Mar 102017
 

With thanks to Eoin Smith, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR.

The University of Aberdeen rowed to victory on Saturday (March 4) at the 22nd annual Aberdeen Boat Race, which is sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management.
Breaking rival Robert Gordon University’s five-year winning streak, the University of Aberdeen triumphed in a time of 7 minutes 03.8 seconds, winning by 4 lengths.

The Robert Gordon University crew followed close behind, with a time of 7 minutes 16.3 seconds.

The University of Aberdeen also celebrated success in the alumni and second crew races – marking the first ever clean sweep in the event’s history.

Hundreds of spectators braved the weather to line the banks of the city’s River Dee to cheer on the teams as the old opponents battled it out on the river. Due to water levels, the 3.5km course was shortened by 300m.

Fiona Bell (21), president of Aberdeen University Boat Club, said,

“It feels amazing to have brought the Aberdeen Boat Race trophy back to the University of Aberdeen. I think we’re all still in shock a little; we set out to break RGU’s five-year hold over the title and we did it! I’m incredibly proud of my team and their performance today. We’ve been training hard in daylight and darkness, so it’s brilliant that all our hard work has paid off.

“Erin and the RGU crew were formidable opponents, and made things very difficult for us out on the water. It was a fantastic race to row in, and I hope those watching from the banks enjoyed it too. I’d also like to thank Aberdeen Asset Management for their continued support – without their backing the Aberdeen Boat Race couldn’t happen.”

Erin Wyness (20), president of Aberdeen University Boat Club, added,

“Congratulations to all of the University of Aberdeen crew on their win today. It was a hard race with both crews on form beforehand, so it would have been hard to call before we set off. Even though we didn’t win this year, I’m still very proud of all the effort the crew has put in over the last few months, and it doesn’t take away from our five-year streak. We’ll be back next year!

“The whole day has been brilliant both for the rowers and spectators on the shore – from the alumni and second crew races right up until the title race – and I’d like to thank Aberdeen Asset Management for their amazing continued support of this historic event.”

The alumni boat race was won by the University of Aberdeen in a time of 8 minutes 02.5 seconds. The universities’ second crew boat race was also won by the University of Aberdeen in a time of 2 minutes 36.6 seconds. Original 106fm clinched the media challenge title in a time of 1 minute 30.1 seconds over a 300m course.

Martin Gilbert, chief executive of sponsor Aberdeen Asset Management, commented,

“On behalf of all at Aberdeen Asset Management, I would like to congratulate the winning crew from the University of Aberdeen. I would also like to recognise the effort of the Robert Gordon University Boat Club rowers, who put in a sterling effort on the water. Both teams should be rightfully proud of their achievements today.

“The university experience is about more than classroom learning, and the boat clubs are a real testament to that. Being founded in Aberdeen, we are very proud to continue to support the Aberdeen Boat Race in what is our 17th year.”

Follow the Aberdeen Boat Race on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aamboatrace, on Twitter @2017boatrace or Instagram @aamboatrace

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Mar 102017
 

Organisers of Celebrate Aberdeen are aiming to hold their largest ever parade in the city this year and are urging a range of new groups to sign up for the weekend event. With thanks to Ross Anderson, Senior Account Manager, Citrus:Mix

As well as local third sector organisations, social enterprises and voluntary groups, musicians and city sports groups have been invited to take part in the event which will be held on Saturday, August 26 and Sunday, August 27, alongside the Great Aberdeen Run.

More than 70 third sector organisations have already ensured their place in the celebratory parade since the date was announced last month, but organisers are urging others to ensure they don’t miss their chance to take part.

The parade was first held in 2011 and has brought together more than 3,500 people from 130 diverse third sector organisations for each event in recent years. The cut off-date for third sector registration is Friday, April 28.

Morven Mackenzie, director of event management company 46 Degrees, and the leading force behind Celebrate Aberdeen, said:

“Preparations are well underway for this year’s event already which we hope will be the biggest and best yet. To ensure that it is, we need as many third sector groups, sports groups and musicians as possible, so I would urge them all to sign up soon.

