise.

With the aim of providing peer support for men affected by cancer, CLAN has introduced a film night for men, with the relaxed and informal group open to CLAN clients, family members, carers and friends.

Taking place on the first Tuesday of each month from 6.30pm to 8.30pm at CLAN House, it is held alongside the charity’s Carers and Supporters Wellbeing Group.

Aimed at those supporting someone who has cancer, the carers and supporters group offers help in partnership with the VSA Carers Resource Service.

Iona Mitchell, CLAN’S head of cancer support services, said:

“Each of our new groups offers friendship and peer group support in a welcoming and supportive environment.

“The response to each group has been very positive. Our Men’s Movie Night and Carers and Supporters Wellbeing group run alongside each-other and offer the opportunity for individuals, or couples, to come to CLAN House on the same night and access support appropriate for their needs in a group environment.

“The Movie Night has been introduced as an informal way for men to relax and enjoy a film, with the option of speaking to others who may be in a similar position to themselves.

“In addition, by linking up with VSA we can deliver a programme of talks and information sessions which are specific to people caring for, or supporting an individual with a cancer diagnosis, ensuring they are aware of the resources available to them and giving them the chance to speak to people who are also caring for a loved one.”

And for those wishing to find out more about the benefits of light exercise, the CLAN/Macmillan Move More walking group is a great way to enjoy some fresh air and take part in gentle exercise.

Led by a trained walker, the group meets at CLAN House weekly on a Friday at 10.30am for a one to two mile walk, returning to CLAN House for refreshments.

Iona added:

“We also now have our Move More walking group in association with Macmillan, which gives individuals the chance to speak to CLAN personnel in an easy going environment while also reinforcing the benefits that low level exercise can have on a person’s wellbeing.

“These walks are open to all CLAN clients as well as anyone affected by cancer and anybody who feels they would benefit some companionship and relaxed exercise is welcome to join us.

“We’ve found that gentle activity like this can be beneficial to those experiencing a cancer diagnosis and our group is also a great way to meet people who are perhaps dealing with similar thoughts, feelings and challenges.”

For more information about any of CLAN’s new groups, please contact Jill Sharp on 01224 647 000.

For more information on the Moving More walking group, please contact movemore@sportaberdeen.co.uk or 01224 047925.

CLAN Cancer Support is an independent charity which provides comfort, support and information, free of charge, for anyone, of any age, affected by any type of cancer. CLAN aims to support people to reduce anxiety, stress and to increase their ability to cope with the effects of a serious illness.

Based in Aberdeen, the charity covers the whole of north-east Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland. CLAN has a presence in Ballater, Banchory, Elgin, Buckie, Inverurie, Fraserburgh, Lossiemouth, Peterhead, Stonehaven, Turriff, Kirkwall and Lerwick.

For more information about CLAN Cancer Support, please call (01224) 647 000 or visit www.clanhouse.org

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May 122017
 

With thanks to Jonathan Russell, Chair of Aberdeen and District Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and member of Aberdeen Climate Action and Duncan Hart and Michael Reinsborough who produced the youtube videos.

On March 25th Aberdeen Climate Action and Aberdeen And District CND jointly sponsored a meeting on the above.
The idea of the meeting was to share ideas of the challenges faced by diversification and to kick-start change. The meeting was chaired by Fiona Napier who is a local trade unionist and activist.

There were four speakers

  • Veronika Tudhope, Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament,
  • Jelte Hammeijer, Hutton Institute,
  • Erik Dalhuijsen, Aberdeen Climate Action,
  • Myshele Haywood, Green Party.

Each of these talks will appear in Aberdeen Voice over the coming weeks.

We started however by a film about the Lucas Plan with an introduction from Michael Reinsborourgh from Breaking the Frame.

Michael had been involved with a similar event in Birmingham and who was pivotal in making the meeting in Aberdeen happen.

The Lucas Plan was a pioneering effort by workers at the arms company Lucas Aerospace to retain jobs by proposing alternative, socially-useful applications of the company’s technology and their own skills. It remains one of the most radical and forward thinking attempts ever made by workers to take the steering wheel and directly drive the direction of change.

Today, in 2017 — 41years after the Lucas Plan — we’re facing a convergence of crises: climate chaos, militarism and nuclear weapons, and the destruction of jobs by automation.

These crises mean we have to start thinking about technology as political, as the Lucas Aerospace workers did.

