Jul 282017
 

With thanks to Gemma Setter, PR Account Executive, Frasermedia.

Owners of The Lounge, Kelly Daun and Norman Hatton keen to get involved with the event.

An Aberdeenshire salon is showing its commitment to the local community by supporting cyclists in the region’s newest bike ride.

In a bid to boost morale and community spirit, staff from The Lounge at Chapelton, near Newtonhill, will be providing complimentary leg and shoulder massages to cyclists at this year’s Chapelton Bike Ride.

Taking place on Sunday, September 3, the bike ride is held in aid of North East Sensory Services (NESS) and is returning to the village of Chapelton for the second year in a row. Last year, over 250 cyclists took part in the inaugural Chapelton Bike Ride, raising over £6,500 for NESS.

NESS, which has offices in Aberdeen, Elgin and Dundee, supports over 6,000 people in the North-east who have sight or hearing loss. The charity helps those with a sensory impairment to overcome the practical and emotional effects of serious sight and/or hearing loss, as well as guiding them to achieve more independence. 

Starting and finishing in Chapelton, the event’s 12-mile and 42-mile bike rides, as well as the newly launched 5K walk, will take participants around the picturesque Aberdeenshire countryside surrounding the area.

On completion of the bike rides, weary cyclists will then be treated to a variety of treatments from The Lounge that will help their muscles to recover faster. They will also receive a gift bag containing discount vouchers and other goodies.

Owners of The Lounge, Kelly Daun and Norman Hatton, both reside locally and were keen to get involved with such a large community event. The salon hadn’t opened at the time of the first Chapelton Bike Ride, so they felt it was important to give their support to cyclists fundraising for NESS.

Kelly said:

“Since the salon opened, we’ve been warmly welcomed by Chapelton residents and other local businesses. The Chapelton Bike Ride is a great way for us to give something back to our community, as well as providing a nice incentive to cyclists who are raising money for a very worthy cause.

“We hope that by offering complimentary massages, we can encourage even more cyclists to participate in the bike ride and raise funds for NESS. All of us at The Lounge are honoured to be involved in an event that benefits the entire community and we’re all looking forward to the day.”

Neil Skene, fundraising coordinator for NESS, said:

“We’re very thankful to the team at The Lounge for volunteering their services on the day of the Chapelton Bike Ride. We are aiming to make this year’s bike ride a fun day out for all the family and have already improved the range of activities on offer, so the complimentary massages will only add to this experience.

“All funds raised by cyclists, walkers and spectators will enable us to continue supporting our service users to overcome the practical and emotional effects of sight or hearing loss, so we are extremely grateful to all of those taking part.

“NESS staff will be there on the day to cheer on participants and take part in the sponsored 5K walk. It looks set to be a great day of sport and fun, so I urge people to get involved and enjoy the wide range of live music, food and drink stands, and family activities that will be on offer.”

The Chapelton Bike Ride, formerly the Great Stonehaven Bike Ride, is taking place on Sunday, September 3, and is raising funds for North East Sensory Services (NESS), a charity that supports over 6,000 sensory impaired people in the North-east.

North-east Sensory Services (NESS) promotes the needs of people with a sight or hearing loss.  NESS supports people with serious sight or hearing loss to overcome practical and emotional challenges and achieve independence.  Formerly Grampian Society for the Blind (GSB), North East Sensory Services (NESS) works with over 6,000 people with a sensory impairment in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Dundee, Elgin and Moray.

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Jun 162017
 

With thanks to Ian McLaren, PR account manager, Innes Associates.

The Lonach Hall set for the Annual Highland Ball.

Highland ball aficionados from across Scotland are being invited to attend one of Aberdeenshire’s oldest and most popular social gatherings.

The Lonach Highland Ball has been held in Strathdon, Aberdeenshire since 1833, and provides an opportunity for guests to celebrate the achievements of competitors at the annual Lonach Highland Gathering and Games.

Tickets for the black-tie event have just gone on sale and organisers, the Lonach Highland and Friendly Society, are keen to encourage a whole new generation of traditional Scottish dance enthusiasts to come along and sample the unique hospitality on offer.

Around 140 people attend the formal annual event. However, a press cutting from 1927 illustrates how popular the ball was 90 years ago, when it was reported that around 500 people attended that year’s event.

