Dec 312015

With thanks to Esther Green, Tricker PR


The St Andrew’s Children’s Society has been operating in Aberdeen since 2013.

A charity which plays a key role in maximising adoption opportunities for children  in the North-east of Scotland has received support of £4,000 from Aberdeen Asset Management’s Charitable Foundation.
With more children in need of adoption than there are homes for them, The St Andrew’s Children’s Society plays a pivotal part in finding caring homes for children across Scotland.

Many of the  1,000 plus children in local authority care in Aberdeen and the North-east would benefit from adoption or long term fostering, and the Charitable Foundation donation will support the charity’s work to actively find potential adopters in the region.

Dan Docwra, fundraiser, for the St Andrew’s Children’s Society said:

“Our project builds upon excellent foundation work of our first two years in Aberdeen seeking potential adopters in the North-east whom we can prepare for the role of adoptive parents. This funding from Aberdeen Asset Management helps us do just that.

“We know that there are families and individuals who, with our training and preparation, would be ideal adoptive parents. Adopters come from all walks of life, regardless of their ethnicity, religion, marital status or sexual orientation. We would love to find more adopters in Aberdeen and if we can get the right people we  can find a child or children for them.”

The charity which has been operating in Aberdeen since 2013 has moved into improved offices that are better suited for the holding of preparation training and the delivery of full after-adoption support, including its SafeBase Parenting Programme for parents experiencing relationship difficulties with children they have adopted. Its recruitment, training and placement programme is ongoing, only restricted by limited sources.

Dominic Kite of Aberdeen Asset Management’s Charitable Foundation said:

“As a fully functioning branch of the St Andrew’s Children’s Society, a vital service has been established in the North-east, helping to reduce the number of children in local authority care by providing loving and caring families.”

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

Anyone interested in more information about adoption opportunities should contact the St Andrew’s Children’s Society on 01224 878158 or email

Nov 252013

With thanks to Aberdeen Women’s Alliance.

AWA Stall in Union Square3

Members of AWA at their stall in Union Square. L-R Sandra Macdonald, Dianne Drysdale, Norma Grant and Deidre Mitchell.

On Saturday, Aberdeen Women’s Alliance (AWA) marked the United Nation’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women by collecting donations for local charity, Rape and Abuse Support (RAS) in Union Square.

International Elimination of Violence Against Women Day is marked annually by AWA to raise awareness of the forms of violence that women locally and around the world are subject to.

By highlighting this particular day, AWA aim to draw attention to the scale and true nature of violence against women, most of which is hidden from public view.

Chair of AWA, Sandra Macdonald said:

“Recent figures from Police Scotland show that offences of domestic violence in Aberdeen have increased by 36 per cent and there has been a rise in reported sexual assaults. It is, therefore, vital that we all continue to raise awareness of violence against women and we were delighted that so many people took time out from their Christmas shopping to speak to us about these issues.

“Through the generous donations we received, we raised £189.90 which will support the excellent work that RAS do to inform the public of the nature and extent of sexual violence as well as broadening understanding of how appropriate responses can be developed to prevent it.”

RAS provides support and advocacy to female survivors of sexual violence, whether recent or historical, as well as challenging public attitudes towards rape through outreach work.

Aug 302013

RadicalIndependence2By Fiona Napier.

The Radical Independence Campaign’s (RIC) vision of independence post-referendum is of a green Scotland striving for social justice, real democracy, peace and equality.

Its Aberdeen members are out regularly, knocking on doors, holding meetings and engaging with communities to stimulate the discussion of issues in the lead-up to next year’s vote.

Campaigning brings its own costs and to raise funds, RIC has arranged a pub quiz to be held in the Blue Lamp on Tues 3 Sept from 1900-2200.

There will be music and prizes. Teams with a maximum of five members can enter. The entry cost is £3 per person.

For more information on what RIC is doing locally and to find out about getting involved email

  • Comments enabled – see comments box below. Note, all comments will be moderated.
Apr 122013

On Saturday April 1st, Paul Rodgers, Deborah Bonham and her band (along with special guests) returned to The Venue in Chichester to raise the roof one more time for animal charities including Willows Animal Sanctuary in Aberdeenshire.