The documentary is on you tube please open the link below

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pgQqfpub-c&t=341s

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May 052017
 

Aberdeen and District CND goes to  With thanks to Jonathan Russell, Chair Aberdeen and District CND.

Aberdeen and District CND are organising a vigil outside Faslane nuclear base on Saturday 20th May. There will be a transport going down on the day, leaving at about 8am, for the actual vigil which will take place between 12.30-3pm
The Clyde Naval Base in Faslane, Scotland is home to the UK’s nuclear weapons system, Trident.

The Vanguard-class submarines which transport Britain’s nuclear bombs are stationed here. Faslane also hosts visits from US Trident submarines.

Faslane also hosts a number of nuclear-powered attack submarines, known as hunter killers. These submarines carry conventional weapons, and are used to escort Trident submarines on their patrols.

Faslane is only 25 miles from Glasgow and its population of 600,000 people. 

Coulport:

Trident warheads are stored at the Royal Naval Arms Depot Coulport, adjacent to Faslane. The warheads are kept in concrete bunkers that have been built into the hillside, and then loaded onto the submarines from a specially built dock.

The warheads are regularly transported to the Atomic Weapons Establishment in Berkshire for maintenance work. A convoy of vehicles escort them from Scotland to the South of England. While the Ministry of Defence claims there is little risk of nuclear detonation during transport, in reality an accident could set off the explosive material being transported. The nuclear weapons convoys often pass close to or even through large towns, endangering the people living there.

If you live in Aberdeen. Aberdeenshire or Moray please get involved

There are several ways of getting to Faslane :

  • We have hired a 17 seater bus which will leave Aberdeen on the day at 8am
  • You could stay at the Peace Camp which is near the base.
  • You could make your own way there and book accomodation locally.

Please let us know on if you want to go by bus or stay at the Peace camp by e-mailing jhamiltonrussell@hotmail.co.uk.

If going by bus we will ask you to make a donation towards costs also if you are staying at the Peace Camp please bring some food, battries or household cleaning goods.

If you want to support the vigil but cannot make the day please send a donation to Aberdeen and District CND c/o 3 Springbank Place Aberdeen AB11 6LW

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May 052017
 

With thanks to Jessica Murphy, Account Manager, Jasmine Ltd.

CLAN Cancer Support has introduced a new monthly drop-in information and support session in Aberdeen.

The leading north-east cancer charity will provide the service on the first Saturday of each month, offering free support,
information and services to anyone affected by cancer.

Taking place on Saturday May 6 between 9.30am and 1pm at CLAN House on Westburn Road, no appointment is required, with anyone interested invited to ‘drop-in’ to the centre.

A full range of CLAN services will be available throughout the morning including complementary therapies, children, teens and family support and access to CLAN’s information library. Members of staff, along with trained support volunteers, will also be on hand to assist anyone visiting CLAN for the first time.

Visitors can also talk to representatives from CLAN’s Children and Families teams, who can provide specialist advice and support to individuals and families. The drop-in session replaces the charity’s monthly coffee morning, allowing for a greater focus on information support.

Iona Mitchell, CLAN’s head of cancer support services, said:

“CLAN is committed to making its services as accessible as possible and we’re encouraging those interested in hearing how CLAN may be able to help them and their loved ones to head along to our drop-in session on Saturday.

“This will be a change from our previous weekend opening, which included a coffee morning. By opening our doors on a Saturday morning, with the focus on service provision, we aim to ensure that people who may not be able to visit a CLAN centre during the week can also access our vital support services. The sessions are open to anyone affected by cancer and are relaxed and informal.”

CLAN Cancer Support is an independent charity which provides comfort, support and information, free of charge, for anyone, of any age, affected by any type of cancer. CLAN aims to support people to reduce anxiety, stress and to increase their ability to cope with the effects of a serious illness.

Based in Aberdeen, the charity covers the whole of north-east Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland. CLAN has a presence in Ballater, Banchory, Elgin, Buckie, Inverurie, Fraserburgh, Lossiemouth, Peterhead, Stonehaven, Turriff, Kirkwall and Lerwick.

For more information about CLAN Cancer Support, please call (01224) 647 000 or visit www.clanhouse.org

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May 052017
 

With thanks to Aberdeenshire SNP.

Peterhead South & Cruden SNP councillor Stephen Smith has welcomed the upgrade to the footpath linking Morrison Place with Braehead Drive in Cruden Bay, an important access to Port Erroll School.

