Mar 242017
 

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

An Aberdeen-based family support charity is using Mother’s Day to highlight the important role that experienced parents can play in supporting new mums and dads.
Home-Start Aberdeen works with families in the city, with at least one child under five years old, who may be vulnerable or suffering from
isolation. 

It provides these families with weekly support, which is delivered in their own home by a trained home visiting volunteer.

The majority of Home-Start Aberdeen volunteers are parents themselves, who understand the challenges involved in bringing up a family.

Now one of the largest Home-Start schemes in the UK, Home-Start Aberdeen supports over 220 families and 360 children each year. Isolation remains one of the most common reasons for referrals and the charity has a waiting list of more than 30 families who are in need of help.

Georgette Cobban, scheme manager, Home-Start Aberdeen said:

“Many of today’s new parents don’t have immediate access to a solid support network.

“People move around a lot more, meaning that extended family are not always available to give a helping hand, or to provide new parents with a break.

“Our home visiting volunteers help to fill that role, by providing a regular presence along with advice and encouragement on how new parents can get involved with community life. As we approach Mothering Sunday, we hope that experienced parents might consider reaching out to others.

“The Home-Start model works very well as the relationship is equal. It is all about parents supporting other parents and we know that our volunteers, as well as our families, get a great deal from it.”

Now in its 30th anniversary year, Home-Start Aberdeen has launched a ’30 in 30’ campaign to recruit 30 new volunteers within 30 weeks. Volunteer induction courses are taking place throughout the year, with the next course starting on Wednesday, 3 May. For further information, go to www.homestartaberdeen.org.uk or email volunteering@homestartaberdeen.org.uk.

Home-Start Aberdeen has been working with communities in the city for 30 years. The charity provides vulnerable families with practical and emotional support in their own homes. Support is provided by trained volunteers, with supervision from a small team of coordinators. Families must have at least one child under five years old and live within the city, otherwise there are no barriers to access.

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Mar 102017
 

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

An Aberdeen-based charity is marking thirty years of support for vulnerable and isolated local families by hosting a 1930s-themed afternoon tea fundraiser.

Organised by the Friends of Home-Start Aberdeen, the event takes place at The Marcliffe Hotel & Spa on Sunday, 21 May.

Those who attend can look forward to an afternoon of opulent nostalgia from the era, including Rat Pack-inspired music and dancing.

Guests will be greeted with a welcome drink on arrival, with the opportunity to browse a variety of stalls. Refreshments and entertainment will then follow in The Marcliffe’s ballroom. Well-known master of ceremonies Doug Duthie will preside over the afternoon’s activities, which include exclusive prize draws and a charity raffle.

“This year’s afternoon tea is set to be particularly special, as it coincides with Home-Start Aberdeen’s 30th year in the city,” says Ally Cartwright, chairperson, Friends of Home-Start Aberdeen.

“The 1930s theme is a wonderful one to work with and we hope that people really get into the spirit of it. While there is no obligation to dress according to the era, we’ll be delighted if guests choose to do so.

“Home-Start Aberdeen has experienced phenomenal growth over the past three decades, however a list of families awaiting support continues to exist. All funds raised by the event will go towards recruiting and training new volunteers so that we can reach these families more quickly.”

Tickets for the 1930s-themed anniversary tea cost £30 each, with tables arranged in groups of 12. Orders can be placed by emailing admin@homestartaberdeen.org.uk or by telephoning 01224 693545. Guests are also being encouraged to bring along a bag of unwanted clothing or accessories; these will be collected on-site for Home-Start Aberdeen’s George Street charity shop.

Home-Start Aberdeen has been working with families in the city for 30 years. The charity provides families who may be vulnerable or suffering from isolation with emotional and practical support. This support is provided by trained volunteers, who spend two to three hours per week with a family in their own home.

Those who need help, or want to help, can find out more at www.homestartaberdeen.org.uk.

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Feb 242017
 

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

Georgette Cobban

A local family support charity has received a welcome 30th birthday gift in the form of a substantial donation from a major energy company.

Nexen Petroleum U.K. Limited has made a recent donation of £5,000 to Home-Start Aberdeen as the charity prepares to celebrate its thirtieth year of supporting families in the city.

Home-Start Aberdeen is a voluntary organisation that offers families who may be vulnerable, or suffering from isolation, with emotional and practical support in their own homes.

The charity has just launched a ’30 in 30’ volunteer recruitment drive to coincide with its 30th anniversary year.

