ACVO News December 2021

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Communities Mental Health & Wellbeing Fund

over £570,000 is available for projects and services which look to develop a culture of mental wellbeing and prevention within local communities

and is now open for applications from grassroots community groups and organisations

in Aberdeen




24 TechFest introduces podcast series to boost students’ skills

December 2021

34 One Seed Forward - a look at ACVOs short film for COP26


38 Challenge Poverty Week Ditch Debt with Dignity and Cornhill Community Centre

4 ACVO Updates 10 News from you and other networks 56 Volunteering The latest from Mike Melvin and Volunteer Aberdeen 62 Volunteering Opportunities 66 Funding ACVO Funding Officer, Claire Shaw, brings you the latest funding news and opportunities



a guest feature from Grampian Women's Aid

72 Vacancies Latest opportunities from the third sector in Aberdeen and beyond 76 Event highlights Find out what's happening soon and how to submit your event


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Scottish Charity No: SC036845

ACVO News 4 December 2021

Communities Mental Health & Wellbeing Fund ACVO TSI is delighted to act as the funding lead partner for Aberdeen City, working collaboratively with other local partners to effectively distribute over £570,000 to small, grass roots, community groups and organisations.




December 2021

Communities Mental Health & Wellbeing Fund

NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS ACVO is delighted to announce that the Scottish Governments Communities Health and Wellbeing Fund is now open for applications for Aberdeen City. The Fund has been established to provide grants to grassroots community groups and organisations across Scotland in response to the mental health need arising from the pandemic. The intended outcome is to develop a culture of mental wellbeing and prevention within local communities, tackling priority issues such as suicide prevention, social isolation, and loneliness amongst ‘at risk groups’ within the adult population (16+), as well as improving awareness of how we can all stay well and help others. ACVO is responsible for distributing over £570,000 across Aberdeen City. This is part of a £15 million fund that TSI’s are distributing across Scotland. The ambition of the Fund is to be accessible to all groups, no matter how small or inexperienced they are (including unconstituted groups). Groups do not have to have mental health and wellbeing as their primary focus, however their application does have to clearly benefit the mental health and wellbeing of people in the community that they serve. The Fund will support the expansion of the incredible projects and activities that the third sector across the City have developed in response to the mental health need arising from the pandemic as well as enabling new projects ideas to be tested and services to be launched. To enable groups and organisations to manage any grant that they secure, and to facilitate access to smaller grants for small groups and organisations, the following levels are being applied to the Fund. Due to the ambition of the Fund being to support local community activity, it is anticipated that the majority of applications will be considered under funding levels 1 and 2. Each funding level has its own application form – this has enabled us to ensure that the process is as ‘light touch’ as it possibly can be for applicants. Funding Level

Funds Available

Maximum Income of the Group/Organisation

1 (inc. unconstituted groups)

£0 to £2000

Up to £250,000 in the most recent financial year

2 (constituted groups only)

£2001 to £10,000

Up to £500,000 in the most recent financial year

3 (constituted groups only)

£10,001 to £50,000

Up to £1 million in the most recent financial year

We would encourage all our ACVO News readers to take a look at the ACVO website at to see if the fund could support a project idea your organisation has. Here you can access lots of supportive guidance information and apply online. There is also an online Applicant Support Workshop being held on 7th December at 2pm that your organisation can book online to attend. Your organisation can also access further advice or support relating to the Fund and the application process by emailing ACVO’s Funding Officer, Claire Shaw at Claire will either contact you directly or forward your request onto the appropriate team member to help you with your enquiry.



December 2021


We would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who made it along to our AGM last month and to those who watched our live stream! It was great to see so many people attend and to get the chance to speak to some of you afterwards. A special thanks go to Danielle Flecher-Horn of AberNecessities and Jonny Astill of TLC for their fantastic presentations, the team from shmu for their support in enabling us to stream the event and to Robert Gordon University for hosting. As part of the programme we put together a film a featuring the ACVO team and some guest contributors from the city - many thanks to Marjory D'Arcy of Dyce and Stoneywood Community Association, Bob Donald of One Seed Forward and Findlay Harkins and the team from The Denis Law Legacy trust for sharing your stories. You can watch the film now on the opposite page or view online at See you all next year!



ACVO News December 2021


be part of

the collective voice of the Third Sector in Aberdeen

ACVO are pleased to offer a

year’s free membership to existing and new members.

This offer runs until the end of 2021, and your full year’s membership runs from when you sign up.

apply online now at a We are stronger with you behind us.


View See the latest events from the third and voluntary sectors, as well as the wider community in Aberdeen and beyond

ACVO is delighted to announce the launch of our Community Events Calendar, a place for you to find out what's going on in Aberdeen and beyond and to share your own events, completely free of charge!