Following complaints late last year that the existing steps – which had been constructed from wooden logs by the developer of Morrison Place many years ago – were rotten and presented a slip hazard during wet weather, managed to get replacement steps installed by the council’s Landscape Services department.

Commenting, Cllr Stephen Smith said:

“This is an important footpath as it serves as a safe route to school and means primary school children avoid the busy A975 which runs through the village.

“The steps had served well since the developer installed them at the time Morrison Place was constructed but I was receiving complaints they were not only past their best but were now presenting a slip hazard during wet weather and were also rotting away.

“I contacted the council’s Landscape Services department asking them to assist and I’m pleased to say they have done a really excellent job in renewing and upgrading the steps.”

Fellow ward councillor Stuart Pratt added:

“This is a job well done and means that the most regular users of the path – the pupils and parents at Port Erroll School – can continue to have a safe route to use, away from heavy traffic.”

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Apr 282017
 

With thanks to Beverley Tricker, Tricker PR.

IFB, one of Scotland’s leading managed service and data network providers, has recently formally appointed Jane Stewart as Non-Executive Director to the board.

Jane’s appointment strengthens the team at IFB as it further commits to its major strategic growth plans throughout the UK. Jane brings proven strategic, commercial and high growth experience to IFB. 

With a CA background, Jane has over 20 years’ experience in private equity, corporate finance and Board level finance and strategy roles.

Jane is also currently part-time Strategy Director at William Tracey Group having formerly operated as Group CFO.      

IFB’s CEO, Graeme Gordon says:

“Jane has supported IFB in its development over the past two years in an ad hoc capacity and I am delighted to welcome her formally to the Board at a key point in the company’s continued growth story. Despite tough local trading conditions, 2016 saw IFB achieve year-on-year revenue growth with continued positive financial performance. 

“This has allowed the business to further invest in the right team structure for the future, including Jane’s appointment and recent additions to our Business Development team in the central belt.  Whilst we seek to further expand across the UK, the North East continues to be a key market for IFB.”  

Jane Stewart, IFB’s Non-Executive Director comments:

“It is an exciting time for IFB and I’m thrilled to work with the Board as the business looks to further evolve its strategy and prepare for significant expansion into new services and new geographical markets.”

Graeme Gordon added:

“As our customer needs have evolved, so has our strategy and approach. IFB recently announced investments totalling over £1.5M in network and managed services which has enabled the business to improve its service offering and to develop new solutions to bring to market in conjunction with key partners. 

“Our priority continues to be supporting our customers to get on and stay on through exemplary customer service coupled with competitive, innovative connectivity, networking and managed services solutions, delivered via our own infrastructure or that of our key partners.  

“This, combined with our focus on building the right team for the future, cements our growth ambitions. Jane’s wealth of experience will help IFB move forward with these plans.”

In addition, IFB has increased its Cloud based data protection service offerings with support from Dell and Cisco Finance.

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Apr 202017
 

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

Austen Clark, managing director of Clark Integrated Technologies.

A major UK business survey revealing that a fifth of British businesses have been hacked by cyber criminals hammers home the need for all firms to ramp up their defences against cybercrime.

With only a quarter of firms surveyed by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) saying their business has security measures in place to guard against hacking, Austen Clark of Clark Integrated Technologies warns that too many firms could be exposing themselves to the very real danger of being hit by cybercrime.

Mr Clark, managing director of the Turriff-based ICT firm, says that the BCC report published this week drives home need for all businesses ramp up security defences to protect against hacking – and there are simple, tangible actions that all organisations can follow to reduce their risk of becoming a victim.

Larger companies – defined as those with at least 100 staff – are more susceptible to cyber attacks, according to the report, which found that 42% of big businesses had fallen victim to cybercrime, compared with 18% of small companies. Only a quarter (24%) of the survey’s 1,200 respondents said their business had security measures in place to guard against hacking.

Cybercrime can jeopardise a firm’s finances, confidence and reputation as well as causing disruption to business and productivity, warns Mr Clark, adding that while data breaches at web giant Yahoo, telecoms firm TalkTalk and the dating website Ashley Madison are the ones to grab headlines, the BCC report shows how worryingly widespread the problem is across the economy.

Mr Clark says:

“The internet brings huge opportunities but it also brings risks and every single day businesses face cyber-attacks, with attempts to steal information and money, or disrupt business. It is increasingly important to manage these risks to take advantage of the internet whilst protecting your business.