Held in the magnificent barrel-vaulted Lonach Hall in Strathdon, the Lonach Highland Ball is one of the highlights of the Strathdon social calendar. Along with guests from the local area, the evening attracts people from across north-east Scotland and further afield.

Guests to this year’s ball on Friday, 01 September will enjoy a four-course meal served by Harry Fraser Catering and dancing to the Graeme Mitchell Scottish Dance Band.  Tickets are priced at £40 per person.

The black-tie event sees some of the trophies that were contested at the previous week’s Lonach Highland Gathering and Games presented to competition winners.  Featuring the impressive march of the Lonach Highlanders, Lonach Highland Gathering and Games is one of Scotland’s most iconic highland games.

Staged annually on the fourth Saturday in August in the Aberdeenshire village of Bellabeg, the gathering features over 75 competitions in highland dancing, piping, light and heavy athletics and tug o’ war. This year’s gathering takes place on Saturday, 26 August.

Jennifer Stewart, secretary and chief executive of the Lonach Highland and Friendly Society, said:

“The Lonach Highland Ball is a fantastic night and an important part of the fabric of the society and the local community. We are keen to ensure it continues to be for decades to come, in the same way it has since the 1830s.

“It provides an opportunity for everyone to celebrate the achievements of competitors at the previous week’s gathering and the success of the gathering itself. Guests from across the north-east attend the ball, with some travelling out from Aberdeen for the evening, which is testament to the calibre of the event.

“The Lonach Hall is a brilliant, atmospheric venue which has a sprung dancefloor, meaning there is a great bounce for Scottish dancing. For keen dancers that is part of the appeal of the Lonach Ball.”

Anyone interested in attending the Lonach Highland Ball should contact Jennifer Stewart by e-mailing secretary@lonach.org.

Established in 1823, by Sir Charles Forbes, 1st Baronet of Newe and Edinglassie, the Lonach Highland and Friendly Society is a charitable organisation based in Strathdon, Aberdeenshire. 

The society organises the annual Lonach Gathering at Bellabeg Park, Strathdon, which is held on the fourth Saturday of August. The main attraction at the gathering is the march of the Lonach Highlanders, a unique body of non-military men. Further information on the Lonach Highland and Friendly Society, the Lonach Highlanders and the annual Lonach Highland Gathering can be found at www.lonach.org.    

Jun 082017
 

With thanks to Aberdeenshire SNP.

Fergus Ewing MSP at Braemar Castle with local councillor Geva Blackett and West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine SNP candidate Stuart Donaldson.

Braemar villagers have been hailed as local heroes by leading politicians as examples of how community empowerment works as they celebrate ten successful years of community management of Braemar Castle.

Braemar Community Limited have seen visitor numbers to the 17th century castle soar by over 277% since they took on a 50-year lease on from Invercauld Estate in 2007.

Raising over £500,000 to renovate the building in the past ten years and – as well as repairing the roof – they now have 12 fully-furnished rooms.

And this weekend the community celebrates a decade of delivery for the iconic tourist attraction with a dinner and hog roast ceilidh.

Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy Fergus Ewing MSP visited the castle on the eve of the party, with local councillor Geva Blackett and West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine SNP candidate Stuart Donaldson.

Mr Ewing said:

“This fantastic community initiative plays such a huge role in the economy of one of Scotland’s most rural communities and draws visitors from around the world. I am delighted to have been able to pay a short visit and will certainly be back with my wife and daughter in the summer to have a proper tour.”

Stuart Donaldson said:

“It’s always a great pleasure to visit Braemar as there is so much going on.

“It’s a truly vibrant community and the work they have done in restoring and improving the castle typifies that.

“Braemar is a small but historic village and there has been terrific buy-in from a huge section of the community to bring visitors back to the castle.

“They are true local heroes who can be immensely proud of the work they have done to restore, improve and promote Braemar Castle.

“I’m delighted they have brought the community together to celebrate the first ten years of community management and I wish them well for the next ten years.”

Councillor Geva Blackett, whose husband Simon is chair of Braemar Community Ltd the community company who run the castle and other projects, is thrilled at the progress they have made since 2007.