Submit Are you hosting talks, workshops, training sessions, exhibitions, volunteer days, charity

your calendar, your events, your community. view now at

fundraisers or any other type of event? Submit on our site now, it's easy and completely free!


ACVO News 10 December 2021

News from you and other networks

Aberdeen children’s charity appeal for public’s support to help bring the magic of Christmas to local children growing up in difficult life circumstances


ocal children’s charity Befriend a Child have launched their annual Giving Tree Appeal to

ensure the children and young people supported by the charity have gifts to open on Christmas morning and experiences to look forward to in 2022. Members of the public can take part in the appeal by picking up a tag from one of the charities Giving Tree partners across Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire. The tag will ask the individual to either donate a Christmas gift for a local child or donate money which can go towards an experience. Jean Gordon, Head of Operations, Befriend a Child said: "Each year we launch the appeal we are overwhelmed with the generosity of the general public and the donations

we receive. Christmas can be a difficult time of year for many of the children we support at Befriend a Child, and donations received through our Giving Tree appeal help us ensure all of these children and their siblings receive presents to open on Christmas morning." The appeal also helps the charity to raise vital funds for their befriending programme. The money raised ensures the children and young people have outings to look forward to with their volunteer in the new year ahead. ‘The experiences the children enjoy with their befrienders and mentors have a truly incredible impact on their young lives, they give the children the opportunity to take part in activities that may otherwise not be available to them, helping them grow in confidence and self-esteem, learn

new skills and life interests and improve their wellbeing as they spend time with a trusted friend and positive adult role model.’ – Jean Gordon, Head of Operations, Befriend a Child Individuals can also help the charity by taking part in the appeal virtually using the charities dedicated Giving Tree JustGiving page for experience donations and Amazon wish list for gift donations. "We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has taken part in our Giving Tree Appeal so far by donating gifts, paying for experiences for local children, sharing the appeal with friends, family and colleagues and of course to all of the wonderful businesses who are hosting our Giving Tree tags or taking part virtually. Every single donation will make a huge difference to the local

News 11 ACVO December 2021


children we support and will help to make sure they have a truly special Christmas and a fun filled 2022 making happy memories with their befriender" said Tara Morrison, Fundraising and Marketing Co-ordinator, Befriend a Child. You can take part in the appeal by taking a tag from one of the charity’s Giving Tree partners in the City or Shire, or by visiting To find out how you too could support Befriend a Child by fundraising or volunteering email



December 2021


News 13 ACVO December 2021


Double your donation to Aberdeen Cyrenians with the Big Give Christmas Challenge


orth-East charity Aberdeen Cyrenians is asking people to take part in The Big Give,

Christmas Challenge 2021 which will match and multiply donations for the week of the 30th November - 7th December. Aberdeen Cyrenians supports people affected by homelessness, abuse, crisis, addiction, poverty, and other forms of social exclusion in the North East of Scotland. The charity is asking for people to donate over the week of the Christmas Challenge so that donations can be doubled to make an even greater impact for those who need it the most. Sam Begg, Fundraising and Communications Manager said “We are really excited to be taking part in The Big Give, Christmas Challenge again this year – especially after the success of last year's campaign. Thanks to all the support we received from the community last year we managed to raise an amazing £17,235 including our match funding and gift aid! "Because of this generosity we have been able to continue providing mental wellbeing support, specialist housing and wrap around support for those affected by domestic abuse,

LGBTQ+ discrimination, criminal justice, alcohol and drug addiction, and mental health challenges.” “The challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic are still overwhelming for many people in Aberdeen, with people still reaching out for help who would have never imagined themselves facing difficult circumstances. "With donations from the Christmas Challenge, we can continue to be there for those in need and support them through their journey to recovery.” “For many, this festive period will be even more difficult given the financial impact the pandemic has had across the country. "Over the past two years, Aberdeen Cyrenians has been needed more than ever by those in crisis. Our priority this winter is to ensure that we are there for people in need, providing essentials and working together to tackle the long-term issues that left people homeless or in crisis. "All the money raised will go towards helping us make lasting change for those who are facing hardship in our community. “The Big Give, Christmas Challenge kicks off on ‘Giving Tuesday’ which is

a Global Day of Giving, so it really is a fantastic time for people to take part and come together to do something special this Christmas. "We would really encourage everyone who would like to make a Christmas donation to us to donate on November 30th as this gives us the best chance of getting their donation doubled. "We would like to thank everyone for their support so far and to those already waiting to donate to The Big Give, Christmas Challenge. "From donating or sharing our campaign far and wide, it all makes a difference in helping us support those in need this Christmas.” The Big Give, Christmas Challenge begins at noon on 30th November and donations can be made at: To view all of Aberdeen Cyrenians Christmas appeals please visit For any queries please contact



December 2021


Trees for Torry! Join Cultivate in planting a memorable legac


o you love the outdoors? Want to see more trees in Torry? Hands on individual? Then Cultivate Aberdeen has the perfect volunteering day for you!

supporters who donated, we can’t wait to share our progress over the next few weeks and look forward to creating a wall of colour through a fantastic variety of tree species up at the site.”