Paul Rodgers and his wife Cynthia are Patrons of Willows which takes in a massive number and variety of welfare cases from cats to pigs to horses.

Currently they are home to 300 animals.

Deborah Bonham and her husband guitarist Pete Bullick have adopted both of her dogs from Mount Noddy which specialises in dogs and cats.

Cynthia Kereluk Rodgers and Deborah visited the Cat & Rabbit Rescue Centre near Chichester and were impressed with the care and handling of their two hundred cats! So a donation will be made to them as well.

Rock memorabilia were the hot items in the live auction with two Autographed Led Zeppelin Posters bringing in £500 ($763.00 ) and £850 ($1298.00 ).The highest grossing auction item was a Bad Company autographed guitar including tickets to a concert this summer in the US bringing in £1100  ($1679.00 ).

The biggest surprise of the evening was when Elaine and Chris Fairfax from Animal Friends Insurance handed over cheques to the tune of £15,000 ($22,888 ) to be divided equally between the three charities.

Jenny of Willows Animal Sanctuary commented:-

“We are absolutely over the moon to have such wonderful, lovely talented people supporting Willows Animal Sanctuary! It means so much to have dedicated Patrons. Paul Rodgers and Cynthia Kereluk Rodgers are such kind hearted and beautiful individuals and care so much about animal welfare.

“Our thanks go to all that helped with the fantastic concert: we know it took a lot of organising and many dedicated volunteers. Deborah Bonham and Peter Bullick are also amazing. Thank you both so much for all the time and energy you have put in to this concert. Everyone at Willows thanks you all from the bottom of our hearts.”

Deborah Bonham performed some songs from her new CD Spirit (limited edition pre release CD Digipak out now on tour ahead of the September CD, Vinyl and Digital release) during her 1 hour set. To the fans’ delight Rodgers played a 90 minute set of songs from just his Free catalogue, some he had not performed in 40 years!

Paul Rodgers said:-

“Once again the evening was a huge success. Our fans and friends come through every time- it’s quite amazing. Now Willows can breathe a sigh of relief as this funding will see them through July. Thanks to everyone from the fans, musicians, volunteers to all of the musicians and artists who donated items.”

  • Comments enabled – see comments box below. Note, all comments will be moderated.
Feb 212013

With thanks to David Forbes.

Future Choices provides much-needed social and recreational facilities to people with disabilities, at Inchgarth Community Centre in Aberdeen.

The charity has support from many people, including Mr Paul O’Connor MBE, Dame Anne Begg MP, and Kenneth Watt, the Press Officer for Aberdeen City Youth Council.

The charity celebrates its first five years this year. However, it is in dire need of a much bigger bus to enable the folk it supports to get out and about.

Colleen McMillan, a fund raiser for Future Choices, says:

“This appeal is a massive challenge, but it’s needed as so many disabled people rely heavily on transport to get from A to B safely. To get this 17-seater bus, we’re going to have to raise approx £15,000, which is a huge project, but it can be done”

Fundraisers will be at various locations in the city to collect your cash donations. You can keep up to date at .

Future Choices has also teamed up with local author Kathleen Kennedy, who has published a book describing how disability affects day-to-day lives. It can be purchased via Amazon, and it’s called ‘Yes, I Can, and I Will’. Proceeds of the book sales will go towards the Appeal. You can find it at

There’s also a video on YouTube that the Charity has released to explain why this appeal is so important. It’s at

Anyone interested in supporting the appeal can contact Colleen McMillan on 079 410 33205 or David Forbes, Chairman on 078 217 00046.

  • Comments enabled – see comments box below. Note, all comments will be moderated.
Jan 142013

With thanks to Claire McBain.

On 14 January, Aberdeen community food initiative Cfine made its first annual donation to VSA, the UK’s largest social care charity which supports more than 2,500 people each year in the city and shire.
This comes as Cfine agreed to donate 1% of VSA’s total spend each year they work together.

Social enterprise Cfine donated £400 to VSA’s Linn Moor Residential School, its longest standing customer, to cover the first few months of a cultural eating project taking place at the school during 2013.

This donation is backdated for the period 2011-2012, so the charity is set to benefit from a similar amount in April 2013.

