Aug 132015
 
David Forbes with his mother to whom he is full-time carer.

David Forbes with his mother to whom he is full-time carer.

With thanks to Future Choices.

STV’s Real Heroes is back for it’s third series later this year to celebrate the achievements of our communities unsung heroes.

This series is set to feature an Aberdeen Charity Chief  who is also a full time carer for his disabled mum. David Forbes (33) cares for his disabled mother, who suffers from short term memory loss, and has done so for over 10 years,.

David said:

“When STV rang me and informed me that I had been nominated and now ive been shortlisted, to say I was speechless was an understatement, I’m absolutely thrilled and humbled.”

STV will broadcast a special awards show at the end of the year,

David added:

“If I win the award it’s not only for my mum and I, but it’s to highlight other carers and the amazing work they do. Being a carer isn’t an easy job, so to be shortlisted is simply breathtaking. I’m representing the city of Aberdeen so want to make the city proud.”

To show your support for David and follow his amazing journey visit his facebook page.

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May 222015
 
FutureChoicesVolunteer

Chairman David Forbes (left) with young volunteer, Liam McDonald.

With thanks to David Forbes.

Aberdeen based disabilities charity Future Choices will join a host of other charities up and down the country to help Celebrate Volunteers Week.

This nationwide event gives the unsung heroes of the 3rd sector important recognition – and Future Choices is determined to show their volunteers how much they are appreciated.

Volunteers week is a special moment in the diary for the local charity as it’s been recognising it’s volunteers for the last 7 years since being a completely 100% voluntary led organisation.

David Forbes, Chairman for the Charity says:

“We as a charity are absolutely reliant on those who give up their time to help others, so recognising our dedicated team during this nationwide event is hugely important to us.

“One great thing we have to celebrate this year is the youngest volunteer joining our team, 16 year old Liam McDonald, it’s people like Liam that are our future and having Liam on the team is so inspiring to others his age, making a huge difference to those who need it the most.”

Liam McDonald said:

“I personally really enjoy helping out with future choices, I feel volunteering is a good thing to do at a young age. Volunteering for future choices benefits me in more than just one way, I get to help out a good friend with his charity and I get to bring a smile to others faces too which makes me feel better about myself.

“I think it’s great that charities like future choices are there for people in need of help and care.”

The charity are always keen to welcome new members and volunteers so if you feel you could benefit – contact info@future-choices.org.uk or freephone 0800 5668728

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Apr 032015
 

David Forbes with his AwardWith thanks to Suzanne Kelly.

David Forbes, Chairman of Local Charity Future Choices and full time carer to his mother, was short-listed for a prestigious award by Entertainment Company Wobia Entertainment House at a Glitzy awards ceremony recently. The award event showcased some outstanding individuals in our community.

David campaigned hard to win as many votes as possible to clinch the title, and his hard work paid off.

David said:

“When you hear the nominees name, then and the winner is, you get goosebumps and all the emotions runs through your body, but when it’s your name that’s read out, that’s when it really hits home that the public votes recognised your hard work, and I want to thank everyone who took the time to vote”

David dedicated his award to his mother as he works everyday to try and better the lives of others, including his mum, through his voluntary charity work.
He added:

“I now plan to use this award to motivate me and launch a You Tube Channel to motivate and inspire others, like carers and Volunteers  to do more good work within their community, being a role model is a great honour and again I would like to thank those who took time to vote for me”

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Mar 052015
 

With thanks to Suzanne Kelly.

David Forbes with his mother to whom he is full-time carer.

David Forbes with his mother to whom he is full-time carer.

David Forbes, Chairman of local voluntary led charity Future Choices is seeking votes to help secure him winning a very prestigious award later this month.

David has been a primary carer for his mum for over 10 years now as well as running an ever expanding charity which helps those with a physical disability get out of their homes and attend a weekly social group gathering at Inchgarth Community Centre.

He is also very outspoken and campaigns vigorously against UK Welfare Reform, more recently against the Work Capability Assessments which were carried out by French Firm ATOS.

David is very passionate about getting the best deal possible for disabled people.

David said:

“When I got the email from Wobia Entertainment House to inform me I had been nominated for such an award, I was shocked and surprised, but when I got a follow up email to inform me I had actually been shortlisted for the award for “Male Role Model of the Year”, I was in fact utterly speechless and deeply humbled, and I thank who ever put my name forward very much.”

