Sep 092016
 

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

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Aberdeenshire’s newest bike ride has been hailed as a huge success, after hundreds of cyclists and spectators attended the event on Sunday 4 September.

A total of 238 participants took part in the Chapelton Bike Ride, which took place in the new town of Chapelton, near Newtonhill. Hundreds of spectators flocked to the town’s Hume Square to watch as cyclists returned from the 12 and 42-mile routes.

The bike ride was held in aid of North East Sensory Services (NESS), a sensory impairment charity that supports over 4800 people in the North-east. Over £6000 was raised for NESS through the Chapelton Bike Ride, which will help the charity provide social work and life-enhancing services to people who have sight or hearing loss.

Also participating in the event were housebuilders from Chapelton developers ZeroC, A&J Stephen and AJC Homes, as well as David Carnegie, the Duke of Fife, from Elsick Development Company. After a friendly competition against one another, Alistair Gordon, Earl of Aboyne and managing director of AJC Homes, came out on top, as he crossed the finish line with a time of 2 hours 45 minutes across the 42-mile route.

Neil Skene, fundraising co-ordinator at NESS, said:

“All of us here at NESS are thrilled with the number of cyclists and spectators who attended the Chapelton Bike Ride. A lot of organisation and planning went into the event, as it’s only in its first year, so it’s great to see that all the hard work has paid off.

“It was a fantastic day and we received lots of positive feedback from the cyclists, who said that both the 12 and 42-mile routes were great fun to take on.

“The atmosphere in Chapelton was buzzing, as the square was packed full of residents and visitors who turned out to enjoy the wonderful local music and food and drink that was on offer – as well as cheering on the cyclists throughout the day.

“We’re extremely thankful to everyone who participated and raised vital funds for NESS, as well as the main sponsors, Savills and Burness Paull. Thanks to their support we can continue to help people with a sensory impairment achieve independence and overcome any challenges they may face in day-to-day life.”

Caroline Fife, the Duchess of Fife, director of Elsick Development company, the developer behind Chapelton, said:

“It was a great feeling welcoming everyone to Chapelton for our first ever major event. The day was a huge success and we’re proud to have worked alongside NESS to help raise funds for such a worthwhile cause.

“Chapelton’s sense of community was really evident on Sunday and the spectators did a brilliant job of cheering on the cyclists, which helped to significantly boost their morale.

“The live music, entertainment and delicious food available were all extremely well received and everyone who came along had a great day out.

“There was lots of healthy competition between the Chapelton housebuilders and they had a good laugh joking about who would finish first, so it was very entertaining watching Alistair from AJC Homes cross the finish line first.

“I’ve also been really impressed by everyone’s fundraising efforts for NESS and fully embracing this charity initiative within the community where they work.

“We’re also very thankful to the participants and spectators for all their support and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to Chapelton next year.”

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 4,500 people with a sensory impairment in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Dundee, Angus and Perth & Kinross.

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Sep 012016
 

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

Mark & DFP Ballater - Copy2

Mark Beaumont is getting on his bike to Ballater for the Quilter Cheviot Etape Royale with David Fox Pitt of Wildfox Events

If you’ve been inspired by Team GB’s achievements in the Rio 2016 Olympics then get on your bike and head to Ballater which, with a bumper crop of top cycle events about to take place, has become the region’s self-styled home of cycling.

The Deeside village is gearing up for a series of cycling highs catering for all abilities –  from  families seeking a weekend of fun to competitive cyclists looking to be challenged on testing long distance routes.

The September cycling season kicks off with the Quilter Cheviot Etape Royale which takes place on Sunday 18 September and has been endorsed by record-breaking long-distance cyclist and adventurer Mark Beaumont who has tested the 100 mile closed road route.

The Royal Deeside Family Cycling Festival takes places over the same weekend, from 16 -18 September to complement the Etape, regarded as one of Scotland’s most scenic and challenging closed route cycle sportives and which starts and finishes in Ballater.