It aims to attract and train 30 new home visiting volunteers in 30 weeks, to allow it to reduce the number of families that are currently waiting for support.

This latest donation from Nexen’s community investment fund follows a series of previous funding gifts. Home-Start Aberdeen has received £19,000 from the energy company since 2013; Nexen has also provided Home-Start in Hillingdon, which is located nearby its London headquarters, with funding support.

Ray Riddoch, Nexen’s managing director UK & senior VP Europe said:

“Nexen is committed to helping to strengthen the communities where we live and work. We focus on supporting initiatives that build inclusive, safe and thriving communities. Home Start provides opportunities and resources for families who need a step up, often helping them before they reach crisis point and in the safety of their own homes.

“Their mentoring programme delivers long term, positive effects for the families they help, resulting in stronger and more resilient communities across the areas where they work. We’re delighted to be able to continue to support Home Start in 2017.”

Georgette Cobban, scheme manager, Home-Start Aberdeen, said:

“Nexen’s generous support has made a genuine impact on our work in recent years. We have experienced a significant increase in demand from families during this period and Nexen’s funding has enabled us to grow to meet these demands. Home-Start Aberdeen takes a great pride in the quality of training that we offer our volunteers, as this training ensures that our families receive the best possible support.

“We currently have over 30 families on our waiting list. This latest donation will help us to run additional volunteer preparation courses so that we can reach these families more quickly.”

Home-Start Aberdeen’s 30th anniversary year commenced on Monday, 13 February 2017. The charity, which supports around 200 families and 300 children each year, works with referred families to help them access relevant health and welfare services, manage family budgets and nutrition, engage with their communities and enjoy family life again.

Further information is available at www.homestartaberdeen.org.uk.

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Jan 272017
 

With thanks to Eoin Smith, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR.

A high-profile treasure hunt expected to attract over 3,000 visitors is to be held in Aberdeenshire in 2019. Thanks to support from VisitAberdeenshire, the UK Mega geocaching event will welcome participants – known as cachers – from across the UK, Europe, USA and Canada.

The week-long geocaching event will take place from 5-11 August 2019, with camping and entertainment at Deeside Activity Park as well as organised activities including Munro climbing and watersports.

This allows visitors the chance to explore Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire’s stunning landscape by searching for caches – hidden containers which house secret messages, log books and sometimes prizes – before the main event on Saturday 10 August at Kincardine Castle.

Cachers use GPS and other navigation tools to aid them in their quest: a modern-day treasure hunt that has captured the imagination of thousands of outdoor enthusiasts across the globe.

Aberdeenshire won the bid to hold the 2019 UK Mega event, beating strong competition from Sussex. UK Mega has been running high-profile geocaching events since 2008, changing location each year to allow enthusiasts the opportunity to travel the country. This year’s event will be held in Devon, while the 10th anniversary event will take place in Yorkshire in 2018.

Julie Buckingham, chair of Aberdeenshire Mega 2019, says,

“We are delighted to have been successful in bidding for the Geocaching UK Mega to come to Aberdeenshire in 2019. Cachers travel from all over the world to take part in the UK Mega, so this is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the incredible scenery and attractions in the north east. VisitAberdeenshire has supported us through the process, and we look forward to continuing to work with them in the run-up to the event.”

UK Mega has been brought to the north east with the help of tourism body VisitAberdeenshire. Business development manager Jenni Fraser (pictured) says,

“Geocaching has become incredibly popular in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, and there are dozens of caches across the region – both in the countryside and in the city centre.

“Royal Deeside is a real focal point for the region’s geocaching community and is home to Scotland’s only GeoTour – which takes in 20 locations – so it is an ideal choice to host the UK’s highest-profile geocaching event. We are delighted that UK Mega has chosen Aberdeenshire to host its 2019 event, and we look forward to welcoming the global geocaching community to the region.”

For more information about the Aberdeenshire Mega 2019, visit www.mega2019.org.uk

For more information about geocaching in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, visit www.visitabdn.com/what-to-do/royal-deeside/geotours

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Jan 272017
 

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

Family support charity Home-Start Aberdeen has issued a plea for new volunteers as it prepares to celebrate its thirtieth year of support and friendship for vulnerable city families.

The Aberdeen scheme, which has grown to become one of the largest Home-Starts in the UK, is aiming to recruit 30 new volunteers in 30 weeks in order to drive down numbers on its waiting list.

Home-Start Aberdeen provides local families who may be vulnerable, or suffering from isolation, with emotional and practical support in their own homes.