Geva said:

“Braemar Castle plays an important role in the life of the village and Stuart Donaldson is very aware of this. But I also wanted the Cabinet Secretary to see for himself how hard everyone here works to ensure Braemar is a sustainable community working together for an exciting future.”

The Earl of Mar initially used the castle as his Highland hunting lodge but after it was partially burnt down in 1689 after becoming the first casualty of the first Jacobite uprising.

The castle has changed several times over the years with a long-list of high profile owners – including a Russian princess and an MP.

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May 122017
 

With thanks to Ian McLaren, PR account manager, Innes Associates.

Aberdeenshire’s Lonach Highlanders are set to make a mark as they debut at this year’s Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Seventy-five of Strathdon’s kilted clansmen will travel to the capital in August to be part of the iconic annual spectacle as it celebrates Scotland’s clans.

The men have been invited to be part of the performance on Monday, 14 August by Lord Forbes, chief of the Forbes clan.

In front of an audience of around 8,500 people, including many international visitors, the highlanders will parade onto Edinburgh Castle’s Esplanade to herald the start of the evening’s performance. Dressed in full highland regalia and armed with their traditional eight-foot long pikes, the men will create an imposing sight for the gathered crowd.

With a history stretching back to 1823 when the Lonach Highland and Friendly Society was formed, the Lonach Highlanders are believed to be the largest body of non-military men to carry ceremonial weapons in Britain. Membership is drawn from residents of the local area who descend from the Forbes, Wallace and Gordon clans. Society membership currently stands at 227 men, under the patronage of Sir James Forbes, 8th Baronet of Newe and Edinglassie.

The theme of this year’s Tattoo is a Splash of Tartan, something that the Lonach Highlanders will admirably provide. To mark Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, Tattoo organisers have teamed up with The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs to celebrate the country’s clan heritage and national fabric, and their influence around the world.

Two or three clans will be represented at each performance during the Tattoo’s three-week run. On the night of the Lonach Highlander’s attendance, both the Forbes and Wallace clans will muster on the castle esplanade and their Scottish ancestry celebrated.

This is a fantastic opportunity for the society and the highlanders to help promote our history and heritage

The highlanders’ trip to Edinburgh comes just 12 days before their own annual gathering takes place in Bellabeg, Aberdeenshire.

Attracting crowds of up to 10,000 people, the Lonach Highland Gathering and Games is one of north-east Scotland’s leading traditional highland games.

This year’s event on Saturday, 26 August marks the 176th time the gathering has been held. It will once again commence with the Lonach Highlanders embarking on six-mile march round the local area, following in the footsteps of their forefathers and continuing a near two-hundred year-old tradition.

Jennifer Stewart, secretary and chief executive of the Lonach Highland and Friendly Society, said:

“The Lonach Highland and Friendly Society is honoured to have been invited to participate in this year’s Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. This is the first time that the Lonach Highlanders have been present at the event and there is huge excitement amongst those taking part.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for the society and the highlanders to help promote our history and heritage, the Lonach Gathering, Aberdeenshire and highland games in general. Television recording will be taking place on the night that we are parading. If we make the director’s cut then there is potential for millions of people around the world to learn about Lonach.

“Attending the Tattoo will be a great warm up for the 176th Lonach Highland Gathering and Games just 12 days later on Saturday, 26 August. If you think the sight of 75 Lonach Highlanders marching is special, the sight and sound of 200 of them, pikes aloft, marching through picturesque Strathdon is one to behold, and not to be missed.”

Ringside seat tickets for the 176th Lonach Highland Gathering and Games are on sale now, priced from £12 for adults and £7 for children. Visit www.lonach.org for full details.

Established in 1823, by Sir Charles Forbes, 1st Baronet of Newe and Edinglassie, the Lonach Highland and Friendly Society is a charitable organisation based in Strathdon, Aberdeenshire. The society organises the annual Lonach Gathering at Bellabeg Park, Strathdon, which is held on the fourth Saturday of August.

The main attraction at the gathering is the march of the Lonach Highlanders, a unique body of non-military men. Further information on the Lonach Highland and Friendly Society, the Lonach Highlanders and the annual Lonach Highland Gathering can be found at www.lonach.org.

