May 192017
 

With thanks to Future Choices.

Future Choices, which is a local, voluntary charity based at Inchgarth Community Centre, Garthdee, supporting adults with a physical disability to gain social inclusion, has launched a new fundraiser, where everyone can get involved, to support such a vital cause.

David Forbes, Chair of the charity explained:

“One of the main jobs running a charity, is raising much needed funds to keep funding what we do within the local community”

Future Choices is in it’s 9th year now and is growing from strength to strength by continuing to reach out to more people within the community.

David added,

“I would encourage as many people to get involved, the first prize we have up for grabs is superb and it’s only £5 per number”

If you wish to support Future Choices, please follow the link https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/futurechoices/bonusball-2017

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Apr 012017
 

With thanks to Future Choices.

Local voluntary charity Future Choices, which supports disabled adults gain social inclusion, have had the help of a new volunteer in their bid to attract more young people to get involved on a voluntary basis.

Lewis Bannerman takes the lead role in the Charities new promotional video, which is telling the story of what Future Choices is all about and how people can get involved.

David Forbes, Chairman explained:

“Having Lewis involved with this exciting project was so amazing, to see someone young and energised and happy to help should be an inspiration to all, and show the public that not all young people are “bad””

Diane Bannerman, Lewis’s Mother said:

“As Lewis’s mother, im bursting with pride that he has had the opportunity to participate in a lead role aiming to inspire other people, particularly the young generation to help out good causes.”

Watch the promotional video.

The Charity is in it’s 9th year and is looking for not only Volunteers but also Volunteer Drivers, to help keep their 2 buses on the road.

Can you help support Future Choices? check out www.future-choices.org.uk or email info@future-choices.org.uk

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Aug 042016
 

With thanks to David Forbes.

David Forbes with Devon ThompsonVoluntary Disabled Charity Future Choices Celebrates it’s Eighth Year this year with the introduction of it’s youngest committee member taking up the role of Vice Chairman.

Devon Thompson (21) joined Future Choices a few years ago and then had to leave to pursue others life commitments before recently returning to help out with many of the Charity’s key projects.

He works tirelessly to make sure the members are catered for when the group meets up every Tuesday from 11-2 at their base at Inchgarth Community Centre in Garthdee.

Charity Chairman, David Forbes explained:

“Having Devon on my management committee has been a tremendous asset to running the group and now he’s taking the role on as my deputy, he’s the perfect man for the job, young, energetic and very inspirational. In my view this is the greatest motivation to many young volunteers out there – that you can achieve success with hard work and determination.”

Devon said:

“I am deeply and truly honoured to be elected as Vice Chairman of Future Choices. I have served in the care sector for four years now and have never come across such a dedicated and hardworking Charity, with a constant hunger to grow and develop as an organisation that puts the emphasis on the well being of their members, I am truly humbled that they have shown support and faith in my abilities.”

David added:

“Devon taking up this role is very humbling to me as the Charity heads to it’s biggest milestone of 10 years in 2 years time, so to keep the group vibrant and progressive is something Devon will be involved with alongside me and the rest of my team.”

Devon Concluded:

“It is my deepest desire to rise to the challenge and develop. In my experience, collaboration is the stuff of growth and I look forward to working further with the committee to provide for our members greater choices, for the future.”

For more information on Future Choices, visit www.future-choices.org.uk

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Aug 042016
 

With thanks to Alasdair Scott, Parliamentary Assistant to Stewart Stevenson MSP

inScot005_AccesstoElectedOfficeFundScotland_Asset_Array_Alternate_72dpi_Logo-A2EOFSNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, Stewart Stevenson, has warmly welcomed the opening of a £200,000 fund aimed at encouraging more disabled people to participate in politics and stand as councillors in next year’s local council elections.
The fund – which will help cover additional costs for accessible transport and communications support – underlines the Scottish Government’s commitment to ensuring equal opportunities for more people from under-represented groups.