The 100-mile circular route takes participants on a traffic-free journey through historic Royal Deeside and Aberdeenshire, Moray’s Whisky Country, and back along the banks of the picturesque River Dee, allowing cyclists to take in the breathtaking scenery present throughout the region. For those who don’t feel quite up to the full distance, there are also 45 and 65 mile routes available.

A series of family-friendly events and activities are on offer over the course of the weekend, including a mountain bike skills circuit and a bike roadshow featuring weird, wonderful and wacky bikes from the past and the present, body zorbing and a climbing wall.

Those participating in the Quilter Cheviot Etape Royale are encouraged to bring their families along to enjoy the festivities, including a family ceilidh, showings of cycling themed films and talks and presentations by Mark Beaumont and former Scottish Rugby captain Rob Wainwright and see what the rest of what Ballater has to offer.

The following weekend, on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 September Cycle Highlands is running a demo weekend with guided rides and the chance to trial the latest Santa Cruz and Juliana bike models.

The busy month of biking in and around Ballater will be followed by a bespoke conference which is expected to further reinforce Cairngorm’s  growing reputation as one of the places to visit in the UK to enjoy the booming sport of mountain biking. The Scottish Mountain Bike Conference – Innovation Edition will be held from 17 to 19 November in Aviemore, recognising the region’s popularity for the sport, and including some of the programme being delivered in and about Ballater.

etaperoyale2-hill cimbRichard Watts, chairman of Ballater Business Association runs a specialist cycle shop in the village and says that after London 2012 Olympics there was a growth in Scottish cycling with the number of competitive events and female participants increasing.

He expects that the historic achievements of British cyclists competing Rio 2016 to also impact positively in take-up of the sport – and hopes that the Ballater region will see the benefits.

Mr Watts says:

“Riders from all over the UK, and overseas come to the Cairngorms to enjoy cycling in all its forms and who could blame them?

“Ballater is an ideal location from which to explore natural trails and various purpose-built centres and is surrounded by terrain suitable for all abilities.

“From easy forest trails to single-track descents cyclists can explore for an hour, day or week.

“The quiet roads and former railway, now the Deeside Way, give a spectacular window into local nature and history and there are offer and the stunning landscapes to enjoy.

“The cycling opportunities we’re able to offer in this part of the world, provide cyclists stunning landscapes to soak in on two wheels and are a real asset to the area.

“We hope to  reap the benefits of the success of Team GB’s cycling stars in Rio 2016 who are a real inspiration and may well  encourage others to to give cycling a try and to come and do so exploring our wonderful region on two wheels.”

The Royal Deeside Cycling Festival takes place from Friday 16 to Sunday 18 September in Ballater. Supported by EventScotland and official charity sponsor Marie Curie, the Quilter Cheviot Etape Royale gets underway on Sunday 18 September, the cycle sportive covers 100-miles and an ascent of 2,996m. For more information, visit: www.etaperoyale.com

Further details of the Demo Weekend from 24-25 September is available at http://www.cyclehighlands.com/events/

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Aug 182016
 
GazaIsraelBigRide (5)

The Big Ride has set out to draw attention to the 547 children verified as killed during the Israeli bombardment of Gaza in 2014.

With thanks to Greg Challis, The Big Ride.

Hundreds of cyclists and their supporters who blockaded a Midlands factory in protest at its sale of drones used by the Israeli military have vowed: “We’ll be back.”
The Big Ride for Palestine staged four feeder rides from London, Bristol, Manchester and Sheffield which converged on Birmingham for a festival in Sparkhill Park.

The peloton then moved off en masse to a rally at the factory gates of UAV engines, in Shenstone near Lichfield.

UAV is part of the Elbit group and has been the target of repeated protests by activists, appalled at the way drones have been used against Palestinian civilians.

The Big Ride has set out to draw attention to the 547 children verified as killed during the Israeli bombardment of Gaza in 2014.