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May 122017
 

With thanks to Aberdeen Community Energy (ACE).

Donside Hydro is a community built hydro scheme, on the river Don adjacent to the site of Donside Papermill, where there is now an urban village.
It is Scotland’s first urban community hydro scheme (most others are situated in isolated parts of the
country).

In 2013 Local residents formed a resident’s association, now called Donside Village Community SCIO (DVC), and from this association, ACEnergy (a not for profit, community benefit society) was formed.

For anyone interested in visiting Scotland’s first Urban Community Hydro Scheme, a tour is being conducted on Thursday May 18 ( details below).

ACEnergy (whose 5 directors all live in the village and are members of the DVC, bar one) went on to create the £1.2 million Donside Hydro Scheme, which has been successfully funded through share and bond offers.

The scheme has won a number of awards since operations began last September, including the best Community Project at the Scottish Green Energy awards in December.

Whilst the turbine is fully operational, and we have been producing electricity since 21st Sept 2016 and are meeting all projected targets, the landscaping is ongoing and there is still a bit of work to be done. We have just finished planting over 500 trees on our newly created island and further landscaping will take place over the next year. This will include the building of a bridge across to the island, and ensuring that as much of the area as possible is wheelchair accessible.

Profits from the scheme will be given to the share holders and bond holders, who have helped to finance the scheme, but a percentage of the profits will be returned to the community association, and this will be used to further develop the area and create a lovely public amenity for all who come to this part of the Don. However, this will not happen until the first full year of production at the earliest.

The DVC is working with the Scottish Government’s Scottish Land Fund to purchase the land surrounding the Donside Hydro. The aim is deliver a park for locals and visitors of all ages to play, explore, recreate and educate.

We are at stage 2 of our application and it is progressing well. However, the Scottish Land Fund are unable to fully finance any land purchases and can only give us 90% of the value of the land. We are not yet in a position to access any funds from the electricity production, as stated above, so this means we will have to find the remaining monies ourselves.

We are currently fund raising at every opportunity to raise the necessary cash (e.g. all profits from our Spring Fayre has gone toward the land purchase, people from the village are running the 10k to raise money etc).

We are also seeking alternative ways of funding and have started to charge for seminars and tours, where it is reasonable to do so, whilst keeping in mind our desire to make the hydro as accessible as possible to all. Therefore we are asking groups who ‘have a budget’ to make a set fee. For those that do not we are asking individuals who attend to make a donation in order for us to be able to purchase the land and develop it for all.

The bottom line is, we want people to be able to come and see the hydro and hear our story. We do not want money to be a prohibitive factor, but we want to be able to purchase the land!

We look forward to seeing you soon……

Visit the first Urban Community Hydro Scheme!

On Thursday 18th May at 7pm please join Aberdeenshire Environmental Forum on their visit to the first urban community hydro scheme which is a 100Kw Archimedes screw by the banks of the River Don by Tillydrone, Aberdeen. Come and find out how this scheme works and environmental issues that need to considered in such schemes.

The visit is free but donations to the scheme are most welcome.

Please book a place on this tour by telephoning or texting 07799658209 as limited spaces and to organise lift sharing opportunities.

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Apr 132017
 

With thanks to Aberdeenshire SNP.

(L to r) Pastor Neil Cameron of Apex Church; Cllr Stuart Pratt and Cllr Stephen Smith.

Local SNP councillors Stuart Pratt and Stephen Smith have shown their support for Peterhead FC’s impressive range of community engagement programmes.
The club launched a new initiative with Peterhead Boys Club to give away 200 free season tickets and made presentations to the latest graduates of the ‘Football Fans In Training Programme’ at an event at Balmoor this week where the various national football trophies were also on display.

Commenting, Cllr Stuart Pratt – a regular at Balmoor Stadium – said:

“Peterhead Football Club do a huge amount throughout the year in terms of youth engagement and supporting their local community.  But even someone like myself who manages to attend most of Peterhead’s home games didn’t realise quite how much the club actually does.

“It is a very impressive list and the initiatives launched this week can only further strengthen the link between club and community.”

Cllr Stephen Smith, who made the trip to Hampden last April to support Peterhead in the final of the Petrofac Cup versus Rangers, added:

“The event was a very good showcase for the club and I’m grateful to General Manager Martin Johnston for inviting me, along with others who are active in the community, which helps strengthen those community links.”