Disabled people are significantly under-represented as local councillors – and the fund will back up wide-ranging support to help correct this imbalance.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said,

“Everyone should have equal access to politics, no matter their own personal background or whether they are disabled or not – and this funding will help ensure this is the case by alleviating some of the additional costs that disabled candidates can encounter.

“It is vital that barriers are broken down to encourage people from all areas of society to get involved in politics – which will help make policies more representative of society as a whole. The fund isn’t about giving anyone an advantage, but rather levelling the playing field and making it fairer for everyone. 

“I hope people from across Aberdeenshire access this funding. It will help create equal access to politics for disabled people who wish to stand for selection or election in next year’s local government polls.”

The £200,000 is be used to help to cover additional costs for accessible transport or communications support for disabled people who wish to stand for selection or election in the 2017 local government elections. This also includes £40,000 delivery costs.

For further information and details on how to apply – http://inclusionscotland.org/information/employability-and-civic-participation/access-to-politics/aeofs/

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Jan 282016
 
Immigration What's the story

Christian Allard at the launch of ‘Immigration: What’s the Story?’ at the Scottish Parliament with (left) Nicola Hay, Campaign Manager and (right) Gillian Eunson, Educational worker.

With thanks to Sarah Masson.

North East MSP Christian Allard praised the ‘tremendous’ work of Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) on their 20th Anniversary. Mr Allard made the comments after viewing ‘Immigration: What’s the Story?’ film by SRtRC at the Scottish Parliament today.

SRtRC is an anti-racism educational charity which was established in January 1996. The charity aims to combat racism through enabling role models to present an anti-racist message to young people and others.

Over the last 20 years, SRtRC has worked extensively across Scotland and the rest of the UK delivering training to more than 50,000 individuals per year.

In response to negative attitudes expressed towards migrant communities, SRtRC developed a UK wide educational film, elevating the voices of people who have moved from one country to another, to dispel some of the popular myths and provide an alternative view.

Christian, along with colleagues, saw the film at an event in the Scottish Parliament last night. The North East MSP looks forward to Show Racism the Red Card Scotland’s visit to Pittodrie this year.

Commenting, Christian Allard MSP said:

“’Immigration: What’s the Story?’ is another great educational film from Show Racism the Red Card.

“They have achieved a tremendous amount in the last 20 years making sure everyone’s voice is heard and challenging attitudes in our society.

“As an Aberdeen FC Supporter I am delighted to see the initiative making its way up to the North East to work with schools across the city.

“I was delighted to speak to all the team at Show Racism the Red Card and the footballers and wish them all the best for the next 20 years.”

Mr Allard submitted a motion to the Scottish Parliament celebrating Show Racism the Red Card’s twentieth anniversary and the work that they have done.

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Oct 222015
 

Deirdre Forsyth featWith thanks to Richard Bunting.

Transforming how money is used for social good – and to create a fairer society across Scotland – will be in the spotlight in Edinburgh next month, at the country’s first conference focused on social finance.

John Swinney, Deputy First Minister of the Scottish Government, will open the event at Edinburgh’s Roxburghe Hotel on Thursday 19 November, and a range of international experts will be speaking on social finance, investment and banking.

Delegates will hear how social finance can achieve major benefits for society, the environment and people’s wellbeing.

The conference – ‘Social Finance: Social Investment: Social Banking – What makes them Social?’ – is being hosted by Scottish Community Re: Investment Trust, an independent charity working to influence, inform and assist the Scottish third sector to align its financial resources and planning with its aspirations for a more social and environmentally just Scotland.

Deirdre Forsyth, Chair of Scottish Community Re: Investment Trust, said:

“This pioneering conference will explore how Scotland’s third sector – which makes such a vital, positive difference to Scottish society – can enhance its social impact through more sustainable, collaborative and socially responsible use of its money.”

Workshops and discussions will include crowdfunding campaigns, community shares, social banks and more.