Protesters pinned photographs of child victims on the fence surrounding the factory and, during a two hour peaceful action,heard first hand testimony from a Palestinian doctor working with children in Gaza.

The event also created a minor internet sensation with ten of thousands of views of a video posted by the Friends of Al Aqsa group and You Tube footage of Tom from Manchester performing his rap composition, There’s Nothing new about the News.

Dr Mona El Farra, who lost nine members of her extended family in 2014, told the crowd:

“With your support and solidarity, we are helping some of the thousands of children who are traumatised by the loss of the families, their homes, their schools. Even though Gaza has been reduced to rubble in places with the support of arms manufacturers like Elbit, who own UAV, we are doing everything we can to rebuild lives.

“The children are all our futures, and they are so brave, but I can’t tell you how damaged they are. They have to learn how to play again, to be children. This is nothing more than collective punishment of the Palestinian people by the Israel and we say that it is a war crime.”

The Big Ride drew support from MPs, MEPs, trade unions and celebrities, including film director Ken Loach and campaign and charity groups including War on Want and Campaign Against the Arms Trade. They have set a target of £20,770 to help the Middle Eastern Children’s Alliance, which funds projects on the ground in Gaza.

Activists are now meeting with other grass roots groups to step up their campaign against UAV and the Government supported arms trade with Israel.

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Jul 212016
 

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

Chapelton Bike Ride

Chapelton builders are to swap hard hats for helmets as they gear up to raise money for local charity

Four housebuilding and development firms are gearing up to take part in the Chapelton Bike Ride on Sunday September 4 to raise money for North East Sensory Services (NESS).

Builders from ZeroC, AJC Homes, Elsick Development Company, and A&J Stephen, will be competing against one another at the Chapelton Bike Ride to raise funds for NESS.

North East Sensory Services (NESS), which has offices in Aberdeen, Dundee and Elgin, supports over 4800 people in the North-east who have sight or hearing loss. By providing both social work and life-enhancing services, NESS is able to help those with a sensory impairment overcome challenges and achieve independence.

All three of the teams are hoping raise a substantial amount of money for NESS by taking on the 42-mile bike ride, which will raise vital funds for the charity, which helps those with sight or hearing loss achieve independence.

This is the first year that the Chapelton Bike Ride, formerly the Great Stonehaven Bike Ride, has taken place in the new town, which is situated near Newtonhill.

Starting and finishing at Teacake coffee shop in Chapelton, the bike ride takes cyclists into the seaside town of Stonehaven, through Fetteresso and Durris Forests’, before leading them towards Maryculter and the picturesque banks of the River Dee, then looping back round towards Chapelton.

Caroline Fife, the Duchess of Fife, landowner and developer of Chapelton, said:

“All three housebuilders working on Chapelton are really committed to making the bike ride a big success and putting it on the map.

“Each is gathering a team together for a good-natured competition, so there will certainly be a great deal of secret training involved. There’s a lot of friendly banter between the groups, but it’s all in jest as the real reason they’re all taking part is to raise money for a worthwhile cause.

“Chapelton residents have also expressed an interest in registering for the ride to raise money for NESS. It’s great to see so many people getting involved in the bike ride to fundraise for such an important charity.

“The Chapelton Bike Ride is going to be the first in a long line of community events, so we’re all thrilled to see the housebuilders really taking an interest in the area by signing up for the event. They’ve all really risen to the challenge and it’s so inspiring to see building companies get involved with local communities and causes.”

Neil Skene, fundraising co-ordinator at NESS, said:

“We’re so thankful to the teams at Stephen, ZeroC, and AJC Homes for getting on their bikes to raise money for NESS. Their fundraising enables us to continue providing much-needed support and assistance to people with sight or hearing loss.

