Oct 062017

With thanks to Yvette Rayner, PR Account Manager, Frasermedia Ltd.

An Aberdeen sports facility is the first in Scotland to achieve the highest possible standard in the leading UK sports and leisure quality scheme.

Aberdeen Sports Village, which is based on the city’s Linksfield Road, is the first facility in Scotland to have passed the toughest assessment offered by Sport Scotland’s leading national quality scheme, Quest.

Quest is the best-known improvement programme within the leisure industry and its rigorous assessments challenge all leading leisure centres in the UK.

ASV has achieved Quest Stretch, which is only available to high performing centres, and is the highest possible achievement.

In order to qualify for a Quest Stretch assessment, centres must have been rated ‘Excellent’ in their previous Quest assessment. To achieve the top award, ASV went through a two-day assessment plus a mystery visit. To make the process even tougher, managers were not informed when the assessor or mystery visitor would be arriving.

ASV was particularly commended by Quest on its programme for older people, Evergreens, which helps participants remain active for longer, as well as its opportunities for children and disabled people.

Duncan Sinclair, CEO for ASV, said:

“Everyone at ASV is dedicated to providing the best service and facilities for all of our customers. We are delighted to achieve this award, as it is a testament of the high standards we strive to provide.

“Quest is an ongoing programme, which looks not just at our customer service but also the important work we do developing sporting opportunities in the community. Congratulations to all staff and volunteers at ASV, this award is very well deserved.”

Quest’s operations director, Caroline Constantine, said:

“Quest Stretch is the highest accreditation that can be achieved and as such it is an extremely demanding process. By meeting Quest Stretch’s very high standards, ASV has shown its commitment to providing quality facilities and service to its customers. In these tough economic times it is more important than ever that local leisure facilities can demonstrate their value, and Quest Stretch accreditation helps them do just that.”

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Jun 022016

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


A café that is dishing up friendship and support along with coffee and cake to people living with dementia has received a financial boost during Dementia Awareness Week (May 30-June 5)
Alzheimer Scotland’s dementia café in Aberdeen – hailed as a lifeline to families affected by the disease – has received £2,500 from Aberdeen Asset Management’s Charitable Foundation.

People living with dementia, their families and carers reap the benefits of maintaining social connections and making friendships by meeting up over a cuppa at dementia cafés, which improve wellbeing and confidence as well as maintain links with communities.

They are part of the network of support and information services provided by Alzheimer Scotland, the country’s leading dementia charity which also raises awareness and supports research into the disease.

Alzheimer Scotland’s corporate fundraiser Fiona Lewis said that the value of providing an informal get together for people affected by the disease could not be underestimated. Feedback from café users is positive, with people saying they’ve made genuine friendships, they have welcomed being able to meet up outside other activities, and they’ve been able to share the load with others in a similar situation.

Fiona said:

The Aberdeen Dementia Café acts as a lifeline to many and provides the opportunity for both people living with dementia and their carers to make real and meaningful friendships outwith our services, which is invaluable throughout their journey with dementia. Our Aberdeen Dementia Café directly supports 18-20 people each month, benefitting people with dementia, their spouses or partners and younger family members who are often the person’s main carer.

“With facilities like this café, we want to ensure that anyone living with, or affected by, dementia in the Aberdeen area has access to information, care and support that they need in order to live well with the disease, or be able to support their loved one, in their own community.

“The Dementia Café positively impacts on many lives in the Aberdeen area and Aberdeen Asset Management Charitable Foundation’s kind support of £2,500 will help Alzheimer Scotland to continue providing this vital community service.”

Dominic Kite of Aberdeen Asset Management’s Charitable Foundation, added:

This café does great work in supporting people with dementia, their family and carers enabling them to remain connected with their communities, and to meet others in a similar situation in a friendly, relaxed and welcoming environment. We are pleased to offer this support and show our backing to Dementia Awareness Week and its message ‘let’s challenge dementia together’.”

There are 90,000 people with dementia in Scotland and while age is the greatest risk factor for dementia, there are around 3,000 people with dementia aged under 65.

The number of people with dementia is increasing because the population is getting older. Based on current dementia prevalence rates, the number of people with dementia is set to double within the next 25 years.