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Mar 242017
 

With thanks to Aberdeenshire SNP.

Local resident Heather Coull has been selected by SNP members in Westhill & District ward to join Councillor David Aitchison in seeking election to represent the ward on Aberdeenshire Council.

Councillor Mandy Allan, who has represented the Ward since 2007 is stepping down at the forthcoming election owing to work commitments.

Heather Coull was born in Aberdeen and has lived all her life in Aberdeenshire. Heather, aged 38, is married and is the youngest daughter of two school teachers.

Heather is committed to lifelong learning. She studied at RGU where she successfully achieved both BA and MSc degrees. 

As a former oil and gas industry worker, Heather has the experience and background to identify with a large number of residents in and around the Westhill area.

A member of Westhill & Elrick Community Council, one of Heather’s main priorities and areas of focus if successful in being elected will be in supporting and championing community groups in Westhill and the surrounding villages to achieve their ambitions via community choice budgeting.

Commenting, Heather Coull said:

“I am delighted to be selected as an SNP candidate for the Westhill & District ward and if elected I aim to carry on Mandy Allan’s good work and work together with David, and indeed the other Westhill councillors, as a strong team for our local area.”

David Aitchison was elected as a councillor at the 2012 election and was formerly a surveyor in the civil service. David who is married with 3 children grew up in Eyemouth and worked in Edinburgh, Nottingham and Durham before moving to Westhill over twenty years ago.

Since being elected David has served on the Infrastructure Services, Scrutiny & Audit and Education & Children’s Services Committees. Since June 2015 he has been Chairman of Aberdeenshire’s Infrastructure Services Committee and Vice-Chairman of NESTRANS, the North-east transport partnership.

Commenting on his selection David Aitchison said:

“It has been a privilege to represent Westhill & District and I am delighted to be a candidate to represent the ward again.

“In my two years as an administration senior councillor I have been able to oversee policies on regeneration, planning and economic development which will benefit Aberdeenshire.

“Westhill is now at a crossroads in terms of its development. It is time to consider what we want our community to look like in the future. If re-elected I will continue the dialogue that I am already having on this issue and work with partners and residents to create a vision for the future which Westhill deserves.”

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Jan 192017
 

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

An Aberdeenshire business has announced the winner of its campaign to find the North-east’s most hardworking community hero.

The Store, a farm shop, deli and coffee shop based in Foveran, near Ellon, launched the campaign in December as a way of rewarding one inspiring individual who went above and beyond for their community in 2016.
Caroline Anderson, 43, from Potterton, was announced as the winner after impressing judges with her contributions to her local community.

Fellow Potterton resident, Sammy MacDonald, nominated her to win £100 of vouchers to spend at The Store, as she felt that Caroline deserved recognition for donating her spare time to improving their village.

The NHS support manager has lived in Potterton for 11 years and  helped to found the Potterton Community Group at the end of 2015. Since then, the group has grown from a group of mums to one that involves residents of all ages focusing on the community. The group now regularly organises events, promoting the use of local businesses and the surrounding area, as a way to inject more community spirit into the village and make Potterton more sociable for its residents.

Monthly pop-up cafes, a picnic in the park, seasonal fairs, fitness classes, an adults arts and craft group, as well as a ‘zombie apocalypse’ – a fun game that involved local children trying to find the antidote to a zombie outbreak – were all successful in bringing together residents and raising money to fund community projects.

Last year, the funds raised by the group helped to upgrade a path in the area, so that more people could enjoy the countryside surrounding Potterton. This project also received funding from Paths for All, a charity that aims to significantly increase the number of people who choose to walk in Scotland.

Andrew Booth, owner of The Store, was so overwhelmed with the number of campaign nominations that he turned to his family to help him decide on a winner.

He said:

“It was an incredibly difficult decision to make, as we received a lot of really inspirational nominations from across the North-east. I eventually read out the shortlist of nominations to my kids and mother-in-law and they helped me decide on the overall winner.

“One of the main reasons we chose Caroline was because I wanted to give her an incentive to carry on the Potterton Community Group well into the future, as it’s still in the early stages.