“All of us at NESS are really excited about the new route and all the events available on the day. There will be something for everyone, from cyclists and walkers, to foodies and music fans. We hope that lots of people come along to either participate in the bike ride, or help cheer the riders on and enjoy the variety of food and drink, crafts, and music on offer.”

The Chapelton Bike Ride takes place on Sunday, September 4. Cyclists have the choice of either a 42-mile or 12-mile bike route, whilst a three-mile walk is also available for those wishing to participate without having to get on their bikes.

Registration costs £15 per person for the 42-mile route, £5 per person for the 12-mile route, or £10 for a team of four for the 12-mile cycle.

Register for the Chapelton Bike Ride at www.chapeltonbikeride.co.uk.

  • 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 4,500 people with a sensory impairment in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Dundee, Angus and Perth & Kinross.

Awards:
2016: Winner, IIP Award Excellence in Third Sector
Finalist Elevator Awards and Trend Awards.
2015: Winner, Elevator Award, Winner, Trend Award.

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Jun 302016
 

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

mark beaumont2

Record breaking cyclist Mark Beaumont with David Pitt of Wildfox Events. Credit © EdSmith.

Record-breaking cyclist Mark Beaumont is gearing up to promote the benefits of cycling at the Quilter Cheviot Etape Royale and the Royal Deeside Family Cycling Festival.

The long-distance cyclist, who is known for completing an 18,000 mile round-the-world cycling challenge and who has tested the 100 mile route of the Etape Royale on a Penny Farthing, is supporting the
Festival.

The Royal Deeside Family Cycling Festival is the latest addition to an exciting summer of events for the Ballater area.

It takes places from 16 -18 September to complement the Quilter Cheviot Etape Royale – one of Scotland’s most scenic and challenging closed route cycle sportives, starting and finishing in Ballater which aims to promote the benefits of cycling to people of all ages.

The 100-mile circular route of the Quliter Cheviot Etape Royale takes participants on a traffic-free journey through historic Royal Deeside and Aberdeenshire, Moray’s Whisky Country, and back along the banks of the picturesque River Dee, allowing cyclists to take in the breathtaking scenery present throughout the region. For those who don’t feel quite up to the full distance, there are also 45 and 65 mile routes available.

A series of family-friendly events and activities are on offer over the course of the weekend, such as a mountain bike skills circuit and a bike roadshow featuring weird, wonderful and wacky bikes from the past and the present. Those participating in Etape Royale are being encouraged to bring their families along to enjoy the festivities and the rest of what Ballater has to offer.

Many local businesses are getting involved by organising activities for the weekend of the Festival. Both Cycle Highlands and The Bike Station will be offering bike rental and providing mechanical support to cyclists. Whilst the cafes in Ballater are extending their opening hours and will also be transformed into European street-style cafes, enabling customers to enjoy their food and drinks outside.

David Wright of Aberdeenshire Council, says,

“The whole of Ballater is looking forward to welcoming cyclists and their families to this year’s Quilter Cheviot Etape Royale and the Royal Deeside Family Cycling Festival.

“Mark Beaumont is such a well-known name in the world of cycling and we’re confident that he will do a brilliant job in encouraging more people to take an interest in cycling, either as a hobby or as an alternative method of transport.

“The entire weekend will be a celebration of all things cycling and there are plenty of activities for all the family to get involved in. For those who aren’t interested in bikes, there will be a farmer’s market on the Saturday, a climbing wall, and zorbing. A ceilidh has also been organised to welcome visitors to the area at the Victoria & Albert Halls on the evening of Saturday 17 September.

“The weekend will help to highlight the excellent selection of cycling routes available in Ballater and Royal Deeside. The entire area is a cyclist’s dream, as there are scenic roads and recreational routes, plus plenty of mountain ranges for the adrenaline seekers to enjoy.”