Dementia Awareness Week seeks to raise awareness and much-needed funds for those living with and affected by dementia in Scotland. It also seeks to promote becoming a Scottish Dementia Friend by understanding dementia and the small things that can be done to help people with the condition. This could be helping someone find the right bus or being patient in a till queue if someone with dementia is taking longer to pay. For more information, visit www.alzscot.org/daw2016

The Aberdeen Asset Charitable Foundation was established in 2012 to formalise and develop the Group’s charitable giving globally. The Foundation seeks partnerships with smaller charities around the world, where funds can be seen to have a meaningful and measurable impact and the firm encourages its employees to use their time and skills to support its charitable projects. For more information visit: www.aberdeen-asset.com/foundation

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Dec 172015
Simeon Nippy Dippers

L to R: Charily Jimenez, Jonalyn Ruiz, Cristina Mendoza, Abigail Bekoe, Annchristin Landskron, Laurence Salvador

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

Six intrepid international volunteers are set to cap off a north-east Camphill charity’s fundraising year in style by plunging into the icy North Sea.

The brave group will join hundreds of individuals and groups as they jump into the sea to raise money for Simeon Care for the Elderly.

The popular annual Nippy Dipper event is organised by Aberdeen Lions Club and takes place at Aberdeen Beach on December 26.

The live-in volunteers who will be taking part in the dip come from the Philippines, Germany and Ghana. Each individual plays an integral role at Simeon as their co-worker status allows a high ratio of care staff to residents which ensures an exceptional level of individual attention.

The group’s fundraising effort will mark the end of an exciting year for Simeon Care for the Elderly. The charity recently celebrated the opening of its new 23 bed care home, which was built following the largest fundraising drive in the charity’s history. Simeon’s residents are now settling into their new home, which features dementia-friendly design and a commitment to energy efficient technology.

Gayle Johnston, Simeon’s fundraising manager, said:

“I would like to thank our volunteers for putting themselves forward for this cold challenge. It is quite a thought to take part in something like this during winter and we are very grateful to them. They all make such a difference to daily life at Simeon and this gesture further illustrates their dedication to our residents. I am sure they will be quite a spectacle too as they are embracing our Scottish culture and will run into the freezing water wearing tartan accessories.

“It has been an amazing year for the Simeon family as we all get used to life in our new home and I would like to thank all our supporters who have made this possible. As well as the excitement of our beautiful new building, we were also delighted to win £45,000 of Big Lottery funding to make our Golden Garden a reality. It is now starting to take shape and we are all looking forward to next spring to see the first flowers come through.”

Simeon, one of the six Camphill charities in Aberdeen, launched its New Lease of Life appeal to help fund the new care home, which consists of 23 en-suite bedrooms.

To make a donation to Simeon’s volunteers visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/simeon-sandpipers

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Oct 222015

DSC_0002 (1)With thanks to Paul Smith, Citrus Mix.

Simeon Care for the Elderly celebrated the official opening of its innovative new care home on Saturday (Oct 17). The momentous occasion was enjoyed by invited guests and Simeon workers, volunteers and residents at a poignant ceremony at the building in Bieldside, Aberdeen.

Angelika Monteux, chairperson of Simeon Care for the Elderly, Jeannie Carlson, manager, Judith Jones, retired nurse, and Dame Anne Begg addressed attendees and paid tribute to everyone that has made Simeon House a reality.

Local musicians entertained guests who were also given tours of the fantastic facility and the charity’s Golden Garden.

Simeon launched the biggest fundraising drive in its history to create the development at Cairnlee Road in Bieldside, which has enhanced its provision to the elderly and boosted capacity.

Jeannie Carlson, manager of Simeon, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to have been able to share this very special moment in Simeon’s history with everyone that has played a part in this great journey. It is amazing to see how far Simeon has come since we launched our New Lease of Life fundraising campaign nearly four years ago.

“The campaign was crucial in ensuring a future for Simeon and its residents, and it is testament to the hard work of our fundraising team and generosity of our supporters that it has been a success in a difficult local climate. The kindness of individuals, community groups, charitable trusts and local businesses has got us to this point and it has been wonderful to officially mark this.

“Our residents were very excited to move into Simeon House a few weeks ago and are settling in very well. We would like to thank everyone that has helped us along the way, it has been a long journey and it has been a delight to show people around our home and share what has been achieved.”

Simeon House was officially declared open by Dame Anne Begg, who cut the ribbon which was handmade by Stephanie Newbatt of Cairnlee House.

A commemorative plaque created by David Newbatt of Cairnlee House which portrays a Biblical depiction of Simeon with the addition of local sights such as Bennachie, Marischal College and Dunnottar Castle was also unveiled. The plaque also depicts the names of Simeon founders within wooden leaves, while the wood was taken from a cherry tree which was removed to make way for Simeon House.

The new home consists of 23 ensuite bedrooms with dementia-friendly in an energy efficient building. Simeon’s Golden Garden, which provides a therapeutic haven for residents, was designed by Dr Garuth Chalfont, an acclaimed expert in the design, research and use of healing gardens, landscaping and dementia-friendly spaces.