The Aberdeen based organisation are embarking on a task to plant 400 saplings at their St Fitticks’ site and could use extra pairs of hands.

Additionally, we have received 17 apple, pear and plum trees from private donation, which will be a welcome addition to our orchard area.

Starting at 11:00hrs on 11th December this will be one of the last team days before the group winds down for the Christmas period and will be a great day to plant some incredible tree varieties at the now transformed former council depot on St Fitticks’ Road, Torry.

All equipment will be provided, including the all-important Tea and Coffee and sweet refreshments. Please wear suitable footwear and clothing for outdoor weather (it can be a wee bit breezy, but beautiful on site).

The aim is to create a natural screen and wind barrier against the effects of salt spray coming in off the North Sea and will also help wildlife stay on the move. The saplings planted will include dog rose, hawthorn, hazel, crab apple, and dogwood that are being supported by The Woodland Trust. Cultivate recently had a generous donation from the FitLikeJoggers running group who donated the cost of their (usual) running shirt to support more sustainable projects. David Scott, Founder and Leader of FitLikeJoggers said it was “great to be able to help local enterprise, Cultivate Aberdeen, by offering the chance to plant a tree instead of t-shirts at the last BrewDog Run”. Cultivate Aberdeen Founder, George Bellamy said, “it was a fantastic idea and we are so grateful to all the runners and

“We can’t wait to welcome the community, new volunteers, and visitors to our site. We will be starting by planting memory trees to those who donated to remember loved ones lost over the past years along with planting different varieties to support our ongoing commitment to improving the area and supporting our edible garden”. Everyone’s welcome but if you have any queries in the meantime then please contact or find Cultivate Aberdeen on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Cultivate Aberdeen is a volunteer-led charity with a vision to create kind, confident, and connected communities through the power of food growing with a mission for people of all ages and communities to play a part in Aberdeen’s sustainability. You can find out all about their work by visiting

News 15 ACVO December 2021


Aberdeen Green Challenge cy! CFINE asks you to take up the

and grow basil with them this winter

A new opportunity has become available, perfect for both individuals and community garden groups, to get growing this winter. Aberdeen based CFINE have partnered with Together TV to encourage green fingered growers in the city to to take up The Green Challenge and grow their own basil plants from free seeds that are delivered to your home! Growing basil is the perfect indoor winter time activity and as well helping you grow, there are also recipe guides so you can make the most of your basil. Rebecca Dunn, Community Growing Development Worker at CFINE said, "I'd like to urge everyone to sign up for the scheme and to join Together TV's Green Challenge to get free basil seeds in the post! "It doesn't matter if you are new to gardening and cooking as help is available on every step of the journey - it really is an easy way to learn a new a rewarding skill and to have some tasty and fresh ingredients on hand to enhance your dishes. "Together TV will walk you step by step through top tips and exclusive videos with TV Chef Rustie Lee for nurturing your basil seedlings and creating simple, tasty dishes. "Along the 8-week journey you'll have the opportunity to improve your gardening skills, learn some simple, new recipes, and connect with others. Let's all get growing together and Keep Growing Aberdeen!" You can order your free seeds at and remember to follow CFINE on Facebook and also to join the Keep Growing Aberdeen Facebook Group to see how others and getting on and to share both your photos and your own recipe ideas.



December 2021


Aberdeen Multicultural Centre launches innovative and ambitious plan to help tackle domestic carbon consumption and energy costs whilst creating local employment opportunities

RGU’s host annual stakeholder event on Monday 13 December 2021 16:00 - 18:30 As we approach the festive season, Robert Gordon University warmly extend the invitation to join them at their Annual Stakeholder Event at their Garthdee Campus. Hosted by RGU’s Board of Governors, and with restrictions permitting, the annual stakeholder event will allow RGU to share some highlights of the University’s work and its impact during the past year, and offer you an insight into their refreshed strategy for the year ahead. Speakers will include, Colin Hunter, Chair of the Board of Governors, Professor Steve Olivier, Principal, and members of the Executive. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions of the speakers. Following the formal part of the event, you are invited to stay on for some festive refreshments and networking with University staff and fellow attendees. Register now at