“The organisations that are on board already are truly remarkable in the work they carry out, and being able to offer them an opportunity to celebrate and gather support is great. We are delighted to have another parade this year as well as a range of activities and performances throughout the weekend, which will be fun for all the family.”

The Lord Provost of Aberdeen, councillor George Adam, said:

“Celebrate Aberdeen is a fantastic event, which provides an excellent platform for local third sector organisations and clubs to be seen and to promote their work in a carnival atmosphere. 

“The city has many third sector organisations, which provide first-rate services because of the dedication of their volunteers. With the event being held alongside the Great Aberdeen Run the whole Celebrate Aberdeen weekend is guaranteed to be entertaining, informative and fun so I would encourage organisations to sign up as soon as possible.”

Third sector organisations wishing to take part in the Celebrate Aberdeen weekend can sign-up at: www.celebrateaberdeen.org

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Mar 102017
 

On of Juane’s artworks at the Union Bar, Luxembourg City. Pic used with kind permission.

By Red Fin Hall.

With only about a month to go until the ‘Nuart’ event comes to Aberdeen, the final selection of artists have been added to the added to the roster.

I am particularly looking forward to seeing Belgium born artist, Juane. 
Hailing form Brussels, the stencil artist uses ordinary people, mainly sanitation workers, as his prime subjects.

His work examines the invisibility of this profession despite the fact that their job keeps them in the public eye.

He displays them in unusual situations, always in their work gear, such as walking tightropes over washing lines, marching as Roman legions etc.

Since he used to work in said profession, one may wonder how he day-dreamed of being in the position of some of his subjects. Or, is that, like his pieces, fantasy? 

Martin Whatson comes from Norway, was born in 1984 and studied graphic art in Oslo and has exhibited, both in solo and joint exhibitions in Tokyo, London, Paris, Australia, and also in the USA. His graffiti and stencil work, using urban decay as part of his inspiration. Thirteen years into his career he will be making his Scotland debut, in Aberdeen, thanks to Nuart.

Gdynia born Mariusz Waras, aka M-City is another stencil artist. But this time with a difference.

He uses hundreds of small cut outs to make larger constructions, again using the urban environment he grew up in as his main inspiration. Being an industrial city, his work features images of mechanical origin as well as natural origin. Often his pieces are made on a grand scale, one of the largest being 85 metres in size. This very prolific artist, having created well over 700 works, is currently a lecturer in art in Gdansk.

From her first show in Loughborough in 2000 through to her latest in Madrid this year, Alice Pasquini has exhibited and worked in various cities throughout Europe as well as The Americas and China. Not only is she a graffiti artist, painter, set designer and illustrator, she also works in the 3D medium and sculptures using found objects.

She rarely sits still in her pursuit of work, constantly keeping herself busy in more than 100 cities world wide. This also is her first time working in Scotland.

The final artist participating is Isaac Cordal.

Born in 1974, this sculpture graduate was born and studied in Pontevedra in Spain. His sculptures generally are usually not on a grand scale. An examples of his work can be found on tops of bus shelter and on cornices and windows , averaging only 15cm in size. This makes the viewer work to see them. He has many strings to his bow. Playing guitar in a rock band, publishing a heavy metal fanzine and heading a digital art collective. He has also worked in the photography medium.

As well as these guests coming to Aberdeen, local artists and schools will be involved in the project during and before the Easter Weekend special event.

Note of Correction:

In my last article on Nuart, I intimated that James Finucane was the man behind this art group. This is not so.

Although he is the public face of the Aberdeen venture, he actually heads up the day to day running of the company, a position he took up two years ago. Nuart is actually the brainchild of Martyn Reed who relocated to Stavanger from Leeds over 20 years ago. Apologies for any misunderstanding relating to this.

Mar 102017
 

With thanks to Eoin Smith, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR.

Businesses that need to shape up and shed pounds in response to the north east’s challenging economic landscape can learn how to get lean at a major two-day exhibition being held in Aberdeen later this month.

Langstane Press Ltd is bringing together its leading partners across the office supplies, print, healthcare, interiors and promotional product sectors to share top tips on how to make money-saving changes.