The Golden Garden was made possible thanks to £45,000 in funding from the Big Lottery Fund after Simeon won 10,500 votes from the public via the ITV People’s Millions.

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Oct 082015
Simeon Care Home exterior

The Simeon Care Home has received a ‘moving in’ gift from Aberdeen Asset Management in the shape of a donation towards the purchase of furnishings.

With thanks to Esther Green, Tricker PR.

Simeon Care for the Elderly in Aberdeen has received its first ‘moving in’ present as residents settle into their new care facility.

The charity has been given a £7,000 grant from the Aberdeen Asset Management Charitable Foundation, which will be used towards purchasing new furniture for Simeon House.

The donation caps off an exciting time for Simeon, with 23 residents having now moved into the brand new Simeon House in Aberdeen.

The  home was built after the charity launched the biggest fundraising drive in its history, raising nearly £1.3 million. Built on land at Cairnlee Road and designed by Camphill Architects, it features dementia-friendly design, including an innovative Golden Garden which provides a therapeutic haven for residents, and a commitment to energy efficient technology.

Gayle Johnston, Simeon Care for the Elderly’s fundraising manager, said:

“It is fantastic for everyone at Simeon to finally be in our new home. It has been a long process to get to this point and it means a great deal to all of us.

“This generous grant from the Aberdeen Asset Management Charitable Foundation has been the icing on the cake and helped us kit out our home in style.

“We are also grateful for their support earlier this year as a group of employees kindly volunteered in our garden. It is efforts like this that make all the difference to us as a charity.

“After just a week, the residents are settling in well and very much enjoying the new home and Golden Garden.

“We are delighted our vision is now a reality. We would like to give a heartfelt thanks to everyone who has supported us since we launched our New Lease of Life fundraising campaign to bring in money to create our dream home.  It has been a challenging journey but the kindness and generous support of individuals, local businesses, charitable trusts and community groups has got us here.”

The daughter of a 93 year old elderly resident with dementia explained how the environs and staff ensure that the care facility home-from-home feel.

“It feels like home and the staff are always patient and attentive. They understand mum’s past and they let her do things that are purposeful, like help fold the laundry. Each night they put my mum’s hair rollers in because they understand how important that simple thing is to her peace of mind. Taking the route of residential care can be seen in our society as the family failing the elderly.

“However, with the care that mum receives at Simeon, I feel that both our lives are enriched and our relationship preserved. I would be happy there myself at that age”.

Dominic Kite, of the Aberdeen Asset Management Charitable Foundation, said: “The opening of the new home is a major milestone for Simeon Care for the Elderly, boosting its capacity and allowing it to enhance its service. At this momentous time for Simeon, we’re pleased to have delivered them a moving in gift in the shape of a donation towards furnishing the new facility.”

The Aberdeen Asset Charitable Foundation was established in 2012 to formalise and develop the Group’s charitable giving globally. The Foundation seeks partnerships with smaller charities around the world, where funds can be seen to have a meaningful and measurable impact and the firm encourages its employees to use their time and skills to support its charitable projects. For more information visit http://www.aberdeen-asset.co.uk/aam.nsf/foundation/home


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Sep 252015

Simeon Open DayWith thanks to Jessica Murphy, Senior Account Executive, Citrus Mix.

Supporters of a north-east Camphill charity have brought in thousands of pounds to help kit out its new care home.

More than 400 people helped Simeon Care for the Elderly celebrate the completion of the facility at a Strawberry Tea Open Day, raising £2,000 in the process.

The money will be used to buy furniture for the charity’s care home, which features dementia-friendly design and a commitment to energy efficient technology.

Construction of the building in Bieldside, Aberdeen, began in January last year and prompted the biggest fundraising drive in the charity’s history.

Gayle Johnston, Simeon’s fundraising manager, said:

“Life in Simeon is very busy preparing for moving into the new home next week. Our Open Day was such a fun experience, the sun shone and there was an incredible atmosphere while the public were seeing our new care home and Golden Garden for the first time. We were delighted to show people what they’ve helped us achieve and we have been so touched by the feedback. The day was a significant milestone for our charity.

“We raised £2,000 on the day which was the icing on the cake. Thanks you to everyone who joined us and made this a special day. We are so grateful for the kindness and generosity of individuals, charitable trusts and local businesses over the last three years. From coffee mornings to runs and ceilidhs to company fundraising, every effort has made such a difference to us. None of this would have been possible without their support and we would like to extend our thanks to them.”

The Open Day was part of the MBC festival and was done in conjunction with their neighbours, Cairnlee House, a Camphill School community for young adults with learning disabilities. The Golden Garden is funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

Simeon, one of the six Camphill charities, launched its New Lease of Life appeal to help fund the new care home, which consists of 23 en-suite bedrooms. The charity is currently home to 18 older people, with the new care home enabling it to increase capacity and build on its services to the elderly.