Speakers include Eric Holterhues, Head of SRI Funds at Triodos Investment Management BV in The Netherlands; Rod Ashley, Chief Executive at Scotland’s Airdrie Savings Bank; Adrian Saches, Client Executive at GLS Social Bank in Germany; Dan Gregory, Blogger at Common Capital; and Peter Quarmby, Founding Director of Community Sector Banking in Australia.

The event is part of Scottish Community Re: Investment Trust’s ambition to transform Scotland’s third sector finances. The trust says that the sector lacks a financial framework suited to its values and ways of working – with challenges including scattered resources, unsuitable financial products, and a lack of Scottish-focused banks offering a transparent way to invest ethically.

For details of ticket prices and to book in advance, please see www.scrt.scot.

Principle sponsor of the conference is Airdrie Savings Bank (https://airdriesavingsbank.com). Other sponsors include Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Zero Waste Scotland.

Rod Ashley said:

“Airdrie Savings Bank is delighted to sponsor this conference. We are a not for profit community bank with no shareholders, governed by a Board made up, principally, of unremunerated Trustees.  All returns are for the communities and customers we serve. The bank is committed to social justice within a sustainable economy and is pioneering Scotland’s engagement in banking which considers its environmental, cultural and social impact.

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Sep 262014
 

Voice’s Old Susannah takes a look over the past week’s events in the ‘Deen and beyond. By Suzanne Kelly.

Dictionary

Tally Ho! For a city with no beating heart and collapsed lungs awaiting a granite web transplant, Aberdeen is somehow managing to hold its own on the cultural front. The Techfest 2014 events are very impressive and are still ongoing. Aberdeen gets ready to welcome Billy Connolly next week; if the city isn’t rolling out the red carpets, it should be.

The Big Yin will be at the music hall; tickets sold out instantly. Post referendum, this will be quite a show. That underused shady green garden is going to have an Oktoberfest. It’s all happening.

Referendum fallout is everywhere, and shows no signs of abating. Both Yes and No camps still cry foul; queens are accused of purring; political parties are accused of breaking their promises, something I can assure worried readers will never happen.

Two years on, and Aberdeen’s own referendum on Union Terrace Gardens show no sign of abating, either. The P&J, Tom Smith, ACSEF and Sir Ian Wood are still banging on about how a granite web is the city’s only salvation and how it must be built over our only existing city centre green space (coincidentally owned by you and I, and worth tens of millions).

The canals of Venice. The Eiffel Tower.The Taj Mahal. The granite web to nowhere. Yes, that would have worked. These tenacious people of course have no selfish interests as they campaign on and on and on.

In the news this week are various movements – various ‘isms’. Women are bleating on about wanting rights. Campaigning journalists closer to home are drumming up support for their advertisers’ projects – sorry – important local causes. Time for a look at some of these ‘isms’.

Feminism: (Modern English movement) – belief that women and men should have equal opportunities, equal rights and equal pay.

Well, I am just a weak, helpless female, so I got one of my male colleagues to explain to me what’s wrong with this feminism business. Apparently, it’s all about unshaven women who want to look like men, or something like that. It’s just too complex for me.

On the other hand, I did some research. You will be surprised to learn that there may indeed be instances where there is a small amount of discrimination.

For reasons known only to herself, actress Emma Watson – actress and academic scholar is trying to tell us that feminism isn’t a dirty word. For some reason, she thinks that women are not treated as well as men. I wonder why she’d come to such a wild conclusion; she’s probably just looking for headlines.

Of course Watson may object to a few inconsequential facts. Women around the world do not earn as much money as male contemporaries for the same work. Women are being forced into marriage around the globe including here in the UK. There is also the small matter that in the western world, a mere one in 4 women can expect to experience some form of sexual abuse or violence.

Women are being trafficked against their will to be used as prostitutes. Police routinely ignore women’s pleas for help with domestic violence, and yet another woman in the UK was killed by a stalker the police had been warned about many, many times before.