The Aberdeen Multicultural Centre (AMC) Enterprise Community Interest Company was first launched in 2017 and has now been re-structured and will trade as Aonach Architectural and Energy Services (AAES) This builds on a 5 year legacy of energy advice provided by AMC across the city supported by the Climate Challenge Fund. Now rather than simply advising on best practice, AAES will also be in a position to execute the work. The services will be underpinned by strong architectural engineering links with the appointment of Mrs Marwa AlQassass BSc who takes on the role of Architectural Engineer. Properties in NE Scotland are often built with construction techniques which make them difficult to heat - Mrs AlQassass will lead a pan-industry scientific and technical task force examining these issues and AAES will offer a range of services including insulation, Thermocill, Airex, radiator controls, fire alarms and a variety of other energy saving solutions. Longer term they have ambitious plans which will include full property renovation. As a not for profit community interest company, AAES also hope to create a range of employment opportunities from construction and home fitting, through to sales, business management and engineering skills for larger scale energy systems. Ahasan Habib, General Manager at AMC said "The funding available to charities has suffered badly these past 20 months and if we are to continue with our vital intercultural activities in Aberdeen, we must find a more reliable and sustainable funding model. AMC have strong links with 25 national and ethnic groups and societies across the the city and shire, illustrating the rich cultural diversity in the region "As part of our plans. we are also very open to hearing from any one interested in joining our team for full and part time employment, or those looking to make a transition back to work after facing health issues - no disability should be considered a barrier and we welcome applications from all. "We can create opportunities if required and we are especially keen to hear from experienced electricians who are looking for the opportunity to pass their skills on to apprentices." More information can be found at


ACVO News 18 December 2021

Lighthouse Legacy To Finale Raises £324,200! C lan Cancer Support is celebrating following the ‘Light the North’ lighthouse trail auction finale which took place at Thainstone Exchange at the start of November.

The in-person and on-line auction raised an incredible £324,200.00 for the Scottish cancer charity. Clan Cancer Support, in partnership with Wild in Art, shone a light across the north-east, Moray, Orkney and Shetland with ‘Light the North’ the lighthouse trail from 9th August to 17th October. This was the latest art sculpture trail in Scotland, and the largest displayed in the North-east, to inspire artists, schools and the public from across the country while raising fund for Clan Cancer Support. The sculpture trail drew people to explore, not only in Aberdeen, but the surrounding communities, Moray and the northern isles to see fifty 2.5m tall lighthouses, which were designed by some of the UK’s most talented artists. The event was made more special as the trail was present in each of the areas that Clan Cancer Support operates. All 50 large designed lighthouse sculptures, 8 small designed lighthouses, 2 small and 2 large blank lighthouses took centre stage and were sold in the grand finale in Inverurie, kindly supported by the ANM Group.

The highest bid of the evening went to Lot 38 - ‘Riding Out The Storm’ sculpture created by artist Rachel Davies and sponsored by bp.

The lighthouse raised £13,500 and was purchased by the Portsoy 75 Club who raised the funds via a crowdfunder to ensure the sculpture returned to Portsoy, where it spent the 10 weeks of the trail. Fiona Fernie, Clan's Head of Income Generation and Business Development and Project Director for Light the North, says, “We are still coming down from cloud nine. We are so grateful to everyone who generously placed their bids last night to be in with the chance of owning one of these incredible sculptures. We had a figure in mind, but this has surpassed that. Fiona continues, “The auction finale was the culmination of two years of hard work on this project with the curve ball of COVID-19 thrown in. It may have taken longer than anticipated to bring the lighthouse trail to the North-east of Scotland, but I think we can all agree it was worth the wait. To see how the people of Scotland took the trail to their hearts and the resulting funds it has raised is something that the Clan team will not forget and are very grateful for.” Fiona concludes, “Cancer patients have been particularly hard hit during the pandemic due to delays in diagnosis and treatment. Clan has helped people live with and beyond a cancer diagnosis for over 38 years, but we need the support

Mark Dalgarno and family in Fraserburgh after completi

News 19 ACVO December 2021


Continue As Auction !

ing the run

Fiona Fernie, Clan's Head of Income Generation and Business Development and Project Director for Light the North, celebrates the ‘Light the North’ auction finale at Thainstone Exchange, which raised £324,200 for Clan Cancer Support.

of projects and events such as ‘Light the North’ to continue being here for them and to support even more people which is exactly what the incredible funds raised last night will do. We want to take this final opportunity to thank everyone involved in making the trail,

farewell weekend, and auction possible - from the Wild in Art team, artists, sponsors, media partners, schools and local businesses to our incredible volunteers, team at Clan and of course the general public. These vital funds will help people live with and beyond their

or their loved one's cancer diagnosis and improve the quality of life for all those who turn to us for support.” To find out more about Clan Cancer Support and its services visit