Everyday, David works tirelessly to help not only his mum but members of the charity anyway he can by doing as much as he can to promote the charity he adores so much.

David added:

“To see my mum smile along with her chums – that’s priceless, and if I can do any more to make that continue, I will. It’s because of the public that Future Choices still exists and im so proud of my team and my volunteers.”

David needs your votes to help him secure his win, you can watch his promo video which has all the details about the upcoming event here.

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Jun 272014
 

Aberdeen Based Charity Future Choices had the best news lately. Apache Oil have donated a brand new bus. With thanks to David Forbes.

bus12cThe bus donation came after the Disabled Charity was featured in a BBC2 Documentary last year called “Auction Hero”, in which Presenter/Auctioneer Andrew Lamberty went all across Europe to buy and sell antiques, then donated the profits to the Charity.

The self funding charity is run by volunteers and helps provide social inclusion and recreational activities at Inchgarth Community Centre in Garthdee.

Representatives from Apache Oil saw the Documentary and were extremely impressed by the groups work and dedication within the community and wanted to help their cause. The new brand new 17 seater bus, equipped for disabled access, has now given Future Choices a better chance of helping more disabled people, most of whom are stuck in their homes, limiting scope for social contact.

David Forbes, Chairman of Future Choices described the news as:

“The turning point to the Charity, knowing Apache Oil has helped give us the tools to carry on with our hard work, it just means everything. So many people, especially those who just want out and have fun with friends, can now do that. Future Choices is there to help put those smiles and laughter back on the faces” 

The Charity is always looking for Volunteers to help out at their group gatherings on Tuesdays from 11-2 at Inchgarth Community Centre.

If you want to become a volunteer or simply want to join the charity to meet new people, then contact David on 07821700046 or email info@future-choices.org.uk or visit their website at www.future-choices.org.uk 

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Feb 212013
 

With thanks to David Forbes.

Future Choices provides much-needed social and recreational facilities to people with disabilities, at Inchgarth Community Centre in Aberdeen.

The charity has support from many people, including Mr Paul O’Connor MBE, Dame Anne Begg MP, and Kenneth Watt, the Press Officer for Aberdeen City Youth Council.

The charity celebrates its first five years this year. However, it is in dire need of a much bigger bus to enable the folk it supports to get out and about.

Colleen McMillan, a fund raiser for Future Choices, says:

“This appeal is a massive challenge, but it’s needed as so many disabled people rely heavily on transport to get from A to B safely. To get this 17-seater bus, we’re going to have to raise approx £15,000, which is a huge project, but it can be done”

Fundraisers will be at various locations in the city to collect your cash donations. You can keep up to date at www.future-choices.org.uk .

Future Choices has also teamed up with local author Kathleen Kennedy, who has published a book describing how disability affects day-to-day lives. It can be purchased via Amazon, and it’s called ‘Yes, I Can, and I Will’. Proceeds of the book sales will go towards the Appeal. You can find it at http://www.amazon.co.uk/I-Can-Will-Kathleen-Kennedy/dp/0956554822

There’s also a video on YouTube that the Charity has released to explain why this appeal is so important. It’s at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D42XOq2Jwys

Anyone interested in supporting the appeal can contact Colleen McMillan on 079 410 33205 or David Forbes, Chairman on 078 217 00046.

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Nov 162012
 

A Charity Race Night will be held in The New Greentrees pub, Dyce on Friday 23rd November to raise funds for Future Choices.  With thanks to Aaron McIntosh

Future Choices celebrates its 5th birthday in 2013, having provided the disabled community with social interaction throughout this time. The services now offered range from arts and crafts to sports games, alternative therapy and singing.

The charity is about to open a new office where it can build on current success and hopefully provide more classes in the near future.

Sixteen year old Aaron McIntosh, Future Choices’ Chief Fundraiser told Aberdeen voice:

“The charity helps the disabled community gain much needed social inclusion and recreational activities.”

Key to social inclusion is the recent purchase of a minibus enabling members to travel safely and attend organised events and activities, as well as carrying out tasks that able bodied people take for granted.