That ought to prove that women aren’t subject to exploitation

In short, I’ve no idea why Emma thinks that campaigning for equal treatment of women in society is something we need to do. But wouldn’t it be wonderful if she turned her efforts to something worthwhile, like backing the Aberdeen City Garden Project?

To disprove Watson’s case, some charming, anonymous people have started a countdown online as to when they plan to release nude photos of her. That ought to prove that women aren’t subject to exploitation to everyone’s satisfaction. Releasing any photos will also put her back in her place, intimidate her, and then we girls can forget all this silly feminist stuff.

For further examples of the fair treatment the fair sex gets, the 25/9 P&J carries a tale we can all have a good laugh along with.

Offshore worker Andrew Thomas has unfairly been put on the sex offenders’ register for a whole year, and will have to do some community service. He was just being a lad after all when he snuck into his female offshore co-worker’s room, set up a phone to spy on her, and saved photos of her changing and washing. It’s even funnier because he pretended to be her pal.

Any red-blooded offshore worker would have done the same. Spoilsport Kerry McKnockiter doesn’t get that this was just good fun, and somehow feels she’s been violated. Go figure. At the same time, a man who grew something called ‘marijuana’ at his home has rightly been locked up for 12 months, a splendidly fair sentence, and a great use of taxpayer money. Good on us.

As to this equal pay business that feminists want resolved, what do you need money for once you’ve got a husband, hopefully the richest one you could snare? I’d recommend pretty young girls enter beauty contests – look at the great catch Sarah ‘Face Of Aberdeen’ Malone landed when Damian Bates married the lucky girl?

Still, some women insist on working, taking jobs away from our boys. It’s only right that girls don’t get the same money as men do; after all, they’re not as strong or as smart as men are. All public sector pay was meant to be levelled out years back; this is still in progress. In fact, Torry was once asked to sell huge tracts of land it controlled to help Aberdeen City level out its pay issues.

If Old Susannah recalls correctly (remember, I’m just an old woman) – the city made a fine job of equalising pay – by lowering the salaries of some men, rather than raising women’s pay. Sounds pretty reasonable to me. More on all this here. Of course pay and pension are still wee problems (well, if you’re a girl anyway) today. All I can say is ‘calm down dear, it’s only your living wage.

We’ve had wimmin academics heckled, threatened with rape and other forms of violence.

It couldn’t be that the ‘writers’ are slavishly regurgitating whatever press releases it gets

I guess when you have extremist feminists like Caroline Criado-Perez (a foreigner, note) who wanted Jane Austin put on a bank note, then trying to frighten the weaker sex is a good strategy to get them in line.Perhaps a nice cup of tea and a pat on the head is all that these feminist type ladies and Emma Watson need.

That, and perhaps a box of chocolates and a new hat.

Yellow Journalism: The use of sensationalism, bias, and exaggeration in order to attract and/or influence readers.

“There are no concrete plans to breathe new life into the heart of Aberdeen – two years after the city Garden Project was controversially scrapped.”

– So wrote the P&J’s Dawn Morrison this week for the P&J’s Wednesday cover story, dramatically illustrated with an ornate gold picture frame with nothing inside of it. I’m sure this factual, un-emotive opening sentence will have us girls weeping into our ice-cream tubs.

I’m equally sure that, coincidentally of course, some of the P&J’s biggest advertisers do indeed have concrete plans for Union Terrace Gardens.

Well, perhaps granite-clad concrete is what they want, but there are some people who just want that green space taken over, which will magically put the business rates in the area within the reach of local shopkeepers, will reduce the unfair advantages multinational competitors have over homegrown businesses (buying power, advertising, brand recognition, and of course the use of cheap if not slave labour abroad to create projects).

It’s also very reassuring that all P&J writers, off their own bats of course, use the exact same description for Aberdeen – breathing new life into it, its beating heart, etc. etc.

It couldn’t be that the ‘writers’ are slavishly regurgitating whatever press releases or directives they get. It wouldn’t be like helmsman Damian Bates to dictate to his minions what to write, what not to write about (Anthony Baxter and his Trump-related documentaries for instance) or how to write it.