ACVO News 20 December 2021

Four Pillars accredited as a Living Wage employer November saw the news that Four Pillars became accredited as a Living Wage Employer. The Living Wage commitment will see everyone working at Four Pillars receive a minimum hourly wage of £9.50, significantly higher than the government minimum for over 23s, which currently stands at £8.91 per hour. In Scotland, more than 15% of all jobs pay less than the real Living Wage around 350,000 jobs. Despite this, Four Pillars has committed to pay the real Living Wage and deliver a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work The real Living Wage is the only UK wage rate calculated according to the costs of living. Employers choose to pay the real Living Wage on a voluntary basis, recognising the value of their workers and ensuring that a hard day’s work receives a fair day’s pay. Since 2011 the Living Wage movement has delivered a pay rise to over 45000 people in Scotland and put over £240 million extra into the pockets of low paid Scottish workers. Four Pillars’ mission is to support the LGBT+ community with mental, emotional, physical, and sexual health issues. Aligning with the Living Wage movement and ethos drives home that message, by rightly supporting staff and contractors who support the community.

Peter Kelly, Director of The Poverty Alliance said, "Too many workers in Scotland are in the grip of poverty and employers choosing to pay at least the real Living Wage can loosen that grip. Payment of the real Living Wage allows those in work to become more included in society, better meet their everyday needs, and feel that their value and hard work is recognised by their employer. Congratulations to Four Pillars on their Living Wage commitment, and I hope more organisations follow their lead by becoming Living Wage accredited" Lynn Anderson, Living Wage Scotland Manager said: “We’re delighted that Four Pillars has become an accredited Living Wage employer. They join a growing movement of over 1900 employers in Scotland who together want to ensure workers have what they need to thrive. "Our Living Wage employer network includes lots of smaller employers as well as larger and iconic brands like SSE, Standard Life Aberdeen, Barrs,

Brewdog, & D.C. Thomson. We hope to see many more employers following their example.” Living Wage Scotland was established in April 2014 by the Poverty Alliance with the aim of increasing the number of employers in Scotland who are recognised for paying their staff the real Living Wage. Living Wage Scotland is a partnership with the Living Wage Foundation and is funded by the Scottish Government. The Poverty Alliance is the national anti-poverty network in Scotland with a long track record in working with individuals and communities affected by poverty to take action, and in providing support to influence policies solutions in Scotland. Accredited Living Wage employers in Scotland span private, public and third sectors. SMEs make up 75% of the total number of employers and more than half of Scotland’s local councils are accredited. Find out more at

News 21 ACVO December 2021


I open my eyes, there's no one An exhibition at the Aberdeen, Cruickshank Botanic Garden from 12th December 2021 to 28th February 2022


rom 12th December the poignant exhibition “I open my eyes, there's no one” will be on display at Cruickshank Botanic Garden in Aberdeen. This is a result of collaboration between the University of Aberdeen and the Polish Association Aberdeen, a Polish diaspora organisation established in 1993, whose ambition is to create and strengthen a positive image of Poland and Poles, promote democracy, human rights, including the rights of ethnic minorities. By referring to universal values, the exhibition deals with a difficult but important subject in an original and accessible way. It tells the story of the copyists from the Białystok ghetto, Jewish artists whose talent was exploited by the Nazis, which, however, did not protect them from extermination. The unique narrative of the exhibition is taken over by memoirs and graphics of Izaak Celnikier, a Holocaust survivor, a Jewish painter born in Poland, a prisoner of the ghetto and concentration camps, a participant of death marches, whose story was a direct pretext for the exhibition. Thanks to Celnikier's unpublished manuscripts and his post-war works, which were made available by the artist's family for the project, it will be possible to experience the events of the Białystok ghetto through the artist's words and art, gaining the true

perspective of a participant in the events.

artworks relate directly to the events in the Białystok ghetto.

Marta Surowiec, curator of the exhibition said: “We wanted the exhibition to be dominated by art and its "universal" language appealing to emotions – hence the manuscripts and the series of graphic works by Izaak Celnikier presenting the events in the ghetto in the timeline. Moreover, QR codes placed next to artists' biographies redirect the viewer to a website dedicated to the exhibition,

*Please note - the exhibition was originally due to open on Dec 5th but unfortunately the site suffered damage during Storm Arwen. However, the team have been working to get everything ready for the launch on the 12th Dec - follow Polish Association Aberdeen on Facebook to keep up to date with the latest news from the exhibition.

where their works will be available.” The main theme of Celnikier’s artworks is the cruelty of the Second World War as well as the martyrdom and extermination of European Jews. His unique style refers to Francisco Goya's art, giving testimony to crime and genocide in an equally expressive and suggestive manner. The exhibition will present the artist's works from the collection called La mémoire gravée, "Engraved in memory". Many of the presented