Langstane – Scotland’s largest independent office supplies company – will host Lean and Mean in 17 at the Beach Ballroom in Aberdeen on March 22 and 23.

The firm has been staging its biennial business show for 25 years, but the impact of the economic downturn has led to the format being overhauled.

The emphasis for this year’s event will be to give delegates information to help get their business into shape, whether that is through outsourcing paper shredding or reviewing janitorial hygiene supplies to reduce staff sick days.

There will be presentations from Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce on the benefits of buying local, chartered accountants Anderson Anderson & Brown LLP will give a talk on why cash is king, and global IT firm HP will explain how investment in new technology can reduce print costs.

Langstane managing director Colin Campbell (pictured) says the exhibition will show how businesses can more effectively use ever-decreasing budgets.

“The north east is facing some very challenging times, and the impact of the North Sea downturn has reverberated across many industries in the region and beyond,” he says.

“Businesses are asking suppliers to be more and more competitive with their prices, but there comes a point where the prices simply cannot be trimmed back any further. What we hope Lean and Mean in 17 will do is show companies of all shapes and sizes there are other ways to identify and implement efficiencies.

“For example, we recently helped one company to make savings with their paper shredding requirements. They have now outsourced that service to Langstane, freeing up the valuable time of one employee who was spending hours of their working week performing this task.

“Saving money and getting lean is not just about how much you pay for products and services – it’s about changing the way you approach efficiencies and streamline operations. Cost saving has been such a strong theme for our customers over the past 18 months, so I believe there will be a real appetite within the business community of the north east to attend this event and learn more.”

Lean and Mean in 17 will feature 32 different suppliers, including a range of household names such as Bic, Pukka Pads and 3M, as well Langstane’s own divisions in office supplies, office interiors, promotional products and print.

The show runs from 10am until 4pm on March 22, with John Black, head of audit at Anderson Anderson & Brown LLP, and Jason Llewellyn of HP both delivering presentations. The session on March 23 runs from 10am until 3.30pm, when Mr Llewellyn will once again be taking to the stage along with Russell Borthwick, chief executive of Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce.

Lean and Mean in 17 is free to attend, and delegates should register in advance at www.langstane.co.uk. There will be opportunities for networking throughout the two days, and many suppliers can offer allotted appointments.  

Family-run firm Langstane celebrates 70 years of trading in 2017, and has a product range in excess of 30,000 items, from printer paper to toilet paper and from tubs of coffee to packs of lightbulbs. As well as traditional office supplies, the firm has diversified its product range to provide office furniture and patient care furniture.

Langstane is Scotland’s largest independent office products company and is one of the largest in the UK. Langstane, established in 1947 in Aberdeen remains a family business and has further branches in Dundee and Livingston. Langstane employs over 120 staff and has a turnover of £15m. More about the company can be found at www.langstane.co.uk.

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Mar 022017
 

With thanks to Jessica Murphy, Senior Account Executive, Citrus:Mix.

A recent auction at Thainstone Mart, Inverurie, raised a few eyebrows as an unusual Texel Gimmer went through the ring in aid of a leading cancer charity.
Having seen a number of friends being affected by cancer during the past year Wendy Willox, from Clatt, decided to come up with a way of raising money for CLAN Cancer Support. 

After some thought she decided to donate the proceeds from the sale of one of her Texel Gimmers in lamb at Thainstone’s Christmas sale.

But Wendy didn’t stop there. To ensure her entry really caught the eye, Wendy decided to dye the sheep bright pink!

Thanks to the support of ANM Group, which waived its commission, and Wendy who rounded up the total herself, Wendy presented a cheque for £750 to Gemma Powell, CLAN’s Aberdeenshire Area Coordinator, at CLAN’s Inverurie base.

The Pink Lady was bought by Elaine and Alan Simpson, from Mains of Leslie, Insch, and went on to have 2 lambs, and still remains a pinkish colour to date!

