Apr 202017
 

With thanks to Aberdeenshire SNP.

As the closure date of Monday 8th May draws nearer for the Fraserburgh Branch of the Clydesdale Bank, local campaigners are calling for the bank to reverse its decision to withdraw services from the town.

A key issue is the retention of the cash dispenser (ATM), given that in other towns where the Clydesdale Bank has closed branches and withdrawn its ATMs, other banks have followed suit, reducing service provision and customer choice.

Fraserburgh man and SNP candidate for Fraserburgh & District David Donn, who organised a petition, commented:

“We’ve seen recent examples of bank closures where Head Office have pointed to the existence of other banks and ATMs in the town and basically said to the local community, ‘You’ll be fine as our rivals are still here’.

“Within sometimes a very short time thereafter, we’ve seen closure announcements from other banks in the same locality.

“Portsoy and Cullen are good examples where the Clydesdale Bank closed and locals were told you still have other banks to fall back on. Now, there are no banks at all in these places. If the Clydesdale Bank can close down its Fraserburgh Branch there’s no guarantee other banks won’t follow suit.

“We need a minimum of a cash machine locally to continue to provide Clydesdale customers with a service. We can’t rely on other financial institutions to still be here.”

Fraserburgh SNP councillor Brian Topping said:

“Bank closures have been a feature of the last few years but many of us thought a town the size of Fraserburgh would be immune from this so it’s come as a real blow to the community.

“We know that once the decision is made it’s unlikely to be unmade but the least the Clydesdale Bank can do is give some consideration to its loyal customers in the Broch and maintain the ATM service.”

Fraserburgh SNP councillor Charles Buchan added:

“I really commend David on the petition he organised and I hope the bank bosses will pay heed to the view of those who signed it.

“It’s very disappointing that the Clydesdale Bank has so far failed to give any kind of commitment to its customers in Fraserburgh except for pointing them in the direction of the Post Office.”

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Apr 132017
 

With thanks to Gemma Setter, PR Account Executive, Frasermedia.

Seb Coles leads a team of developers creating and engineering software-based solutions.

A team of specialist software developers from a leading Aberdeen-based managed print services company recently revealed their latest support app developments at a major print management industry event.
Four in-house developers from Xeretec Scotland’s Aberdeen office travelled to Uxbridge, near London, for the Xerox Application Forum on Wednesday, 5 April.

Senior software developer, Seb Coles, announced the development of the Xeretec Support Application Suite, an on-device customer service that provides immediate, next-generation support for users of Xerox devices.

The team of developers, led by Seb Coles, specialises in creating and engineering software-based solutions that optimise the print experience for end users and spent 12 months developing the support apps.

Mr Coles said:

“I am extremely proud of my team and what we have achieved over the past year. We have dedicated a lot of time and effort to developing the Xeretec Support Application Suite, so to be able to demonstrate how it works at the Xerox Future of Work event was an incredible experience.

“The app enables Xeretec to access the printer’s health and deliver the user an unparalleled level of support immediately at the device. It was designed to simplify and speed up fault resolution, while maximising user convenience and productivity, as we are constantly aiming to bring a higher level of customer service to our clients.”

Marino Keith, operations manager at Xeretec Scotland, said:

“I would like to offer my congratulations to Seb and the software development team for continuing to create industry-leading applications that aim to improve the overall customer experience. The work they do is completely unique to the industry and differentiates Xeretec from its competitors.

“Customers today expect instant, multi-channel support when encountering a problem. With the Xeretec Support Application Suite, Xeretec has created a new era of on-device customer service that meets the need for simplified instant access to support.”

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Apr 012017
 

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

A north-east cancer support charity is appealing to runners to consider tackling some of the region’s most popular runs on its behalf.

CLAN Cancer Support has spaces available for this year’s Baker Hughes 10K, which will take place on Sunday May 14. The charity is also signing up participants for Run Balmoral on Saturday April 22 and Sunday April 23 and the inaugural Great Aberdeen Run on Sunday August 27.