ACVO News 22 December 2021

Creative Lives survey 2021 - Spaces

As creative groups start to reconvene after the restrictions of the pandemic, Creative Lives wants to hear about the issues facing groups and venues in the UK and Ireland. The importance of appropriate community venues is a perennial issue for voluntary creative groups. In order to practice their creativity together, people need affordable places to meet, to rehearse, to practice and to perform. This short (10 minute) survey aims to build a picture of the pre-pandemic and current needs and concerns for creative groups and the spaces they occupy. They also want to hear about exciting and innovative uses of different spaces for creative cultural activity. The survey closes on Friday 17 December 2021. The information you share will inform our discussions with funders and governments. You can complete the survey at

Aberdeen based mental health charity Cairns Counselling launch community crowdfunder Cairns Counselling is an Aberdeen-based mental health charity, which offers understanding, compassion, and support through the provision of a free professional counselling service to ensure anyone in need of support can access it. The charity has secured larger premises, which will allow it to increase the number of counselling appointments it can offer by 50%, which is crucial to empower the charity to support more people and reduce the huge waiting list that has accumulated during the pandemic whilst the face-to-face counselling sessions have had to be suspended. The larger premises has more than doubled the charity's annual leasing costs and Cairns Counselling has faced a huge drop in donations and reduced income this year as it continues to navigate its way through the challenges presented by the pandemic. Cairns Counselling is appealing for donations from corporates, community groups and individuals to help cover the increased costs of the larger premises and donations will be match-funded by the National Emergencies Trust Local Action Fund to help the charity overcome the effects of the pandemic. Donations can be made through Cairns Counselling's Crowdfunder page until 12pm on 15th December at Anyone who would like to get in touch can contact Susan Will (Cairns Counselling - Funding Coordinator) via email: On behalf of the clients, volunteers, staff, and Trustees of the Cairns Counselling, thank you for your support.

News 23 ACVO December 2021


'Voices' the Get involved with the 70/30 new peer research campaign and help make Aberdeen trauma informed report published by includem 70/30 are a UK- and Ireland-wide network of individuals, organisations and elected representatives working together to reduce child abuse, neglect and other adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) by at least 70% by the year 2030 - this goal is where the 70/30 Campaign name comes from. This ambitious, but feasible goal is necessary because at least half of children in the UK will suffer ACEs during their childhood. The 70/30 Campaign was created after guidance from partners and expert advisers agreed that a 70% reduction is achievable if the right policies and actions are taken by decision-makers and those holding the purse strings. This campaign is also supported by many individuals who have lived experience of early life trauma and its impact - and their powerful insight into how things could change. Now the campaign is looking to involve more people and organisations as they work towards their goal. Anyone interested in joining a new steering group should get in touch with Isobel Dawson at to start the conversation.

Includem, the Scottish charity supporting children, young people and families to transform their lives, are pleased to announce the launch of the Voices Report which focuses on families’ experiences of poverty & services. Includem’s ongoing research provides an important platform for the voices of children, young people and families to be heard, and the Voices Report highlights their daily struggles of living in poverty, the complex challenges faced by families and the barriers to accessing services and support. Published alongside Co-Production Week, this work highlights how research and positive change can be made with people, instead of to them. In this study, peer researchers with experience of includem services were able use their own understanding and lived experience to establish a space of trust and openness around topics where stigma and feelings of shame are often prevalent in society. Read the full report at

ACVO News 24 December 2021




ducation based charity TechFest has introduced a podcast series to its curriculum of activity to help school pupils bridge the gap between education and industry. Launched in 2021 the podcast series, TechFest Talks, has been produced by students, for students and is designed to engage and inspire pupils to find out more about their interests and desired career paths from industry professionals.

celebrate the advances in diabetes treatment and care, marking the 100year anniversary of the discovery of insulin. Explorathon is funded by the European Commission under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions programme. The programme also aims to create further opportunities for pupils, with recent podcast hosts also taking part in the final of TechFest’s latest research competition STEM Next.

Each podcast episode hosts a new guest, offering pupils the chance to find out as much information as possible from various sources.

The podcast presenters used their newfound skills to interview mentors from the STEM Next project, particularly within the energy sector.

The first series features interviews with researchers from the University of Aberdeen involved in developing new treatments for diabetes, helping to better understand how the condition develops and the factors that influence it.

TechFest Talks offers huge potential for future collaborations across various sectors and has already been used in partnership with Skills development Scotland’s Scottish Careers Week.

Presented by senior school pupils as part of Explorathon 2021 to raise the profile of research and research careers, the series is intended to be an educational resource. With more than 4.9million people in the UK currently living with diabetes, the students used the opportunity to

Further podcast series are already in the pipeline with the next series focusing on the energy sector and climate change issues. As part of this upcoming content, students from NESCOL’s Girls in Energy programme are in the process of interviewing polar explorers before they leave for an expedition.