Gemma said:

“On behalf of CLAN I would like to thank Wendy for her wonderful donation, and also for raising awareness of CLAN at one of Thainstone’s largest annual events. We would also like to thank ANM Group for kindly waiving its fee for Wendy’s sale, and to auctioneer Colin Slessor who helped to get an excellent price on the day.”

“The ingenious ways which people find to fundraise for CLAN never ceases to amaze us. We really appreciate all the support we receive from both the ANM Group and from the farming community throughout the north-east.”

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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Mar 022017
 

With thanks to Guy Ingerson.

This weekend Scotland learned that the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, and possible future contender for Labour leader, thinks the Scottish Independence movement is on par with the rise of far-right nationalism across Europe and the election of Donald Trump.

While the war of words in both the press and social media raged on, Aberdeen Greens grappled with being lumped in with the likes of the BNP.

Aberdeen Branch Co-Convenor and candidate for George St/Harbour ward Guy Ingerson said:

“Waking up of a morning to see Sadiq Khan compare pro-independence parties like ours with Donald Trump was frankly baffling and enraging. We Greens have been leading the fight against Trump and people like him since our inception. We seek to build bridges between communities, not burn them.

We call for Aberdeen Council and Labour leader Cllr Jenny Laing to clarify if she agrees with Sadiq Khan? Does she really thing pro-independence voters are bigots?”

Branch Co-Convenor and prominent independence campaigner Myshele Haywood said

“The vast majority of the independence movement has been internationalist and opposed to racism. We want an independent Scotland in order to be an example to world of what a sustainable and socially just society can look like. The movements Sadiq Khan is comparing us to are the polar opposite.”

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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.]

Mar 022017
 

David Innes reviews ‘The Wren and The Salt Air’ – a new E.P. release by Jenny Sturgeon on Fit Like Records.

In September 2016, commissioned by The National Trust for Scotland, Donside’s own Jenny Sturgeon visited the abandoned North Atlantic Hebridean archipelago, St Kilda, to derive inspiration for a musical release to commemorate this wilderness’s thirtieth anniversary as a World Heritage site.

The Wren and The Salt Air, a four-track EP, inspired by the island’s bird life and history, is the impressive result.

Maintaining the distinctive writing and performance style of recent release From The Skein, Ms Sturgeon imbues haunting Celtic melodies with her trademark natural imagery and unobtrusive, custom-fitted arrangements.

‘Seabird’ is a word painting describing the majestic movement of the colony’s thousands of birds in flight, and at rest, in almost architectural terms, and the title track takes on the vibe of an ancient folk tale, as the juxtaposition of unforgiving weather and the frailty of a tiny St Kilda Wren paints a vivid picture of the stoicism of living creatures “where salt air pinches skin”.  

The bird life of St Kilda assumes co-billing with Jenny, Jonny Hardie and Pete McCallum, to the extent that on the final segment of ‘St Kilda Set’, after some fine, evocative blue-edged Hardie fiddle-led tunes, the local Kittiwake and Leach’s Petrel are given a featured ninety-second solo spot. The St Kilda Wren’s urgent song too, provides unusual but fitting counterpoint to the melody of ‘The Wren and The Salt Air’

With 10% of the profits of the CD sales going to support conservation work on St Kilda, The Wren and The Salt Air is even more worthy of your small investment.

JENNY STURGEON
The Wren and The Salt Air
Fit Like Records

This review was originally posted on the reviewer’s own website www.bluesandmoreagain.com where the old fool gamely attempts to be some sort of tastemaker.

 Links:

www.jennysturgeonmusic.com
www.fitlikerecords.com
www.nts.org.uk/seabirds

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Mar 022017
 

With thanks to Red Fin Hall.

Over Easter weekend of 14th-16th of April 11 world famous street artists, from far and wide, will be utilising various parts of the city to show their art. This brave and exciting venture is something to really look forward to.

James Finucane is the man behind NUART, the Stavanger based street art project. He hails from Stourbridge, and went to Cardiff university.

Now, at the behest of Aberdeen Council, he is bringing this exciting project to Aberdeen.