Last year, runners came to the fore to raise money for CLAN and the charity is looking forward to being well represented at events throughout 2017.

Alastair Brookes, CLAN’s Head of Fundraising, said:

“These races are among the most popular in the north-east running calendar and we are thrilled to have places on offer for them.

“This year we will also see the first Great Aberdeen Run which is sure to be a fantastic spectacle which we are all very much looking forward to. We have spaces available for both the 10K and the half marathon for those who would like to be part of the inaugural event.

“We would appreciate the support of any member of the public who is considering taking part in either, or even all, of the events.

“The backing the charity has had from runners in the north-east has been incredible in previous years and we’re really looking to keep this momentum up this year. I’d encourage anyone interested in taking part in any of the races on behalf of CLAN to get in touch and find out more.”

For more information or to take up a place please contact CLAN’s fundraising team on 01224 647000 or email fundraising@clanhouse.org.

CLAN Cancer Support is an independent charity which provides comfort, support and information, free of charge, for anyone, of any age, affected by any type of cancer. CLAN aims to support people to reduce anxiety, stress and to increase their ability to cope with the effects of a serious illness.

Based in Aberdeen, the charity covers the whole of north-east Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland. CLAN has a presence in Ballater, Banchory, Elgin, Buckie, Inverurie, Fraserburgh, Lossiemouth, Peterhead, Stonehaven, Turriff, Kirkwall and Lerwick.

For more information about CLAN Cancer Support, please call (01224) 647 000 or visit www.clanhouse.org

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Mar 172017
 

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

A TV celebrity will bring star power to a leading north-east charity’s annual lunch event in April.

Channel 4’s First Dates CiCi Coleman is hosting CLAN Cancer Support’s annual fundraising lunch which is taking place at Ardoe House Hotel and Spa on Wednesday, April 19.

The popular event, which is being supported again by BP, includes a champagne reception, 2 course lunch, guest speaker, auction, raffle and a Michael Bublé tribute act. A host of shopping stalls will also be in situ, ideal for picking up gifts, accessories and items of clothing.

Actress CiCi is a well-known face on TV as she currently performs the role of the waitress in the hit show First Dates.

Alastair Brookes, CLAN’s head of fundraising, said:

“We are delighted that CiCi Coleman will be joining us to host what is a hugely important fundraising event for us.

“We are sure she will be a big draw to the north-east public and are looking forward to welcoming her. We expect tickets to sell out fast so would encourage people to get in touch sooner rather later to ensure you don’t miss out.”

Tickets for the CLAN Lunch, which runs from 11am to 3pm, are now on-sale and are available individually for £35 or as tables of 10 for £350.

Alastair added:

“The north-east’s support of CLAN is always incredible and we are sure it will come to the fore for our lunch. BP’s tremendous support of the event means that all funds raised will go towards our provision of free support services to anyone affected by cancer throughout the north-east of Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland. Events like this would not be possible without the generosity of our sponsor and the public, and we can’t wait to welcome everyone along to it.”

Anyone interested in attending the event is asked to contact CLAN’s Steph Dowling on 01224 647000 or email steph.dowling@clanhouse.org

CLAN Cancer Support is an independent charity which provides comfort, support and information, free of charge, for anyone, of any age, affected by any type of cancer. CLAN aims to support people to reduce anxiety, stress and to increase their ability to cope with the effects of a serious illness.

Based in Aberdeen, the charity covers the whole of north-east Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland. CLAN has a presence in Ballater, Banchory, Elgin, Buckie, Inverurie, Fraserburgh, Lossiemouth, Peterhead, Stonehaven, Turriff, Kirkwall and Lerwick.

For more information about CLAN Cancer Support, please call (01224) 647 000 or visit www.clanhouse.org

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Mar 022017
 

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

A recent auction at Thainstone Mart, Inverurie, raised a few eyebrows as an unusual Texel Gimmer went through the ring in aid of a leading cancer charity.
Having seen a number of friends being affected by cancer during the past year Wendy Willox, from Clatt, decided to come up with a way of raising money for CLAN Cancer Support. 