Linn Moor general manager Shona Duff said:

“The staff team came up with the project to help the children learn about different cultures, taste new foods and enjoy socialising together. The taste sensation sessions will be a huge benefit to the 21 youngsters who are aged between five and 18, all with additional support needs and many with autistic spectrum disorder.

 “We’re so grateful that Cfine are kicking the year off for us. But we’re eager to hear from others who can help us on our journey. We’d love some local people or organisations to take Cfine’s lead by helping to fund the food and joining us on the night.

 “We actually started our international journey in November with an alternative St Andrew’s Day celebration. The children had a curry night in honour of Scotland’s second favourite meal. Cfine’s support means we can go ahead with January’s Burns Night and Chinese New Year in February and, hopefully with the help of others, the children will continue to explore world foods, cultures, dress and flags throughout 2013.”

It’s not the first time the not-for-profit organisations have joined forces. Cfine have conducted talks and food tastings for VSA staff and service users, as well as providing raffle prizes for VSA events. All Cfine profits are invested in health and community development work in disadvantaged communities.

For further information about VSA and its work in the local community, visit

More about Cfine

Cfine is a social enterprise which has been selling fruit, vegetables and other produce to oil companies, restaurants and sandwich bars across the city since 1997. It also creates employment for adults with learning difficulties.

More about Linn Moor School

VSA’s Linn Moor School provides high standards of care and education for children and young people with complex needs. It is committed to nurturing the unique abilities, strengths and talents of children and young people, aged five to 18, who have additional support needs, and is committed to engaging with the community and developing social skills to ensure that inclusive opportunities are not limited.

Oct 112012

With thanks to Claire McBain. 

This week four charity-focused graduates employed by Total E&P UK Limited (TEP UK) officially revealed a fundraising total of more than £3,400 after recreating the Olympic spirit to host Le Tour de Deeside. 

The proceeds of this event are being used to benefit VSA’s Easter Anguston Farm.

Graduate engineers Louise Reid (25) from Aberdeen, Jamie Kirkwood (25) from Fraserburgh, Steven Grzywa (26) from Portlethen and Drew Annand (26) from Brechin, organised and hosted the event for TEP UK employees, plus family and friends, to mark the end of their graduate scheme.

Le Tour de Deeside comprised teams cycling the Deeside Way, with integrated Olympic-themed challenges.  Later this year, the foursome will use their funds and volunteer their time to rebuild the farm’s pond.

Easter Anguston Farm, run by VSA, the UK’s largest city social care charity which supports people in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, will benefit from funds raised from Le Tour de Deeside entry fees, plus the proceeds of a coffee morning and family fun day run at TEP UK in September.

TEP UK matched the amount raised by the graduates total to achieve the amazing final total of £3,400.

Fiona Davidson, farm operations manager, said:

“£3,400 is fantastic.  We’ll be able to build the new pond and do something else too.  Corporate matching is a great initiative and will give this project a big boost.  Some of our service users went along to Le Tour de Deeside and had an amazing time meeting the TEP UK staff.  They’re a brilliant bunch.”

Louise Reid, graduate process engineer at TEP UK, said:

“Our initial target was around £2,000.  We’re so chuffed to have so much more than that.  I’m so happy we’ve managed to ignite so much fundraising excitement in our colleagues.  I want to keep raising awareness of VSA at TEP UK.”

For further information about Easter Anguston Farm you are invited to contact Fiona Davidson on 01224 733627.

Aug 242012

Future Choices, a charity which provides disabled people with safe and social inclusion, is holding a special auction on Ebay.  The article being auctioned is a framed T-shirt, signed by Sir Steve Redgrave, for which bids can be submitted here.

The work of Future Choices, which was set up following the closure of the Choices Day Centre, has changed the lives of many of Aberdeen’s disabled people through offering them opportunities for social interaction in a safe and friendly environment.

It also offers opportunities for a range of other activities, including formal and informal education and access to services towards employment, training and income-generation.

The charity, which has many high profile supporters including Dame Anne Begg MP, Paul O’Connor MBE and Peggy Finnie MBE, is run exclusively by volunteers and its funding comes purely from its own fundraising efforts.

The bidding for Sir Steve’s signed and framed T-shirt ends on Saturday 25th August, 2012.

For more information please contact David Forbes, Chairman, on 07821 700046

Jul 192012

With thanks to Richard Bunting.