A google search on ‘breath new life’, ‘heart’, ‘Aberdeen’ and ‘Ian Wood’ will give you all the breathing, beating and throbbing you could ever hope for. It’s just amazing everyone uses the same metaphors – not that these stirring words and phrases are getting at all tedious or worn out, mind you. This whole business may have started with Sir Ian himself; and a regular breath of fresh air he is, too.

The P&J is a bastion for free thinking, freely-writing intrepid investigative journalists whose high ideals lead to balanced articles such as this empty picture frame one. Some might think that such a blatant piece of editorial belongs tucked away inside the issue, but that’s another matter. Some also think that the press shouldn’t exist to serve its advertisers’ interests or indeed the financial interests of the people who edit the news. But that is, I suppose, nit-picking.

Alas, that’s all there is time for this week; I feel the need to shop coming on, and my weakly female constitution can’t possibly continue without a new pair of shoes to cheer me up. More next week.

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Jun 272014
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Apr 252014
 

With thanks to Suzanne Kelly.

ALL_SHAPES_FINAL_CS_SQ2 North 4 South is a fundraising event to raise money for individuals with learning disabilities in Aberdeen.

On the 31st of May & the 1st of June, a group of around 70 people will be walking non-stop, or with minimum stops, from Fraserburgh to Aberdeen over 24 hours.
The money they raise will be used to provide ‘fun’ for learning disabled people, such as musical instruments, movies, arts & crafts materials, and so on.

One of the organisers, Frederick Sarran commented about people with learning disabilities in our area, saying:-

 “We, All Shapes And Sizes (ASAS), believe they need more than just ‘care’.”

 The charity’s Facebook charity page can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/asascharity; its aims are set out as:

 “Our aim is to enrich the lives of ALD’s by promoting social inclusion by means of outings and activities such as Arts and Crafts and more.”

Many of those doing the walk work with people with learning disabilities, young and old, but anyone who is up to the challenge is welcome to get in touch with the organisers and join in.

ASAS sets out its principles on its website:

 “Our vision is to enhance life of Adults with Learning Disabilities/Difficulties (ALD) and mental health issues by promoting social inclusion to those individuals and to raise awareness & understanding to the public. By enhancing their lives & sense of wellbeing is to become a valued member of society via inclusion in all things.

 “We aim to use a person centred approach directly to one individual and/or within a group, in order to aid & help facilitate crafts, arts, outings and other future activities within Balnagask Court (Aberdeen) and in the wider community. To enhance a sense of personal well being is to educate with a therapeutic approach and fun means, this results in building trust and confidence.

“Our values are to treat all individuals with respect and courtesy regardless of colour, gender, religion, etc… We act with dignity & care in a non-judgmental way towards all individuals, no matter of the level of difficulties they may have. Those values also apply towards each other members of All Shapes And Sizes.

  “Our goals are to branch out and liaise with other charities sharing our values, for the good of all Adults with Learning Disabilities/Difficulties and mental health service users within the wider community. We aim to introduce further activities and continuous improvements to Balnagask Court communal area.”

There is a Facebook page for the event: https://www.facebook.com/events/237388926444110/
Tickets for the event are available here: http://asascharity.org/buy-tickets-for-2-north-4-south/

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Jan 022014
 

With thanks to Elaine Pilmoor. Family fund_Logo_40th

The Family Fund is a registered charity that gives grants to families raising a disabled or seriously ill child aged 17 and under.

Funded by grants, the charity brings practical and essential help, such as washing machines, fridges, bedding, specialist toys and much needed family breaks, which can often offer a lifeline to eligible families. Using their own eligibility criteria, The Family Fund tries to ensure that it provides help to families in the most need and last year supported 5,515 low-income families in Scotland. To find out more about The Family Fund you are invited to visit their website www.familyfund.org.uk You can also contact them for an application pack at info@familyfund.org.uk, by telephone at 0844 974 4099, or you can use the contact us page on their website.

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