Richard Watts, owner of Cycle Highland and chairman of Ballater Business Association, says,

“The Quilter Cheviot Etape Royale and the Royal Deeside Cycling Festival combines cycling and family fun into one weekend. Family members of the participants will be able cheer them on as start and finish Etape Royale in Ballater. Whilst the cyclists are away, visitors to the Festival can enjoy the wide range of activities, food and music events on offer.

“It’s very inspiring to see local businesses getting behind the Festival by organising events which will enhance the overall experience for both visitors and residents of Ballater. This is the first year that the Royal Deeside Family Cycling Festival is being held and the whole community is getting involved, so the atmosphere in the village over the weekend is certainly not to be missed.”

The Royal Deeside Family Cycling Festival takes place from Friday 16 to Sunday 18 September in Ballater. Supported by EventScotland and official charity sponsor Marie Curie, the Quilter Cheviot Etape Royale gets underway on Sunday 18 September, the cycle sportive covers 100-miles and an ascent of 2,996m. For more information, visit: www.etaperoyale.com

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Jun 032016
 

Martin Ford Cycle path featWith thanks to Martin Ford.

East Garioch councillor Martin Ford is asking Aberdeenshire Council to choose a route and build a cycle path between Kintore and Blackburn – as part of delivering a cycle route all the way from Inverurie to Aberdeen.

Cllr Ford has written to Aberdeenshire’s head of transportation, Ewan Wallace, pointing out that other parts of a cycle path between Inverurie (Port Elphinstone) and Aberdeen are either built, planned or work is at least underway to identify a route. (See letter)

“Kintore to Blackburn is the ‘missing link’ in the plans for delivering a continuous cycle route between Port Elphinstone and Aberdeen,” said Cllr Ford.

“Cycling on the A96 is really horrible, and very few people are going to choose to do that. An alternative is needed for those who would like to cycle, or walk, for example between Kintore and Blackburn.”

A cycle path exists between Port Elphinstone and the Thainstone roundabout and one has just been built between Kintore and Kintore Business Park.

Aberdeenshire Council is planning to build a cycle path on the east side of the A96 to join the cycle path from Port Elphinstone at the Thainstone roundabout with Kintore Business Park. Aberdeen City Council has just been awarded £30,000 by Sustrans towards the cost of route identification and preliminary design work for a cycle link between Blackburn and Aberdeen.

At its budget meeting in February, Aberdeenshire Council allocated an additional £250,000 to ‘Active Travel’ in its revenue budget for 2016/17. (1)

Cllr Ford said:

“Active Travel is a priority for Aberdeenshire Council which can deliver health benefits, help reduce traffic congestion and cut greenhouse gas emissions from road transport.”

A report at the most recent meeting of Aberdeenshire’s Infrastructure Services Committee showed an allocation of £210,000 for active travel projects ‘yet to be identified’. (2)

Cllr Martin Ford said:

“I’m pleased Aberdeenshire Council has allocated additional funding for active travel and pleased work is planned on delivering other parts of a cycle route between Inverurie and Aberdeen. So I believe it’s time for Aberdeenshire Council to identify a route for a cycle path between Kintore and Blackburn and progress that.

“There is certainly a need for a suitable cycling route all the way between Inverurie, Kintore, Blackburn and Aberdeen.”

Notes:

1. The additional money for active travel is a condition of the ‘confidence and supply’ agreement between the Democratic Independent and Green Group councillors and Aberdeenshire’s coalition administration.

2. Infrastructure Services Committee meeting 12 May 2016, Item 8 ‘Programme for Active Travel and Road Safety’, page 11. The report is here.

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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.]

May 272016
 

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

Coast to Coast Challenge 2016A Coast to Coast cycling challenge organised by staff from BP has raised over £1 million for good causes over its eight-year
lifespan.
The eighth Coast to Coast challenge, which took place from 20-22 May, was the organisers’ largest yet with a firm focus on reaching the £1 million target.

Seventy current and former BP employees completed the 250-mile cycle, almost twice the amount who have taken part in previous years.