This support is delivered by trained home visiting volunteers, who are carefully matched with a local family by their Home-Start Aberdeen co-ordinator. The charity’s small staff team currently supervises the efforts of over 100 volunteers who, in turn, provide around 200 families and 300 children with weekly home-based support.

“Home-Start Aberdeen has come a long way since its beginnings as a small project operating from a box room in the Mastrick area of the city,” says Georgette Cobban (pictured), scheme manager, Home-Start Aberdeen.

“Our formula of allocating families a home visiting volunteer, who normally has parenting experience themselves, is proven to be of genuine benefit to those who, through no fault of their own, may be struggling to cope with family life.

“We receive family referrals on an ongoing basis from health visitors and social workers, who see first-hand the positive difference that Home-Start Aberdeen can make. At present, we have a waiting list of over thirty families and we are desperate to give them the help they need as quickly as possible.

“No qualifications are required to become a Home-Start Aberdeen volunteer – we provide full training and ongoing co-ordinator support. All that is required in return is a willingness to help and a time commitment of 2-3 hours per week.”

Home-Start Aberdeen’s next preparation course for new volunteers starts on Thursday, 16 February 2017. Additional training courses will take place throughout the year to support the charity’s ‘30 in 30’ target. To find out more email volunteering@homestartaberdeen.org.uk or call 01224 693545.

Home-Start Aberdeen provides vulnerable local families with emotional and practical support in their own homes. The charity has been working with communities in the city for 30 years. Its team of trained home visiting volunteers work with referred families to help them access relevant health and welfare services, manage family budgets and nutrition, engage with their own communities and enjoy family life again. Further information is available at www.homestartaberdeen.org.uk.

Home-Start Aberdeen’s thirtieth anniversary year commences on Monday, 13 February 2017

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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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Jan 132017
 

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

As food poverty continues to grow across Grampian – with the slump in the oil and gas industry pushing up requests for aid –  a major financial firm is helping emergency food parcels reach those most in need.

Aberdeen-based charity, Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE) has a fleet of nine vehicles distributing food donations to organisations operating at grass roots levels to support those living in Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray who are struggling to put a meal on the table.

Aberdeen Asset Management has donated £5,000 towards CFINE’s vehicle costs which has been described as a “fantastic contribution” that will help keep the fleet on the road, allowing it to continue to make essential deliveries to support the growing numbers of people affected by food poverty.

It’s not just those on benefits or low wages that gain assistance, the downturn in oil and gas resulted in a new market of referrals emerging, with laid-off energy sector workers forced to seek out vital support.

Dave Simmers, chief executive officer of CFINE said: 

“To see your income collapse, sometimes with no warning at all, because of a job loss leads to difficult times. We have heard of people losing well paid jobs in the oil and gas sector but left with next to nothing when their income dries up – any one of us could be just be a few pay cheques away from a crisis.

“Our services are more needed than ever and with benefit changes coming through we expect there will be a deeper impact on already hard-pressed families. Many already have to make choices between heating or eating and we hear anecdotal evidence of parents going without food so they can buy their children’s school uniform.

“We operate on very tight budgets and every penny counts so to get £5,000 from Aberdeen Asset Management is a fantastic contribution. Without our vehicles, we could not get out to the charities and community organisations like Cyrenians, Salvation Army and Instant Neighbour which in turn reach the people in need in Grampian, which is a huge area to cover.”

CFINE is seeing increases for aid and the number of referrals increase all the time. In 2017  it will receive, organise and deliver more than 500 tonnes of food – which equates to a staggering 1,190,476 meals. Last year it distributed 10,000 emergency food parcels thorugh its own foodbank, a huge increase on the 3,000 food parcels given out in 2012, its first year of operation.

Dominic Kite of Aberdeen Asset Management’s charity committee said:

“Food poverty  is a sad but very real fact of life for too many people in our region. We applaud the work of CFINE , its volunteers and partner organisations in tackling food poverty, building resilience and improving the health and wellbeing of people across the Grampian region.”

With demand for its services showing no sign of waning, CFINE has a number of volunteering opportunities and would welcome anyone who may be willing to help out. Call Christine or Graeme on 01224 596156; email info@cfine.org or visit the website www.cine.org to get involved. The charity also welcomes food and finanacial donations to ensure this vital work can continue.

The Aberdeen Asset Charitable Foundation was established in 2012 to formalise and develop the Group’s charitable giving globally and seeks partnerships with smaller charities around the world, where funds can be seen to have a meaningful and measurable impact.