One of the visiting artists will be 45 year old movie making maker, Julian De Casabianca. His first feature length film was shot in 44 cities in 22 countries focusing on passers by. It was called Passing By and was used as an installation in Paris, shown on 40 Screens on the 4th district City Hall. He also has worked as a journalist, both in print and on television.

Joining him will be Jasmine Sidquii and Falk Lehmann going under the name of ‘Herakut’.

Herakut is a German artistic pairing – a symbiosis of the aliases Hera the painter and Akut the graffiti artist whose collaborations formed a fruitful partnership. Having worked together on various successful global art projects, these artists have merged their individual approaches influenced by graffiti and street art. 

Their artworks can be found in big cities around the world – from Toronto to Kathmandu, from San Francisco to Melbourne. Herakut’s creative art process is sensuous, savage, dialogical and storytelling. This remarkable powerful dualism creates imaginary worlds and inspires their figures with individual characters. It will be an absolute pleasure to have them in Aberdeen.

Bergen based Nipper specialises in small scale pieces, recently exhibited on doors and wall etc in Stavanger and went under the name Mission Directives. He likes to focus on public led communication and our use of the urban environment, questioning who has the authority to decide on the rights of said communication.

Staying in Europe, Portugese artist Add Fuel ( Diago Machado) is gaining a reputation with his visual and graphic art work since he started exhibiting in shows 11years ago. His humorous, stencil based street art are not only full of detail, but are intent on reinterpreting the language of the Portuguese azulejo traditional tile. 

Fontana McGee hails from Australia, although his roots are Scottish. He has exhibited all over the world from his home country to the west coast of America, via Moscow and Glasgow. Since he graduated in 2009 as a Bachelor of Fine arts, he has been artist in residence in   Ambush Gallery, Sydney, Illawarra Regional Gallery, Woolongong  and ISAD studios, Jakartah.

Scottish artist Robert Montgomery follows a tradition of conceptual art and stands out by bringing a poetic voice to the discourse of text art. Montgomery creates billboard poems, light pieces, fire poems, woodcuts and watercolors. He was the British artist selected for Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2012, the first biennale in India.

Montgomery has had solo exhibitions at venues in Europe and in Asia, including major outdoor light installations on the site of the old US Air Force base at Tempelhof. The first monograph of his work was published by Distanz, Berlin in 2015.

More artists are still to be added to this dazzling and creative cast. 

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Mar 022017
 

With thanks to Eoin Smith, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR.

After months of secrecy and planning, the final crews are announced on Tuesday, 21 February for the 22nd annual Aberdeen Boat Race. The 18 successful students have travelled from around the world to study at the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University – from A Coruña in Spain to Perth in Australia.

They will come together this Saturday, March 4, for the challenging 3.5km race along the River Dee, which is sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management.

Fiona Bell, president of Aberdeen University Boat Club (AUBC), and Robert Gordon University Boat Club (RGU) president Erin Wyness have handpicked their teams after monitoring the rowers’ technical skill and performance under pressure over the past few months.

Rowing for the University of Aberdeen are:

Alex Zabala (18) from A Coruña, Spain; Fiona Bell (21) from Kilmacolm; Lachlan Cowie (21) from North Kessock; Henry Pettinger-Harte (21) from Chester; Alex Afaquah (20) from Glasgow; Rosie Kelly (21) from Belfast; Anna-Sophie Tierre (19) from Aukrug, Germany; and Isla Ferguson (19) from Edinburgh. The cox is Alex Ralston (20) from Perth, Australia.

Representing Robert Gordon University are:

Erin Wyness (20), Holly Reid (23), Andrew Main (20), Gregor Pittendreigh (20) and Josh Quinn (23) from Aberdeen; Michael Brady (21) from Livingston; Ruth Wright (26) from Turriff; and Katherine Lawrie (19) from Stonehaven. The cox is Kathryn Duthie (21) from Dunfermline.

Last year’s race was the most exciting yet, with both crews breaking the course record. Jostling for first position along the length of the course, RGUBC just clinched the title for the fifth consecutive year by only a quarter of a length. After coming so close, AUBC is determined to make 2017 the year they bring the trophy back to their boat house.

