Aug 092013

Momentum is an organisation which helps people with brain injuries reach their full potential. Their third Top Hats & Tiaras Grand Ball takes place on 14 September this year at the Aberdeen Hilton Treetops Hotel.  Rhian Johns has benefitted from Momentum’s services, and tells Aberdeen Voice how Momentum helped.

Momentum is a voluntary organisation which offers rehabilitation and training services, empowering people with an acquired brain injury to gain the skills and confidence that they need to live independently and to fulfil their employment goals.

It is a charity close to my heart as in April 2006, at the age of 20, I suffered a brain haemorrhage followed by long-term ventilation and severe lung complications and now epilepsy.
I was in a coma for 5 weeks, Intensive Care for 2 ½ months and another 2 months in the Neurology ward.

Following various intensive therapy sessions to aid my physical recovery and to start learning to read and write again, I was well enough to be able to attend Momentum’s Pathway programme in April 2007, as part of my rehabilitation and recovery and with their incredible help and support I returned to Robert Gordon University in 2008, graduating in 2011 with a BA in Fashion Management.

Since coming out of hospital, it has been the hardest time of my life, but Momentum helped me to get my life back on track.

They helped me to realise and understand exactly what had happened to me and how to cope with it. I really appreciated meeting other people who had suffered brain injuries.  It is a big comfort knowing that there are people who understand what it’s like to have your life turned upside down. I wouldn’t be where I am today without Momentum’s help and support.

It is important to me to thank them by raising funds for their Grampian Brain Injury Centre, based in Aberdeen.

I couldn’t be happier to be holding our third Top Hats & Tiaras Grand Ball on 14 September this year at the Aberdeen Hilton Treetops Hotel in Springfield Road at 7.00pm.

The evening starts with a sparkling drinks reception, followed by a 3-course meal and coffee. Entertainment for the evening is the fantastic Burlesque, the band who aims to get everyone on the dance floor from the first song.  Our auctioneer for the evening is Highland League legend Ian Thain,  helped by our MC for the evening, Rebecca Curran of Northsound 1.

I would love for you all to join us.  More information and tickets can be obtained from Lucy on 07557 853500 or

For information on how Momentum has helped people in the Grampian Brain Injury centre check out:

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Aug 032012

Jack and Jill Markets are holding an indoor community market at the Hilton Treetops Hotel at 10.30am on Sunday 12th August, 2012.  With thanks to Vanessa Smith.

A new rival to boot fairs, internet auction sites and newspaper advertising has arrived in Aberdeen. Parents now have the opportunity to buy and sell quality, used baby and child products helping each other to make and/or save money for their families.

The Jack and Jill Market is a not-for-profit Scottish Social Enterprise dedicated to helping reduce the cost of raising a family while facilitating recycling. 

By organising large scale indoor markets, Jack and Jill helps parents buy and sell a huge range of quality, nearly new maternity, baby and child products in one place, on one day.  Parents can book stalls and keep 100% of the profit they make on the day, with most mums making £100 – £350 during the market. 

Our top selling Aberdeen mum, however, made £800 in one day!

Shrewd shoppers, on the other hand, can handle and compare the goods for sale while collectively enjoying up to 90% off the retail price, making big savings on their favourite brands.

Launched in Edinburgh by local mum and entrepreneur Nicole Diamond, the markets are steadily growing to cover the whole of Scotland.

Mrs Diamond said:

“The feedback from parents after every market is fantastic!   The savings to be had are great and most parents have quality, lightly used clothing and equipment which they no longer need. 

“In the current economic climate it makes perfect sense to get a return on your investment and, by selling on to other parents, we are all helping each other.”

The Aberdeen community market is being promoted by Milltimber mum of three, Vanessa Smith, who said:

“Like so many parents in the current economy, I am committed to being money smart, getting the best I can for my family on a budget, so I knew I had to get involved in establishing Jack and Jill in Aberdeen.   It’s very exciting to be a part of such a worthwhile initiative.”

Research has found that the average person in the UK is hoarding £581 in unused, but workable, everyday possessions.  For a two-parent family this adds up to more than £1000, much of which is locked up in toys, buggies and other equipment which is no longer being used.

Consequently, parents are increasingly turning away from buying used goods over the internet as the description of the goods often does not match up with the reality or, more commonly, they do not have the time to waste chasing up sellers and buyers.

The percentage of parents that buy nearly-new is now nearly 50% and this is driven by both a current awareness of the impact land-fill has to the environment and the need to recycle.  There is also a recognition in the current economic climate that thrift is the new cool and this has resulted in many new and experienced parents asking themselves – why spend more, when you can spend less?

If you have kids or grandkids aged 0-9, these monthly Jack and Jill Markets are a great resource.  With thirty two stalls bursting with brilliant bargains from cots, car seats and buggies to clothes, equipment and toys, they can help to make a real difference to the family finances and are a great bonus in the current economic climate.

The next market is being held between 10.30am and 1.30pm on Sunday 12th August, 2012, at the Hilton Treetops Hotel, Springfield Road, Aberdeen.  Adults £1 entry.  Children go free!

A further market is being held on 9th September with others being held monthly thereafter.

To sign up for market alerts and make sure you don’t miss out see the Jack and Jill Markets website at