After some thought she decided to donate the proceeds from the sale of one of her Texel Gimmers in lamb at Thainstone’s Christmas sale.

But Wendy didn’t stop there. To ensure her entry really caught the eye, Wendy decided to dye the sheep bright pink!

Thanks to the support of ANM Group, which waived its commission, and Wendy who rounded up the total herself, Wendy presented a cheque for £750 to Gemma Powell, CLAN’s Aberdeenshire Area Coordinator, at CLAN’s Inverurie base.

The Pink Lady was bought by Elaine and Alan Simpson, from Mains of Leslie, Insch, and went on to have 2 lambs, and still remains a pinkish colour to date!

Gemma said:

“On behalf of CLAN I would like to thank Wendy for her wonderful donation, and also for raising awareness of CLAN at one of Thainstone’s largest annual events. We would also like to thank ANM Group for kindly waiving its fee for Wendy’s sale, and to auctioneer Colin Slessor who helped to get an excellent price on the day.”

“The ingenious ways which people find to fundraise for CLAN never ceases to amaze us. We really appreciate all the support we receive from both the ANM Group and from the farming community throughout the north-east.”

CLAN Cancer Support is an independent charity which provides comfort, support and information, free of charge, for anyone, of any age, affected by any type of cancer. CLAN aims to support people to reduce anxiety, stress and to increase their ability to cope with the effects of a serious illness.

Based in Aberdeen, the charity covers the whole of north-east Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland. CLAN has a presence in Ballater, Banchory, Elgin, Buckie, Inverurie, Fraserburgh, Lossiemouth, Peterhead, Stonehaven, Turriff, Kirkwall and Lerwick.

For more information about CLAN Cancer Support, please call (01224) 647 000 or visit www.clanhouse.org

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Feb 202017
 

With thanks to Ross Anderson, Senior Account Manager, Citrus:Mix.

A north-east family has won a new Mini in a popular annual fundraiser which supports a leading cancer charity.
Susan Green, from Peterhead, bought several tickets in a raffle organised by CLAN Cancer Support and Rotary Clubs across the north-east of Scotland. Half were put in her name and half for her husband, Karl Green.

After buying the tickets Mrs Green didn’t think much more about the raffle until she received a surprise visit from Angie Christie, CLAN’s North Aberdeenshire area co-ordinator on Christmas Eve to let her know that her husband had won the car.

Mrs Green, who works part-time as an accountant with Ocean Installer in Aberdeen, raised more than £900 for CLAN earlier in the year by organising a craft fayre after the charity supported her father, John Reid, during his cancer treatment.

As Mr Green was working overseas when the car was available for collection, Mrs Green received the keys from Mr Alastair Brookes, CLAN’s fundraising manager.

Mrs Green, 35, said:

“It was a lovely surprise when Angie came round on Christmas Eve to let us know we had the winning ticket. My husband Karl and I are delighted and our children James, Rachael and William all love it.

“We’ve been very lucky to win the car and it’s been great using it to get around town. It’s also very useful for dropping the kids off at school and visiting our friends and family. We’re very proud of it.”

More than £54,000 was raised for the raffle through ticket sales. The raffle is an integral part of CLAN’s fundraising campaign and is run by Rotary Clubs in and around the North East with members of 22 Rotary Clubs being involved.

With the Mini being part sponsored by Dominoes, the net funds raised are then shared between CLAN Cancer Support, which receives the majority of the funds, and the Rotary Clubs who in turn use their share to help a variety of smaller charities in the area.

Alastair Brookes, Head of Fundraising at CLAN Cancer Support, said:

“To be able to give someone the news that they have won a brand-new car on Christmas Eve is very special, and even more so when it is someone who has first-hand experience of the services and support CLAN provides.