Dr Martha Gavan, education manager at TechFest said: “TechFest Talks allows students the chance to meet with industry experts at the forefront of their interests and chosen industry. “We have been blown away by the passion and commitment demonstrated by each of the pupils involved and look forward to working with them on different podcast projects going forward. The series will continue to be driven by students as much as possible and the TechFest team will be on hand to facilitate new opportunities, so pupils across Scotland can enjoy the content.” Alongside a year-round programme of STEM education events, TechFest runs Aberdeen and Northeast Scotland’s annual festival of STEM. In 2020 the event went digital for the first time in 27 years, reaching audiences on a global scale. For more information on TechFest’s work, and the TechFest Talks podcast series please visit

News 25 ACVO December 2021


ACVO News 26 December 2021

MAKE A BID, CHANGE A LIFE Local charity Charlie House encourages the people of NorthEast Scotland to bid on prizes to help change the lives of families

North-East charity Charlie House is encouraging people in the local area and beyond to bid on an amazing range of prizes in the Charlie House Christmas Auction and help to change the lives of families in the community. Charlie House supports babies, children and young people with life-limiting and lifethreatening conditions, and their families, and is working towards the goal of raising £8million to fund a specialist support centre on the grounds of Woodend Hospital in Aberdeen. The auction begins on the 1st of December 2021 and runs through to the 17th of December. Thanks to the generosity of the public and businesses, the charity has lots of fantastic prizes for keen bidders to get their hands on! Prizes include an exclusive painting from the Connor Brothers, bed and breakfast and golf for two at the Schloss Roxburghe, a James Bond experience in an Aston Martin followed by dinner and bed and breakfast at the Marcliffe, a £400 bottle of Macallan Whisky Concept No 2 and much, much more. Senior Fundraising Coordinator Donna Deans, who has been working hard to organise the auction, said, “With the Big Build Ball sadly being cancelled for the second year in a row due to Covid-19, the team at Charlie House wanted to bring a small piece of what we would usually do at the event online. The Charlie House Christmas Auction is a fantastic showcase of the importance of community within Aberdeen as we had a brilliant response from everyone that has donated prizes so far. It’s also our way of giving back to our supporters at Christmas time,

News 27 ACVO December 2021 offering them the chance to get involved and bid on lots of prizes that are perfect for gift giving or treating yourself.” She adds, “With prizes a total worth of prizes sitting to be auctioned at £15,000, we are really hopeful that we will raise a big amount that will go a long way in helping us continue to support families in the North-East of Scotland.” Louise Andrew, Charlie House CEO, also says, “When the pandemic forced our decision to postpone our annual Big Build Ball event, we knew we needed to find another way to raise the funds needed to continue our vital work and provide specialist support and accessible activities to the families that rely on our services. Christmas is an incredibly busy time for everyone, but it can be an extremely daunting time for families with children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions as they balance caring for their child and organising their festive plans. The Charlie House Christmas Auction will help raise funds so we can relieve some of the stress these families face not only at Christmas, but right through the year too.” The Charlie House Christmas Auction goes live at 12pm on Wednesday the 1st of December and will run until Friday the 17th of December. To find out more please visit If you are interested in donating a prize to the auction, we will continue to accept prizes until the 9th of December.

"Christmas is an incredibly busy time for everyone, but it can be an extremely daunting time for families with children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions as they balance caring for their child and organising their festive plans."


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Charlie House Announces Return of The Apprentice-Style Challenge for Local Businesses in 2022 Aberdeen based charity challenges local businesses to invest £100 in an 8-week challenge to raise funds for local families. Charlie House has announced that The Apprentice-style Challenge ‘Venture’ will make a return in early 2022 after a two-year break due to the Covid-19 pandemic and is encouraging businesses within the North-East to get involved. Venture challenges teams put forward by local businesses just eight weeks to invest £100 and generate as much income as possible to support the charity. All funds support Charlie House’s ‘Big Build Appeal’, a campaign started in 2018 to raise £8million for a specialist support centre on the grounds of Woodend Hospital in Aberdeen. The winning team receive the coveted ‘Venture Team 2022’ trophy with the winning team members securing a place on business mentor Bob Keiller’s Business Storytelling course, generously donated by Mr Keiller. The course is valued at £1,000, gives delegates the ability to boost marketing efforts for their business to achieve greater success. Local business mentor and Venture supporter Bob Keiller says: “Signing up for Charlie House Venture 2022 is a great way to light the entrepreneurial spark in an organisation. More than ever, companies need to be innovative, imaginative, and flexible. The teams that enter Venture 2022 will need to be resourceful, smart, and committed – just the sort of qualities most organisations need today.