Several months ago the charity launched an appeal called Cash For Cans which successfully raised the cost of the minibus. Funding the upkeep of the vehicle has been more problematic, however.

As Aaron explained:

“We were struggling financially a while ago then we launched ‘Cash For Cans,’ asking members of the public for their empty used drink cans which we then exchanged for cash. 

“That gave us the financial backing to go and buy a bus and then keep the appeal going to fund the maintenance, but due to the decline in metal price, we had to sadly terminate the appeal.

“My job as Chief Fundraiser for the charity is too raise as much money as possible, which is why we’re putting on a Charity Race Night.

“Everyone loves giving, especially at this time of year, and having a flutter and a boogie along with a raffle makes a cold evening joyful as the money raised helps the people who need it most.”

For those who haven’t been to a Charity Race Night, they are exciting events which give members of the public the opportunity to place a small bet on a filmed horse race, with a percentage of the winnings going to the charity in question – in this case, Future Choices.

The event will be held in The New Greentrees pub, Dyce on Friday 23 November from 19.30pm until midnight, with tickets £7 per person. There will also be stovies, a raffle and disco.

To buy tickets, please contact Aaron directly on 07591 598480

Sep 072012
 

Voice’s Old Susannah looks at events over yet another vibrant and dynamic week in the ‘Deen. By Suzanne Kelly.

Tally Ho!  I hope everyone’s had another exciting week in  Aberdeen.

The Science Festival has kicked off, attracting visitors, scientists and lecturers from around the world.
It is most kind of them to visit Aberdeen– we have a garden that’s not at street level and we don’t have a web – we should be most grateful to them.

We should be grateful to BP as well, which is investing £100 million in the area.

Old Susannah discovered beer cocktails at BrewDog this past week.  They are gorgeous, and very enjoyable in these trying times.

I am amazed BrewDog chose to open its brilliant bar and factory in our area when we didn’t go for the granite web.  It’s almost as if the gardens were not a factor in their plans.

The more cynical among us wonder:  Would businesses really prefer operating here if we were £92 million in debt and had a giant city centre construction zone for at least a year?  If you listen to the SNP, some LibDems (funny, HoMalone doesn’t seem to be the charismatic leader we all thought she was) and ACSEF, then the answer is yes.

The petition to ask Sir Ian to spend his wealth to Africa instead of the web is now one week old.  Please do visit, read, and hopefully sign at www.gopetition.com/sir-ian-send-your-£50M-to-africa-as-promised   No doubt the mainstream press will take the story of this petition up any day now.  After all, our local papers wrote about the MASS demonstration planned by pro CGP activists when the figure was around 200.  Guess the Wood petition is about to be massive, too.

And massive and genuine thanks to Lush shops throughout Scotland; last weekend they raised hundreds of pounds to benefit Willows Animal Sanctuary.

Finally, Morris the Monkey has a new pal in Si the Seagull, new mascot for AFC.  Word has it that the fans are not necessarily impressed by this development, but I’ll wait and hear what Si himself has to say when he starts working for BiG and promoting the web.

On with a few definitions.

Union Terrace Effect: (modern English phrase, attributed to F. Wilkinson) – scheme in which powers that be allow a building, park or structure to decay deliberately, until such time as there is an outcry for a new replacement to be built- which is what the desired outcome was to begin with. 

Old Susannah heard this term recently, but can’t think of a single historic building, museum, school, terrace gardens or Tullos Hill that would fit this definition of something left to rot so it could be sold off / developed.  If I think of anything, I will let you know.

The Itemiser: (mod Eng noun) a portable particle scanner which can detect microscopic traces of a variety of substances.

We will all be safer soon!  Result!

traces of the drug (cocaine) can be found on any bank note

First, we are considering building a giant ‘state of the art’  prison soon – yet another construction job coming our way!  Secondly, the police now have a portable scanner which can find particles on a microscopic level of things like cannabis (!) and hard drugs.

They plan to go from bar to bar and search people here and there, for traces of drugs.  Anyone who’s been in contact with these substances (except for politicians, the wealthy, successful creative types, celebrities, etc) will be thrown in jail – where tons more drugs and interesting career training opportunities will freely available.

There is just one flaw in this cunning plan of searching citizens for microscopic evidence of crime, and that is this little fact:  90%+ of all paper money in circulation in the United Kingdom has traces of cocaine and/or heroin on it.