“We hope Karl, Susan and her family enjoy their new car and we’d like to wish them happy travels in the years ahead.

“The raffle is a hugely important part of our fundraising and I would like to thank each of the Rotary clubs which help us so much with it each year. Their dedication and kindness really does make all the difference. We would also like to thank everyone who supported us by buying a raffle ticket.”

Alan Pirie, of the Aberdeen and North East Rotary Clubs, said:

“We were delighted to partner with CLAN Cancer Support again and would like to extend our congratulations to Karl on winning the Mini raffle.

“Our members sold raffle tickets at various events across the north-east throughout the year and it is lovely to see the Mini go to a family who will be able to make good use of the car.”

CLAN Cancer Support is an independent charity which provides comfort, support and information, free of charge, for anyone, of any age, affected by any type of cancer. CLAN aims to support people to reduce anxiety, stress and to increase their ability to cope with the effects of a serious illness.

Based in Aberdeen, the charity covers the whole of north-east Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland. CLAN has a presence in Ballater, Banchory, Elgin, Buckie, Inverurie, Fraserburgh, Lossiemouth, Peterhead, Stonehaven, Turriff, Kirkwall and Lerwick.

For more information about CLAN Cancer Support, please call (01224) 647 000 or visit www.clanhouse.org

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Feb 202017
 

With thanks to Banffshire & Buchan Coast SNP.

Aberdeenshire Council has refuted claims made by Tory MSP Peter Chapman that a new mental health service is excluding people, insisting that the new service will be equitable across Aberdeenshire and provides a more person centred service.

Following the awarding of the contract for a new ‘Mental Health – Pathways to Recovery’ service last year, Aberdeenshire Council has been working with provider SAMH as they roll out the new service across Aberdeenshire.

It was commissioned to provide a community-based mental health service and to promote the achievement of a mentally well and inclusive Aberdeenshire in which people who experience mental illness are enabled to recover and achieve their personal outcomes.

It provides more equitable services across north, central and south Aberdeenshire; to target service provision more appropriately to individual risk and need; and to support people who experience mental illness and help them enjoy mainstream activities alongside other members of the community.

Co-Leader of Aberdeenshire Council Cllr Richard Thomson said:

“It is simply not true to say people have fallen through a chasm and been forgotten about as has been claimed. Everyone who has registered with the new service has been contacted by SAMH and we continue to urge anyone who requires support to register with SAMH.

“If for any reason they do not want to register with SAMH they can contact our Community Mental Health Teams who will support them.

“We of course acknowledge that some existing services users remain anxious about the change of provider and new model of delivery, but there are many advantages of the new services which will be more personalised, more recovery focused, better linked to employability, accessible seven days per week, and is available across Aberdeenshire as a whole.”

Cllr Anne Allan (pictured), Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Communities Committee added:

“The new service is about helping people to recover and supporting them to achieve their outcomes. A buildings based service restricts the number of people who can access the service. If people cannot attend the building at the time it is open then they are excluded from the service.

“When developing our modified service specification we were made aware that many people especially in rural areas who wanted help were unable to access the previous service model. We now have a service which is accessible to all. I completely understand that people are nervous about change but I would urge them to speak to SAMH or Community Mental Health teams so we can support them on the road to their recovery.“

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[Aberdeen Voice accepts and welcomes contributions from all sides/angles pertaining to any issue. Views and opinions expressed in any article are entirely those of the writer/contributor, and inclusion in our publication does not constitute support or endorsement of these by Aberdeen Voice as an organisation or any of its team members.]

Feb 102017
 

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

CLAN Cancer Support has announced the appointment of a new Head of Fundraising. Alastair Brookes has been chosen for the key role and brings with him more than 20 years’ of experience in the third sector.

Alastair has strong links throughout the business community and north-east Scotland, and has previously held roles in a variety of organisations including Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDFR) and Tay/Northsound Radio.

While at JDRF, he was responsible for the strategic development of the organisation’s fundraising strategy throughout Scotland, driving forward awareness of the charity and financial support.