“After reading Caroline’s nomination and meeting her in person, it’s very clear that she does a great deal for her local community, which is what this campaign was all about. As well as working full-time and looking after two children, she has brought together an entire community through a number of initiatives that will truly benefit both residents and the area in the long-term.”

Mrs Anderson said:

“I couldn’t believe it when I found out that I had won, I almost burst into tears. I had absolutely no idea that I had been nominated and I was completely overwhelmed that Sammy had thought to put me forward. I’ve never thought that I do anything particularly special, as there are so many people out there doing inspirational things.

“Whilst I’m the main driver behind the group, it’s entirely a team effort. We have an amazing bunch of people who volunteer their time to the group and we wouldn’t have been able to achieve what we have done over the past year without them all.

“I receive so many positive comments about the group, that’s what inspires me to keep going and pushes me to do even more for the Potterton community. This year we want to focus on organising more social events, community projects and getting residents involved as much as possible. It’s hard work, but it’s so worth it when you see the strong bond that the village has formed over the past year. It’s amazing what a community can achieve when you work together.”

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Dec 292016
 

With thanks to Gemma Setter, PR Account Executive, Frasermedia.

An Aberdeenshire business is looking to reward one inspiring NE individual who has gone above and beyond for their local community in 2016. The Store, a farm shop, deli and coffee shop based in Foveran, near Ellon, has launched a campaign to find the North-east’s most hardworking good samaritan, so that they can receive an extra special start to the New Year.

The family-run business is encouraging the public to nominate one person they believe has regularly gone out of their way to help their local community and deserves to win £100 of vouchers for The Store.

Since it first opened in 2000, The Store has been dedicated to sourcing and supplying only the finest local produce that the area has to offer. The winner of the campaign will have a wide variety of high-quality products to choose from, ranging from meats and groceries to artisan cheeses and delicious cakes.

Owner of The Store, Andrew Booth, is hoping that the campaign will help draw attention to the countless acts of goodwill that happen regularly across the North-east, and that other local businesses will also show recognition to those who have gone out of their way to help others.

He said:

“Christmas and New Year is the season of giving, so this is our way of saying thank you and giving something back to somebody who always puts their community first.

“There are some truly inspirational people out there, who dedicate all their free time to local causes and people in need. Unfortunately, we can’t reward everyone who is nominated, but we hope that our small gesture will give a deserving individual a nice treat to start 2017.

“It’s because of these Good Samaritans that the spirit of local community is kept alive and it’s important that they are recognised for all their hard work. I’m looking forward to reading through the nominations and all the selfless acts of kindness that have taken place over the past year.”   

To nominate someone who deserves to win £100 of vouchers from The Store, then email their name, the reasons why you’re nominating them and their contact details to gemma@frasermedia.co.uk. Entries close on Wednesday 4 January and the winner will be announced on Friday 6 January. The terms and conditions can be found on www.thestorecompany.co.uk.

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Dec 162016
 

Stephen McCormick recently quit his role as AFC display organiser describing the club as “impossible to deal with.”

By Red Fin Hall.

Recently I wrote about the situation regarding the lack of respect and communication between Aberdeen Football Club, The Supporter’s Liaison Officer within the club, and fans/supporters trying to create a better atmosphere at games via displays etc.

It appears that in some cases they, or more factually correct, people within the club, have, at some point, been actively trying to discourage said displays.

To this end a group of supporters have written an open letter to the board of the club emphasising the need for better communication and co-operation with the supporters. The fans keep getting told, “You are the 13th man.”

Feelings within the supporters at large, is that there is not much confidence that this is true. Even with the prospect of a new stadium coming, Mr Milne only said that there: ‘may be a standing area built within Kingsford’ – not that there would definitely be one. Also there was still no mention of the possibility of there being a bar within, and not just one for the corporate guests, but a public one.

There seems, at this moment in time, a lesser dialogue between the club and the fans than perhaps is perceived.

Below is the open letter.

Dear Duncan George & Stewart

We are writing this to you regarding matters this season and seasons past involving, failure on part of AFC to adequately engage with Aberdeen supporters, treatment of Aberdeen Supporters and in more detail treatment of those in the Merkland Singing Section.