Forres taxi operator David Macpherson is helping to bring Scotland’s Caledonian Forest back from the brink by supporting the Findhorn based conservation charity Trees for Life, which aims to restore the forest to an area of over 2,500 square kilometres in the Scottish Highlands.

David’s firm, Mac’s Eco Taxi, donates 20 pence to the award winning charity for every journey that picks up, or drops off, at the Findhorn Eco village in Findhorn Bay, Moray.

The scheme has already notched up more than £150, which David presented to Trees for Life recently.  The green-minded taxi operator also has plans to fund a grove of trees through the charity.

David, who has run a taxi business for five years, decided to give his business a green boost in late 2010 by investing in a state of the art hybrid Honda Civic which runs on electricity as well as petrol.  The car is able to recharge itself while being driven so has no need to be plugged in.

In addition to purchasing the first such car to be operated by a taxi firm in the area, David also decided to make a difference to the environment by supporting Trees for Life’s forest restoration work.

David said:

“I’d noticed Trees for Life’s vehicles and office on many trips to Findhorn, but it was buying the charity’s calendar with its stunning photographs of the Caledonian Forest that really inspired me.  Our customers know that we are being doubly carbon conscious – with low emissions from our car and with donations supporting the reforestation of the Highlands.”

Since planting its first trees in Glen Affric in 1991, Trees for Life has planted over one million trees and has received a number of awards including the 1991 UK Conservation Project of the Year, the Millennium Marque in 2000 and Top 10 Conservation Holidays worldwide in 2009.

Alan Watson Featherstone, executive director at Trees for Life, said:

“This is an excellent project that is good news for the climate as well as Scotland’s biodiversity and wild landscapes.  

“Simple yet positive schemes like this make a big difference to our work.  Every £5 allows us to plant a tree and every £50 enables us to restore 50 square metres of native woodland.”

People can support Trees for Life’s restoration of the Caledonian Forest by funding dedicated trees and groves, while the charity’s Conservation Holiday Weeks allow people to gain practical conservation experience in beautiful locations.

Comments enabled – see comments box below. Note, all comments will be moderated.

Jun 282012

On Saturday 23rd June at Sheddocksley Baptist Church in Eday Walk, the local disabled charity Future Choices unveiled their new wheelchair friendly minibus with the help of Dame Anne Begg MP who was the special guest to cut the ribbon. Lewis Macdonald and Richard Baker also attended, as did Paul O’Connor MBE from Inchgarth Community Centre.  With Thanks to David Forbes.

Future Choices launched the Cash for Cans appeal in February with the aim of collecting empty drink cans, which they exchanged for cash to allow them to purchase a second hand minibus.
Over fifteen thousand empty drink cans have already been exchanged for cash, generating over £1000 so far. John Lawrie Aberdeen Ltd. recycle the aluminium cans.

Although the charity has now bought the minibus, they still need donations of empty drink cans to cover the running costs of the bus.

Future Choices Chairman David Forbes said:

“Without the help and support of the Aberdeen community and oil companies, this appeal would not have been successful”.

“We received empty cans from companies including Hess, Talisman and many others, as well as community centres such as Inchgarth. We even had the support of primary schools, with Crathes Primary & Ferryhill Primary getting involved to make a difference.”

“Having access to the minibus will greatly increase the range of activities offered by the charity, allowing for a much wanted lunch club to be set up and day trips to be planned”

Dame Anne welcomed the purchase of the minibus stating:

“Transport can be one of the biggest barriers preventing disabled people participating in activities and this minibus will provide the opportunity for many of them to get out of their homes.”

Future Choices member Blanche Cruikshank, who needs accessible transport to get out and about, said:

“The minibus is a real life-saver and those behind the appeal have changed my life for the better.”

Another Future Choices member, Alec Rennie, who cares for his wife Mary, added:

“Having access to transport for my disabled wife and me will have a huge positive impact on our life. To be able to get out and about more is all we want.”

Future Choices also highlighted that fundraising needs to continue. Chief Fundraiser, Catherine Mancini, stated:

“The unveiling marked a great triumph for Future Choices and we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure the same level of success in the future”

  • Comments enabled – see comments box below. Note, all comments will be moderated.