The firm encourages its employees to use their time and skills to support its charitable projects. The main focus of the Foundation is around emerging markets and local communities, giving back to those areas which are a key strategic focus of the business and to build on the historic pattern of giving to communities in which Aberdeen employees live and work.

For more information visit http://www.aberdeen-asset.co.uk/aam.nsf/foundation/home

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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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Nov 282016
 

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

asv-santa-1Budding Santas are being urged to don their festive gear to bring some cheer to a children’s charity.

Christmas is all about giving and a fun-filled festive event at Aberdeen’s world-class sports facility is offering people of all ages the chance to join lots of cheery Santas to give something back.

Aberdeen Sports Village (ASV), in Linksfield Road, is hosting its first ever Santa Run and Obstacle Course, in aid of Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS).

The seasonal sporting extravaganza will take place at the Chris Anderson Stadium at ASV on Saturday, 10th December 2016.

The entry fee of £12.50 for adults and £7 for children includes a Santa suit with a hat, and sporty Santas can run, jog or walk the one-mile race and/or the one-mile obstacle course. No previous experience or fitness level is required and the event is open to fun-filled Aberdonians of all ages, from children to grandparents.

CEO of ASV, Duncan Sinclair, said:

“Christmas is coming and it is time to don our Santa hats and get festive! The Santa run is the ideal way to kick off your Christmas season and gift donations to a very worthy children’s charity. The one-mile race and short obstacle course will not be too tough but are the perfect opportunity to get some exercise while celebrating the most wonderful time of the year.

“ASV is delighted to be supporting CHAS as they do a fantastic job caring for babies and children with life-shortening conditions. It is important to think of others at Christmas so we urge as many people to come along to our Santa Run as possible.”

Emma Moore, community fundraiser at CHAS, said:

“We’re really excited that Aberdeen Sports Village has chosen to support CHAS with proceeds from their first ever Santa run event. It is shaping up to be a really fun day out for runners and non-runners alike, and we’re definitely looking forward to seeing everyone in their Santa suits!

“At CHAS, we put a huge emphasis on producing memories, so that families make the most of the precious moments they have together. This event is no exception, we hope people in and around Aberdeen will get behind it and sign up to take part!

“CHAS is the only national hospice charity in Scotland, which provides care to babies, children and young people with life-shortening conditions. Our CHAS at Home service operates across Aberdeenshire and we have two hospices, Rachel House in Kinross and Robin House in Balloch.”

Entries for the Aberdeen Santa run and obstacle race can be made at www.entrycentral.com.

 

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Nov 172016
 

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

28/10/16 Home start Chair- Roberta Eunson-

Home-Start Aberdeen’s chairperson, Roberta Eunson, with a book bundle ready for delivery.

An Aberdeen-based family support charity has been overwhelmed by the response to an appeal for donations of children’s books towards its 2016 book advent.

Home-Start Aberdeen launched the book advent appeal in September. The initiative encourages parents to read a book with their children each day in December prior to Christmas.

It is believed that reading together encourages families to bond, as well as helping with literacy, communication and imaginative skills.

The charity, which works with local families who are vulnerable or suffering from isolation, was inundated with interest. Sufficient donations of books were received well within the stipulated cut-off date of 4 November.

Home-Start Aberdeen representatives have now received and wrapped a total of 2225 books. These have been stacked into bundles of 25 books for each of the 89 Home-Start Aberdeen families who asked if they could be included in this year’s book advent.

Roberta Eunson, Home-Start Aberdeen’s chairperson, said:

“The support we have received in connection with this year’s book advent has been fantastic.

“Our thanks go out to all of the playgroups, schools, community organisations, businesses and individuals who have collected books on our behalf. We are also very grateful to Kirsty Blackman MP and Peter Vardy Aberdeen who offered their premises as additional book collection points.

“Our final thank you goes to the volunteers who worked tirelessly to sort all the donated books into age-appropriate bundles and beautifully gift wrap them. The book bundles will bring tremendous enjoyment to the families Home-Start Aberdeen supports and we are looking forward to distributing them prior to 1 December.”

2016 is the third year of the Home-Start Aberdeen book advent. Demand for books has grown alongside the charity’s own development. Now one of the largest Home-Start schemes in the UK, Home-Start Aberdeen supports around 180 families, including 297 children, per year. Its unique blend of emotional and practical support is delivered by over 100 trained volunteers, who visit their allocated family each week in their own home.

Further information about Home-Start Aberdeen is available at www.homestartaberdeen.org.uk, or by calling (01224) 693545.

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