As the Aberdeen Boat Race enters its 22nd year, it is once again supported by global investment group, Aberdeen Asset Management.

Martin Gilbert, chief executive of Aberdeen, comments:

“Since its inception, the Aberdeen Boat Race has become a real highlight in the city’s sporting calendar. Over the past few months, the crews have faced dark, early mornings and intense training sessions in rain and shine to prepare for the race ahead of them, and the time is almost here to put that training into practice.

“Aberdeen Asset Management remains dedicated to nurturing young talent, and we look forward to celebrating both crews’ achievements on March 4, regardless of who lifts the trophy.”

Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, Principal of RGU, says:

“Every year the crews from both universities show great skill and determination on the water and this year will be no different. The atmosphere at the finish line is electric and it is always fantastic to see Robert Gordon University students lining the riverbanks alongside the general public. I’m looking forward to another exciting race in March.”

Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen, adds:

“Last year’s race was incredibly close, and I know that AUBC has been out on the water training hard this year. The effort that both crews put into the preparations for the Aberdeen Boat Race is commendable, and I’m sure will lead to another exciting race along the River Dee.”

Following the toss for stations at 3.20pm, a number of races will take place in the run up to the title event. The Universities’ Second Crew Race takes place at 4.05pm, while the Alumni Crews take to the water at 4.25pm. The Media Challenge – which will see the Evening Express and Original 106fm take on reigning champions BBC, takes place at 5.15pm before the main Aberdeen Boat Race at 5.30pm.

Follow the Aberdeen Asset Management Universities’ Boat Race on Twitter @2017BoatRace, Facebook www.facebook.com/AAMBoatRace and Instagram @AAMBoatRace.

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Feb 242017
 

With thanks to Clare Scott, Communications Consultant, CJS Communication & Marketing.

Georgette Cobban

A local family support charity has received a welcome 30th birthday gift in the form of a substantial donation from a major energy company.

Nexen Petroleum U.K. Limited has made a recent donation of £5,000 to Home-Start Aberdeen as the charity prepares to celebrate its thirtieth year of supporting families in the city.

Home-Start Aberdeen is a voluntary organisation that offers families who may be vulnerable, or suffering from isolation, with emotional and practical support in their own homes.

The charity has just launched a ’30 in 30’ volunteer recruitment drive to coincide with its 30th anniversary year.

It aims to attract and train 30 new home visiting volunteers in 30 weeks, to allow it to reduce the number of families that are currently waiting for support.

This latest donation from Nexen’s community investment fund follows a series of previous funding gifts. Home-Start Aberdeen has received £19,000 from the energy company since 2013; Nexen has also provided Home-Start in Hillingdon, which is located nearby its London headquarters, with funding support.

Ray Riddoch, Nexen’s managing director UK & senior VP Europe said:

“Nexen is committed to helping to strengthen the communities where we live and work. We focus on supporting initiatives that build inclusive, safe and thriving communities. Home Start provides opportunities and resources for families who need a step up, often helping them before they reach crisis point and in the safety of their own homes.

“Their mentoring programme delivers long term, positive effects for the families they help, resulting in stronger and more resilient communities across the areas where they work. We’re delighted to be able to continue to support Home Start in 2017.”

Georgette Cobban, scheme manager, Home-Start Aberdeen, said:

“Nexen’s generous support has made a genuine impact on our work in recent years. We have experienced a significant increase in demand from families during this period and Nexen’s funding has enabled us to grow to meet these demands. Home-Start Aberdeen takes a great pride in the quality of training that we offer our volunteers, as this training ensures that our families receive the best possible support.

“We currently have over 30 families on our waiting list. This latest donation will help us to run additional volunteer preparation courses so that we can reach these families more quickly.”

Home-Start Aberdeen’s 30th anniversary year commenced on Monday, 13 February 2017. The charity, which supports around 200 families and 300 children each year, works with referred families to help them access relevant health and welfare services, manage family budgets and nutrition, engage with their communities and enjoy family life again.

Further information is available at www.homestartaberdeen.org.uk.

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