He also led the development and delivery of a number of high profile fundraising events.

In his new position Alastair will spearhead income generation for CLAN, developing fundraising activities throughout the CLAN in the community network, and be a key member of the senior management team.

Dr Colette Backwell, chief executive of CLAN, said:

“Alastair’s wealth of experience and expertise in the charitable sector are a fantastic fit for CLAN and I am delighted to welcome him to the role.

“This is an exciting time for us as we continue to work towards our aim of bringing CLAN’s services closer to the heart of communities in Aberdeen and the north-east, providing support to anyone affected by cancer whenever it is needed.

“In the current economic climate, how organisations approach fundraising activity is crucial. The dedication of our team ensures we can continue to develop our services and help anyone affected by a cancer diagnosis. Alastair will lead the way on the progression of our fundraising activity and I look forward to working closely with him and building on CLAN’s success.”

Alastair Brookes added:

“I’m delighted to be joining CLAN at an important time for the organisation. CLAN is held in the highest regard throughout the north-east and Northern Isles and I am looking forward to helping the charity to further develop its successful fundraising activity.

“CLAN’s support of those affected by cancer and their families is essential, and the charity has ambition to reach and help even more people in years ahead. In order to achieve that we must continually develop our fundraising streams, engaging with supporters past and present and developing our range of events and initiatives.

“I look forward to bringing my 20 years’ of experience to the role and help raise vital funds and awareness for CLAN, as well as being part of an inspirational team that go above and beyond to help anyone affected by cancer.”

Based in Aberdeen, CLAN covers the whole of north-east Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland. The charity has a presence in Ballater, Banchory, Buckie, Elgin, Buckie, Inverurie, Fraserburgh, Lossiemouth, Peterhead, Stonehaven, Turriff, Kirkwall and Lerwick.

For more information about CLAN Cancer Support, please call (01224) 647 000 or visit www.clanhouse.org.

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Feb 072017
 

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

Four Scottish youngsters with special needs have received play equipment that will help them build their independence and get out and about in their own communities to socialise and play.
Aberdeen Asset Management granted more than £3,900 to purchase two trikes, a standing frame and a walking frame for youngsters living in the Edinburgh and Aberdeen areas.

The global financial management firm responded to an appeal from Handicapped Children’s Action Group to fund the apparatus, which is not available on the NHS, and at purchase costs averaging £1,000 per  item, is usually cost prohibitive for families to purchase.

The charity receives over 800 referrals a year from health professionals, but only has the funding to help around 180-190 of these cases.

The charity  would love to be able to help every single applicant but with no government funding the charity is dependent on fundraising and the support of organisations like Aberdeen Asset Management to help it provide the much-needed equipment.

Carole Davies from Handicapped Children’s Action Group said:

“A trike gives independence and mobility to a child who has had to rely on an adult for every movement; a walking frame gives a child the ability to get up and walk freely without assistance while a buggy enables a family to take their child into the community without fear of safety issues. Play frames enable a child with autism to play safely and explore in a controlled environment.

“All equipment brings fun, movement, mobility and integration to children all over the country and without the help of people like Aberdeen Asset Management we would be unable to achieve this.”

More than £3,900 was spent on the purchase of two trikes, a standing frame and a walking frame for three children in Edinburgh and one in Aberdeen.

Handicapped Children’s Action Group is a registered charity based in Lincolnshire which assists children and families across the UK. When it started in 1988 it helped about a dozen families a year, but now it helps well over 100 with the purchase of equipment varying in price from £500 to £2,500 per item. Requests come from physiotherapists who recommend that the equipment will help the youngster with day to day living. All the items funded by Aberdeen Asset Management were delivered to families just in time for Christmas.

Euan MacNeish of Aberdeen Asset Management’s Edinburgh charity committee said:

“Equipment provided by Handicapped Children’s Action Group will help give children with special needs the independence and mobility they deserve. Through the support of Aberdeen’s Charitable Committee we hope we are able to give these  children the ability to join in with the activities of children their own age and no longer watch from the side-lines. We are proud to support the local communities in which we operate in this way.”