“As cybercriminals become more determined and better organised, no business can afford to take its eye off the ball. Firms of all sizes, from major corporations to one-man operations, can be victims so all need to be proactive about protecting themselves from cyber-attacks.

“Cybercrime is a bit like the elephant in the room – everyone has heard of it and has stories relating to ‘other businesses’ but no one wants to admit they have been hit by a cyberattack as there seems to be a stigma around being a victim of a scam or con. But reports like this one show the alarming extent of the problem, and its impact on the economy.”

The good news is that there are regular and simple actions that can be taken to help businesses promote good cyber health and Clark IT advises the following:

  1. Install and update anti-virus, anti-spam, and firewall/s
  2. Carry out regular updates on all software and devices
  3.  Change your password regularly (make it difficult to ever guess)
  4.  Secure your network
  5.  Provide clear and concise procedures for handling email, internet and mobile devices
  6.  Train your people in good security practices
  7.  Implement and test backup plans
  8.  Carry out regular security risk assessments to identify important information and systems
  9.  Carry out regular security testing of your business
  10.  Be suspicious – not everyone is a prince with $100 million dollars to send your way

Hacking attacks on British businesses has been said to cost investors £42bn.

Clark IT is based near Turriff in Aberdeenshire and is one Scotland’s leading independent providers of managed ICT solutions with a broad range of corporate and commercial clients not only in the North-east but across Scotland and beyond.

Clark IT clients benefit from the specialist knowledge of the firm’s 26-strong team to support their systems and through managed IT services. Clients also benefit from Pro-active IT Support, 24/7 Monitoring, A virtual IT Manager, predictive IT costs and a strategic IT plan tailor-made for their business.

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Apr 202017
 

With thanks to Emma Brown.

Today sees the launch of a stunning new photo book showcasing one of Britain’s favourite mammals and at the same time making the case for the expansion of its native woodland home.

The Red Squirrel: A future in the forest features jaw-dropping imagery by award-winning wildlife photographer Neil McIntyre, who has spent the last 20 years documenting the lives of the red squirrels near his home in the Cairngorms National Park.

Neil’s astonishing portfolio of images, captured deep in the heart of one of Scotland’s largest remaining fragments of Caledonian Pine Forest, is accompanied by insightful and evocative words from celebrated writer Polly Pullar, to create a beautiful and thought-provoking book which aims to raise awareness of the plight of the red squirrel.

With native woodland covering just 2% of Scotland’s land area, red squirrel populations are fragmented on isolated islands of trees and their long-term future remains uncertain.

Conservation photographer and Director of SCOTLAND: The Big Picture, the book’s publisher, Peter Cairns said:

“Neil’s beautiful images shine a unique light on one of Scotland’s best-loved mammals, but squirrels need forests just as much as forests need squirrels. I hope this book will ignite fresh conversations about that crucial link.”

The publication of The Red Squirrel: A future in the forest follows a successful crowdfunding campaign, which ran throughout November 2016 and was supported by over 500 backers.
It is the first in a series of stunning conservation books from SCOTLAND: The Big Picture, a project which works to amplify the case for a wilder Scotland.

The Red Squirrel: A future in the forest is available now from www.scotlandbigpicture.com.

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Apr 132017
 

Philippa Holdsworth of Nicholson Solutions

With thanks to Karen Stewart.

Nicholson Solutions, exclusive Scottish providers of the Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing, in association with the Digital Marketing Institute, launch the first open Aberdeen based Diploma course on 8th May.
The Scottish Qualifications Authority accredited qualification is validated by leading global companies including Google, Microsoft and Facebook, and boasts over 18,000 successful graduates across 70 countries.

Philippa Holdsworth, Director at Nicholson Solutions said:

“we are delighted to be the only Scottish providers of the Professional Diploma and have seen over 90% of our delegates graduating since we commenced. We are excited that the next uptake is an Aberdeen cohort.”

She continued:

“the programme has proven extremely popular so far and equips delegates with both the practical and theoretical knowledge they need to run successful digital marketing campaigns. It is also a valuable addition to a CV, enhancing career prospects for successful graduates in a competitive job seeking environment.”

As well as flexible training times and methods to suit a variety of learning styles, the company offers a range of payment options to suit various budgets, allowing the opportunity to be available as widely as possible.

Further details of the course can be found at http://www.nicholsonsolutions.co.uk/digital-marketing-diploma-course-0

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