Issues such as, but are not limited to the following areas:

–    A reply to questions put to AFC as to why AFC were contacting other clubs in Scotland attempting to discourage match day supporter displays.

–   Why the club lied at recent AGM telling the floor they had been in contact with those responsible for the stunning League Cup Final display at Hampden and thanking them when this simply isn’t the case .

–    Appointinment of Community Trust chief executive as SLO just to appease UEFA competition guidelines.

–    Appointment of a Supporters Liaison Officer (SLO) into the Club without consultation with Supporters groups / Supporters Trust or wider fan base etc

–    Failure of said SLO to engage with supporters groups on a day-to-day basis in order to facilitate a more enjoyable and effective match day experience

–    Failure of said SLO to engage with supporters groups for major games and to facilitate smooth access to Pittodrie and other stadia to be visited

–    Failure of SLO to engage positively with Supporters groups and other clubs in order to facilitate a coordinated and organized approach to maximizing noise generation and fan displays at away games

–    Actively and physically segregating, pressurizing and marginalizing of fans in the Merkland Singing section from other fans through use of hostile stewarding, “dead zone” seating strips and general poor attitude shown towards supporters wishing to support their team in a positive manner.

–    Misleading information regarding occupancy of Merkland block seating in order to undermine the success of the initiative and prevention of other fans joining the section throughout the game.

–    Failure to plan effectively for League Cup Final to ensure effective noise generation in order to back the team effectively by refusing to allocate area for vocal fans .

–    Failure of AFC across internal departments (General management, Stadium Access, Ticketing, security etc in order to facilitate an organized and structured and most importantly a respectful approach to AFC supporting individuals working on an unpaid  volunteer basis in order to encourage the team positively and to enhance the matchday experience for many people.

The recent League Cup Final showed that AFC has little regard to its fans wider match day experience and even less for creating a spectacle and that the Cup final atmosphere would “look after itself” as one AFC official was quoted as saying.

Anyone who witnessed the Cup final was that those that made the effort and expense of travelling to Glasgow to set up the pre match display done a fantastic effort given that there was no input nor even the respect of reply from AFC from requests from fans made to make the day a spectacle and an positive atmosphere for the duration of the match.

The lack of Aberdeen supporter positive atmosphere generation, particularly after going a goal down (and then more) was very evident.Had there been an area for vocal fans this could have helped create a louder backing for the team.

No doubt AFC will be using footage and photography from the matches with flags, card displays etc for future marketing material, all the while actively discouraging it and disregarding the fact that positive fan interaction does make a difference to the team on the park is wholly unacceptable.

We request the following:

–    AFC immediately engage with their staff & AFC fans representatives in order to stop these negative aspects reoccurring
–    Appoint a fan elected SLO – one that has a wide understanding or proven background in match day supporter participation, supporter liaison, match day display management.
–    Empower the SLO to form a positive working relationship with the Aberdeen support and other clubs respective SLO’s to ensure that the team, the supporters (the customers) are all given the correct priority support to ensure forward progress is made on all levels.
–    Ensure that the SLO is meeting the reasonable expectations of the Club, AFC support and wider regulatory bodies such as the Police and other Football Clubs etc.
–    The SLO is active in meeting with AFC fans to gather detailed information on future stadia requirements from the “in game” perspective.

We have a supporter in mind, someone who has engaged with the support and more importantly is respected by the support .The same fan has put on many a spectacle at Aberdeen FC games at home and away for the best part of 20 years .He has organised some of the best displays in the UK, helped add colour to AFC centenary events.Always paid tribute to fans who have sadly passed. He is great with the kids and young fans and always gets them involved .

The fans trust him and he’s known throughout the support as he’s always present .

We have a petition that hundreds of fans have signed asking that the club appoint Stephen McCormick as our Supporters Liaison Officer. With the amount of work he has done over the years, dealing with clubs up and down the country, having to deal with the SFA and SPFL he has already proven he has a vast knowledge of modern day football and its supporters.

We look forward to hearing from you in due course.

Signed

Dons fans voice collective.

Also, in my last article regarding this, I mentioned that Stephen contributed out of his own pocket. It has since been pointed out to me that the displays have been fully funded by fan contribution. He is the organiser, and has only contributed as a fan. He wished this to be clear.

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