Old Susannah can’t begin to imagine how or why that should be – but next time you buy something in a bar, use coins rather than folding money – or it might just be off to jail with you.

The Daily Mail was one of the many news media that reported the presence of drugs on currency; it wrote:-

“A senior analyst at the FSS, the largest provider of forensic services in the UK on behalf of police forces, says traces of the drug (cocaine) can be found on any bank note regardless of its geographical location.

It takes just two weeks for a new note to pick up the drug… “

Read more: http://www.dailymail/Every-British-bank-note-contaminated

So to sum up, anyone with traces of drugs on them is either:  a)  a drug fiend who should be locked up, and/or b)  someone who has £5, £10, £20 or £50 pound notes on them.  We will all be safer if these types are all locked up.

If anyone’s worried about any bothersome civil rights issues over this type of presumed guilt / mandatory search, infringement of freedom, they could always organise a protest.

Witty Kevin Stewart is making a stir once again.

Except that Gordon McIntosh is proposing to the Council that we get rid of such things as protests, or at best only allow them in the Castlegate, where any crowds can easily be kettled.  Thanks, Gordon.

Anyone suggesting his latest report (which also recommends charging groups for holding events in parks as well as banning protests) is over-stepping his remit will be locked up.

King Midas: (ancient Greek mythological figure).  Midas was magically transformed so that everything he touched turned to gold.

Witty Kevin Stewart is making a stir once again.  Back in the day, he told the people in care homes, schools, Choices, etc. that we all had to be ‘reasonable’.  Then he cut their services off and closed their schools.

ACSEF was of course allowed to flourish, city real estate was sold at bargain basement prices, and we wrote off millions of pounds in bad debts.  Reasonable indeed.

Kevin had a wonderfully clever sound bite this week, aimed at Aberdeen City Council’s web-rejecters.  For the benefit of those who have stopped reading it, the P&J wrote:

“MSP Kevin Stewart claimed the administration had an “inverse Midas touch” hindering future private investment in the city.”

As mentioned before, I guess someone forgot to tell BrewDog, BP and a host of other businesses about the hindering future private investment in the city.  But as painful as it is to correct him, I feel I must remind Kev the moral of the Midas story.

King Midas was not a bad man per se; but he loved wealth and lived for gold.  So far, so good – if you’re an ACSEF member.

Kevin Stewart forgot part of the legend when making his brilliant comment

As a reward for his kindness to a Satyr, he was granted a wish – he wished that everything he touched would turn to gold.  At first very happy to be surrounded by his new wealth, Midas soon learnt that he could not eat, as his food turned to gold.  Then he touched his daughter, and she turned to gold as well.

Kevin Stewart forgot part of the legend when making his brilliant comment.  Midas realised his folly in thinking gold and wealth was more important than the environment, living creatures and of course his own daughter.

Midas was cured of his lust for gold, and once cured of the Midas Touch too, he retired to the countryside to enjoy nature. It was almost as if something in life was more important than wealth creation.  Ultimately, the moral of the Midas tale is that the environment and people are more important than gold.  How backward-looking is that?

I’m sure that this ending of the story would horrify our average Chamber of Commerce member, who would gladly have brought their golden daughter to a pawn shop to flog as scrap metal.

In an uncharacteristic slip, neither Kevin nor our local press found time to mention that Kev was on the City Gardens Project Management Board when writing about Labour having the Midas touch in reverse.

Some people might think his connection to the project is relevant to his attack on Labour, but that would just be jumping to the conclusion that a person on a board of a project would want the project to go ahead.   (And that would be as silly as assuming someone in a football supporter’s club might be biased towards the football team).

You might expect this service-axing champion of the people to advise fiscal restraint now until we truly got on our feet again.  You might even think he’d advise restoring some services ahead of web weaving.

No, Kev would prefer us to borrow £92 million on this real estate speculation which he supported as a board member.  (Note – I suppose I should just call it ‘TIF Funding’ like the professional reporters do; if you call it ‘funding’ rather than a ‘loan’, it sounds better and safer, doesn’t it?)

Amnesia: (noun; medical term) forgetfulness; loss of memory.