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Jan 312014

By Bob Smith.
Grandmother is tickling grandfather

Es growein aul’ tis a pain
Some fowk treat ye wi disdain
If yer noo ower seeventy five
Ye’ve less chunce o steyin alive
Ye micht nae be treated fer Big C
Ach ye’ll noo jist hae tae dee
Ye’re a burden tae the NHS
Yer chunces o treatment cwid be less
It’s noo a warld fer the young an fit
If yer aul’ yer in the shit
Society wints ye oot the wye
So curl up an bliddy die
Leukit upon as bein senile
Nae langer pairt o rank an file
Costs ower muckle fer yer care
Time ye wis plunkit in yer lair
Time fer aul’ buggers tae fecht back
An show the warld we dinna lack
The will tae live an contribute
We hiv mair sinse than some nae doot
Maist aulder eens they aye vote
So governmints please tak note
Ignore us an ye’ll fin oot noo
We hiv the power tae turn the screw
Seeventy five aat’s noo nae  auld
Even tho some fowk are turnin bald
Wi  hiv earned the richt tae expect
Society tae treat us wi mair respect.
©Bob Smith “The Poetry Mannie” 2014
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Feb 142013

This article  by Jonathan Russell is dedicated to Bill Knight, relentless campaigner and founder and Chair of Grampian Senior Citizens Forum,  a great example to us all. Bill Knight died on February 7th aged 92.

The crisis in care for the elderly is a national one, both at UK and Scottish levels.
Aberdeen has a particularly worrying situation due to high employment and a high cost of living which means that there is a shortage of the low paid staff who do this outstanding and highly undervalued work.

We have an increasing ageing population. Policies like free personal care – though good in themselves – have led to an increased deficiency in other resources to support the elderly.

Aberdeen used to have a home care service which was second to none but what has happened here, as in all parts of the UK, is that the majority of services have been outsourced to private companies who pay less and often provide poor support to their workers.

To have 13 companies providing care is also highly inefficient in covering a city the size of Aberdeen. We have a situation where all these companies are trying to provide services across the city. This is madness. The culture has changed from one of providing services to rushing round to find services of any kind.

The introduction of individual budgets, again aimed at cost cutting, will further complicate this process. We have to ask ourselves: do we value the elderly in our society and the staff who care for them ? Are we willing to increase taxation to pay for services that provide good value not only in terms of money but in terms of care?

We need to create a management culture and direct service culture which is about service and services that are localised rather than spread out around the city. More localised services allow greater flexibility in terms of need and less time would be wasted in the form of travel.

The problem is primarily a national one and has been avoided for much too long. Aberdeen has extra challenges and no doubt local politicians and staff do their best but without increased money and a change in the way we are providing services we are heading for an ever increasing problem with disasters on the way.

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Jan 242013

With thanks to Kenneth Watt.

Struan King, Kenneth Watt and Barry Black, senior Aberdeen City Youth Councillors, are encouraging young people to clear the paths of older neighbours in order to prevent them from becoming ‘snowed in’ this week.

Struan King, vice-chair, said:

“Even the smallest amount of snow, which quickly turns to ice, can force an elderly person to become housebound for days.  Clearing their front paths and a small section of their pavement is a rewarding activity for both your neighbour and you.

“I get up half an hour earlier on snowy days and ensure my older neighbours are able to get from their front door to the pavement which is cleared by council gritters.  A small amount of time from me makes a big difference to them – allowing them to go to the shops and visit friends – and I would encourage young people across the city to join me in doing so.”

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Sep 072012

By Bob Smith.

I  micht be ower sixty five
Bit I’m still fairly fit
Yet I’m afen lookit upon
As bein some auld git

They treat aa us senior fowk
As though we’re past oor best
There’s lots o’ us  aaler eens
Fa treat life wi great zest

Oor brains are nae defunct
Tho’ sometimes we micht forget
They wint tae pit us oot tae grass
Weel we’re nae jist ready yet

We dinna hit fowk ower the heid
Dinna hae a binge drinkin’ spree
The only drugs we micht tak
Are for thingies like HBP

We’re nae aat weel thocht o’
Oor opinion it disna maitter
Yet the silver surfin army wid hae
Things rinnin a gweed deal better

Seniors shud stan fer parliament
We’d aa be much better aff
The lot aat are in residence
Behave  like a bunch o’ nyaffs

Aa ye aaler anes oot there
Rebel ye senior  limmers
So we can hae a better life
Stan up an shak yer zimmers!

©Bob Smith “The Poetry Mannie” 2012
Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/shankbone/