The number of charities who will benefit from the 2016 fundraiser was also increased from three to four, in recognition of the landmark year.

In its seven previous years, the challenge has raised £837,000, which includes matched funding from BP. The prospect of pushing the cumulative total into seven figures was a major driving force for the 2016 participants.

“Everyone really got into the spirit of the event, which was a vital ingredient for its success,” says Jon Turnbull, who has been involved from day one.

“The scale of this year’s challenge demanded considerable additional effort in terms of route planning, accommodation and transport.
 
“It was a wonderful team endeavour, involving hours of meeting time for our steering committee, in addition to the hours of training, preparation and fundraising that all of our cyclists commit to.  We also owe a debt of gratitude to our support drivers and ASCO Transport for their part in getting our bikes across Scotland.”

Funds continue to come in for the 2016 challenge, which has already raised over £40,000 for each of this year’s beneficiary charities.  They include MND Scotland, which supports people affected by motor neurone disease; mental health charity Support in Mind Scotland; children’s charity Charlie House and family support charity Home-Start Aberdeen. The charities are chosen by BP personnel and all have a local or personal connection.

“Our selection as a Coast to Coast beneficiary charity means a great deal to Home-Start Aberdeen,” says Georgette Cobban, scheme manager, Home-Start Aberdeen.

“We currently have a waiting list of city-based families who desperately need our support. These funds will be pivotal in helping us to recruit and train the additional volunteers we need to deliver this help.

“The Coast to Coast experience has also been wonderful in terms of allowing us to forge new links with the cyclists from BP and the other 2016 charities.  I hope very much that these relationships can be nurtured and grown.  Our thanks go out to everyone who has participated in or supported the 2016 challenge – and to BP for the incredibly generous matched funding.”

Charlie House is a new, locally based children’s charity which engages in activities and projects to support children with complex disabilities and life limiting conditions.

Lynn Batham, corporate and community fundraiser, Charlie House adds:

“We are extremely grateful to be one of the charities to benefit from this event. It will not only allow us to reach out to more families, offering them vital support when they need it, but it also gives us the invaluable opportunity of further exposure of Charlie House and what we do.”

Donations, which are doubled by BP, can still be made to the 2016 Coast to Coast challenge by visiting http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/c2c_8.

More information on the 2016 charities is available via their websites: www.mndscotland.org.uk, www.charliehouse.org.uk, www.supportinmindscotland.org.uk and www.homestartaberdeen.org.uk.

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May 132016
 

Martin Ford Cycle pathWith thanks to Martin Ford.

East Garioch councillor Martin Ford has welcomed progress on the new cycle path planned to connect Kintore with Port Elphinstone and Inverurie.

The intention is to have a cycle path adjacent to the A96 on the east side of the trunk road all the way between Kintore and Port Elphinstone.

The construction of the section between Kintore (starting by the entrance to the Overdon Care Home) and Kintore Business Park was agreed by the Garioch Area Committee in January. Work on this section is now almost complete.

Cllr Martin Ford said:

“A good cycle path between Kintore and Port Elphinstone will be a great help to anyone who cycles – or who would like to cycle – between Kintore and the Inverurie area, whether for recreation, to go shopping or to commute to work.

“The new section of path between Kintore and Kintore Business Park looks great. I shall continue to press for the planned linking cycle path between Kintore Business Park and the Thainstone roundabout to be built as soon as possible.”

Following representations from Cllr Ford, a feasibility study was undertaken in 2012 into the possibility of a cycle path between Kintore and Port Elphinstone entirely on the east side of the A96 over the full length of the route. There is currently a cycle path on the east side of the A96 between Port Elphinstone and the Thainstone roundabout.

Between Thainstone and Kintore until now though, there has been nothing for cyclists on the east side of the A96 – just a very poor path adjacent to the A96 on the west side of the road. Therefore, anyone wanting to cycle between Kintore and Port Elphinstone/Inverurie has had to cross the A96 dual carriageway near Thainstone or cycle part of the way on the trunk road itself.