Isolated pockets of amnesia have hit our business community, press and government.

these ‘industry chiefs’ and our press forgot how rosy things looked earlier this year in a moment of mass forgetfulness.

Kevin forgot to flag up his direct involvement in the CGP project when he criticised Labour for cutting the web.  We’re told by ACSEF, pro CGP politicians, the Evening Express and the Press & Journal that the future is all gloom and doom, and no businesses will come here without the web.

They say we’re ‘closed for business’, we’re ‘frightened’, we’re ‘embarrassing’.  (It’s not that we’re being environmentally-friendly, economically prudent or aesthetically intelligent – no, we’re in the wrong if we don’t want the golden web).

And yet as recently as February of this year things looked so much better.  This is what the Press & Journal had to say back then:-

“Aberdeen is in prime position to help drag the UK economy out of recession, experts revealed today.

“The city has more start-up businesses than anywhere else in Scotland and will suffer fewer public sector job losses than anywhere else in Britain, says a new report.

“Aberdeen was named as one of five cities which Cities Outlook 2012 said was well-placed to aid recovery from the current economic gloom.

“Last night industry chiefs said the Granite City was an ideal location for new firms to flourish.”

I guess that is only true if we have a web though.  Either that or these ‘industry chiefs’ and our press forgot how rosy things looked earlier this year in a moment of mass forgetfulness.

We’re also being told by the guardians of accuracy, PriceWaterhouse Cooper that we need to attract 122,000 people to work in Aberdeen’s energy sector in the next ten years.  Funny, the £71,000+  they earned from web-related consultancy doesn’t get much of a press mention either – yet more amnesia, I think.

So amnesia-wise – Kevin and the press forgot to mention his involvement with the CGP when he attacked Labour; PwC forgot to mention in the press the money it made over the web so far when supporting it, and the media forgot its reports earlier this year as to what a great future Aberdeen has.

Do I think these people and institutions are possibly dishonest, scheming, colluding, corrupt or greedy?  Certainly not – I just think they have selective amnesia.

Additionally, BrewDog and BP forgot that the city cannot survive without the Granite Web when they committed to the area.  Yes, amnesia is at epidemic proportions.

And there we shall leave it until next week.

PS  very best wishes to Declan Michael Laird for his film premier; have a great time tomorrow night and a good trip back to LA. 

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Aug 242012
 

Future Choices, a charity which provides disabled people with safe and social inclusion, is holding a special auction on Ebay.  The article being auctioned is a framed T-shirt, signed by Sir Steve Redgrave, for which bids can be submitted here.

The work of Future Choices, which was set up following the closure of the Choices Day Centre, has changed the lives of many of Aberdeen’s disabled people through offering them opportunities for social interaction in a safe and friendly environment.

It also offers opportunities for a range of other activities, including formal and informal education and access to services towards employment, training and income-generation.

The charity, which has many high profile supporters including Dame Anne Begg MP, Paul O’Connor MBE and Peggy Finnie MBE, is run exclusively by volunteers and its funding comes purely from its own fundraising efforts.

The bidding for Sir Steve’s signed and framed T-shirt ends on Saturday 25th August, 2012.

For more information please contact David Forbes, Chairman, on 07821 700046

Jul 262012
 

For years, the pavements and roads in the city of Aberdeen have been in a very bad state. This subject frequently comes up in conversation, yet nothing seems to be getting done to resolve the issue. Future Choices Charity wants to change that perception.

The Charity caters for the city’s disabled community by working towards social inclusion and providing recreational activities.

Its Deputy Chief Fundraiser, Aaron McIntosh, is fronting a petition campaign to highlight the issue and aims to persuade the City Council to commit to a long term solution.

Supporters of Aaron’s petition campaign include Paul O’Connor MBE of Inchgarth Community Centre and Dame Anne Begg MP who, as a wheelchair user, has had first-hand experience of the state of the city’s pavements.

Aaron will be presenting the Council Leader with the results of the petition which already numbers around 150 signatures collected both online at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/fix-our-pavements-and-roads/ and offline.

The results will be handed over in December to coincide with the preparation of the Council’s next budget statement

We hope that this public awareness campaign will persuade Aberdeen City Council to sort out this issue for once and for all.

For more information, contact Future Choices Deputy Chief Fundraiser Aaron McIntosh on 07591598480