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Feb 072017
 

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

A charity ball will be held this spring in memory of a devoted mum and teacher. Caroline Thomson (pictured), of Portlethen, died last year, after courageously battling cancer for 18 months. She was just 38.

So far her loved ones have already raised nearly £25,000 for CLAN Cancer Support and Brain Tumour Action, and are now determined to add more to the tally with a party that coincides with her 40th birthday weekend.

The Ruby Ball will be held at Pittodrie in Aberdeen on March 3.

Guests will be treated to a drinks reception on arrival, a three-course meal and a disco. There will also be an auction – with prizes ranging from tickets to see comedian John Bishop at the O2 in London to a Manchester United shirt signed by star player Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Local businesses have also kindly donated prizes for the raffle, with treats from the Nicole Porter Gallery and Blueberry Moon in Aberdeen; the Beauty Boutique in Portlethen; and Trump International Golf Links Scotland at Balmedie among those up for grabs.

Caroline’s sister Shona Gossip, from Ellon, who is organising the ball, is urging people to snap up a ticket.

The 30-year-old said:

“Although this is a chance for my family to toast Caroline’s birthday, this is a party for everyone – not just those who knew her. It’s all about raising as much as we can for CLAN and Brain Tumour Action.

“Caroline was devoted to her family – husband David, and sons Callum and Robbie – and her role as head teacher at Cornhill Primary in Aberdeen, but loved to be with her friends too and having fun.

“We’ve all got some great memories of her hen night – when she and her friends dressed as the Village People – and her 30th birthday, which was 80s-themed. I hope we can make some more memories while remembering her in March, while raising money for two great causes.

“The idea for the Ruby Ball just came to me one day on the drive to work as I passed the turn-off for her school and the hospital. Caroline had a love for all things red, and had pretty distinctive red streaks through her hair for years. Combined with it being her 40th this year, it all just fell into place.

“Caroline was really philosophical throughout her illness, and just used to say ‘it is what it is’ but she used to worry about being forgotten. Through the Ruby Ball, and the amazing fundraising efforts of others, we won’t let that happen.”

Mrs Thomson was first diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2014, and underwent gruelling chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a mastectomy.

Sadly the cancer returned in summer 2015, with a scan showing a mass on her brain. Despite surgery and more radiotherapy, doctors broke the news the tumour was inoperable.

Mrs Thomson threw everything into making it to Christmas, and spending as much time as she could with her boys. She was also determined to ensure they were looked after even after her death, and was adamant that CLAN should be involved in offering support.

Dr Colette Backwell, chief executive of CLAN, said:

“Caroline’s family are truly an inspiration and we would like to give our heartfelt thanks for all the money and awareness they have raised so far. To turn such difficult circumstances into such a positive and raising money to help us support other families throughout the north-east, is absolutely incredible.

“The Ruby Ball is sure to be a great success and will be a lovely opportunity for Caroline’s family and friends to celebrate her life with other guests.”

Tickets for the ball are on sale now, priced £49. To find out more, or to buy – or to donate a raffle prize – visit www.facebook.com/rubyballaberdeen, e-mail rubyballaberdeen@gmail.com or call 07515 349890.

CLAN Cancer Support is an independent charity which provides comfort, support and information, free of charge, for anyone, of any age, affected by any type of cancer. CLAN aims to support people to reduce anxiety, stress and to increase their ability to cope with the effects of a serious illness.

Based in Aberdeen, the charity covers the whole of north-east Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland. CLAN has a presence in Ballater, Banchory, Elgin, Buckie, Inverurie, Fraserburgh, Lossiemouth, Peterhead, Stonehaven, Turriff, Kirkwall and Lerwick.

For more information about CLAN Cancer Support, please call (01224) 647 000 or visit www.clanhouse.org

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