Council officers are working on resolving remaining issues to enable a cycle path to be built between Kintore Business Park and the Thainstone roundabout.

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Apr 292016
 
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

ACSHA’s Mike Edwards and Alzheimer Scotland’s Andrea Watt celebrate the hoteliers’ donation. They are joined by regular resource centre users Andy Clark and Dorothy Melia, and Resource Centre manager Brenda Stewart.

With thanks to Eoin Smith.

Aberdeen City and Shire Hotels’ Association (ACSHA) has announced that it has broken its fundraising target for one of the country’s leading dementia charities – thanks to a four-figure boost from its recent cycle-a-thon.
Hoteliers today handed over a cheque for over £27,000 to Alzheimer Scotland at the charity’s recently-opened Aberdeen Dementia Resource Centre at the culmination of a year-long fundraising period.

The 3,500km cycle-a-thon, equivalent in length to the Tour De France, took place on static bikes in Aberdeen International Airport and hotels across the region.

Staff, management – and even some guests – from a dozen hotels pedalled their way through 24 gruelling hours to raise over £4,000 for the worthwhile cause.

The mammoth biking effort was just the latest in a series of fundraising initiatives undertaken by ACSHA in the past year – including the launch of a new lager with Deeside Brewery, participation in the city’s annual Memory Walk, and the auction of a bottle of Pol Roger Vintage Cap 1943 champagne.

Mike Edwards, owner of the Mariner Hotel, has spearheaded ACSHA’s fundraising efforts throughout 2015/16. Alzheimer Scotland is a charity close to Mike’s heart, as his father – a well-respected member of the hospitality industry in the north east – was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2008, aged just 59. In the Aberdeen area alone, there are around 300 people under the age of 65 living with dementia.

He says,

“The cycle-a-thon marked the big finish to our year of fundraising for Alzheimer Scotland, and it was fantastic to see so many of my colleagues and peers in the hospitality industry squeezing themselves into their cycling gear and jumping on the bikes.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have exceeded our fundraising goals for Alzheimer Scotland, and this is all thanks to the generosity and determination of hoteliers in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

“I would like to personally thank the members of ACSHA who have worked tirelessly over the past year to raise funds for such a worthwhile charity.

“Dementia affects those in all walks of life, and the new Aberdeen Dementia Resource Centre has quickly become such a valuable haven of support and advice in the city. Each and every penny raised will go towards improving the quality of life of those living with dementia in the north east, and their carers.

“Aberdeen City and Shire Hotels’ Association is proud to support Alzheimer Scotland’s work in the north east of Scotland.”

Andrea Watt, Community Fundraiser with Alzheimer Scotland, adds,

“With over 90,000 people now living with dementia and the number on the rise, Alzheimer Scotland is passionate that nobody should face dementia alone. It is our mission to challenge dementia once and for all by working with our supporters and partners to increase awareness and raise funds.

“We are incredibly grateful to the support provided by Aberdeen City and Shire Hotels’ Association over the last year. Their hard work has provided a welcome boost to our operations in the north east and will be invested back into the new resource centre which provides a vital source of information and support for those living with the condition.”

The money raised by ACSHA will go towards funding Alzheimer Scotland’s operations in the north east, including the Aberdeen Dementia Resource Centre which was opened last year.

In addition to monetary donations, a number of ACSHA members have also signed up to the Dementia Friends initiative, which aims to make public venues more welcoming to those with dementia and their carers.

Aberdeen City and Shire Hotels’ Association represents 49 independently operated hotels and conference venues, along with a further nine associate members. These hotels provide around 4,500 bedrooms in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. ACSHA is committed to improving the quality and standard of hotel services and to furthering the overall standards of excellence and hospitality within the region.

For more information about Aberdeen City and Shire Hotels’ Association, visit www.aberdeenhotels.org

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