He went on to say: it’s a great cause, great for you and your company and great for the team members. And for the winners, a great opportunity to learn game-changing skills." 2019 saw The Ledingham Chalmers team, crowned Charlie House Venture 2019 champions. Speaking of her involvement in last year’s challenge, Jennifer Young, Partner at Ledingham Chalmers, said: “Charlie House does such magnificent work for families in the North-East, and I’m just one of the people from our firm involved with the charity. Colleagues from across the firm came together and worked as a team on a business plan. I think it’s fair to say that everyone who took part pushed themselves a little, found out more about what they were capable of, and we all had a great deal of fun along the way raising money for such an important cause.” Susan Crighton, Director of fundraising for Charlie House, says: “Our inaugural Venture challenge in 2019 saw all of the teams come up with incredible ideas, we were blown away by it all really. Ideas included selling a mindfulness colouring book, braving staff fears with a visit from a giant python, a talk from a Channel 4 reality TV star and a one-off piece of artwork incorporating hand-drawn images from the families we support. We are so excited to see what the Venture 2022 teams bring.”

Susan continues: “At a time when organisations are getting back to the office, Venture 2022 offers a fantastic team building opportunity that will help to forge stronger relationships and collaborative working. Most importantly, teams will not only help raise vital funds for Charlie House’s Big Build Appeal, but they will help spread awareness about the vital support we currently carry out every day with families across North-East Scotland.” she said. Venture 2022 kicks off on Monday 31st January, with teams racing for the top spot for 8 weeks. To receive a free information and signup pack, email or call 01224 313333. To find out more about the Charlie House Big Build Appeal visit:


ACVO News 30 December 2021

Let’s Get Digital- City Wide Survey

The Let’s Get Digital Survey, which has been produced by the Digital Divide Working Group on behalf of the Aberdeen City Health and Social Care Partnership is currently looking for responses from people living in Aberdeen.

view their level of digital skills and identify areas or gaps which may require further support.

This survey will be open throughout December and into early January, so there is plenty time to have your say!

The survey can be accessed online at Alternatively, you can download the survey as a word document to complete your response.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Hayley Ross at

This survey looks at an individual’s access to digital devices, their confidence and skills using these devices and individual’s knowledge on where to go for support. It also looks at any potential barriers someone might face when becoming more digital.

The Digital Divide working group would like to encourage as many people as possible to give responses and they don't want digital access to be a barrier at this stage - if your organisation can distribute paper copies, or you know of anywhere that would benefit from some paper copies of this survey, please get in touch with Hayley Ross at

The hope is that the results of this survey will give an understanding of where citizens of Aberdeen currently

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ocal marketing and PR firm, and ACVO affiliate, instinct Marketing + PR formerly Innes Associates – is looking to help raise awareness of local charities and good causes. Inspired by the season of giving, the team is keen to feature and help profile north-east charities that are less well known and don’t always gain the exposure and awareness that they might need. “The concept came from the initial idea of a ‘giving tree’ but to do things a little differently,” said Debbie Rennie, Managing Director at Instinct. “We’ve supported charities over the years, but we’re not a huge team and

we don’t have unlimited budgets to help. What we do have are skills and expertise that we want to use to support the communities we live and work in. By featuring charities on our social channels and website, helping to raise awareness, we can play our part in making a difference to the diverse range of causes that so many charities are working hard to support. “We want to shine a light on those smaller, not so well-known organisations, share their stories, and raise awareness of how people can support them.” Starting in December the team will be profiling different charities each week and illustrating how best individuals and organisations can support them.

“We recognise that although this time of year can be particularly difficult, giving isn’t just for Christmas and this is something we’ll continue to do throughout 2022.For those featured throughout December, we will also be doing what we can to make small donations or make a valued contribution.” The team is seeking to hear from charities who are interested in being involved and featured. For more information and to talk to the team you can contact Debbie at


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One Seed Forward

share how they are making a big impact at a local level in ACVO's COP26 film

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People in communities all around Scotland have an important part to play in tackling climate change. By making changes to how we travel, what we buy, reducing our waste and changing how we use energy at home, we can help to reach net zero emissions by 2045. Aberdeen based voluntary organisation, One Seed Forward, have been making a positive impact on the climate since 2017 through their plant biodiversity and education programmes. One Seed Forward gives away free seeds, seedlings and plants to schools, community groups and the public in the North-East of Scotland. All they ask in return is for growers to share some of their crop with family, friends and neighbours or to use some of the crop for cooking at community events, or as donations to foodbanks. By doing this, as many people as possible can enjoy the taste of newly grown, fresh fruit and vegetables. During the fortnight of COP26, we visited One Seed Forward at one of their community garden sites to find out more and speak with Bob Donald and Jen Pittendreigh from the team about how they are making a big impact at a very local level. To find out more about One Seed Forward, visit

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SMOKING: A DRAG ON OUR COMMUNITIES In Aberdeen hundreds of people die each year and thousands are admitted to hospital because they smoke. This places an enormous burden of grief, preventable illness, disability, premature death on families and communities. If you are working in Aberdeen providing support to people and communities, then you can be sure they will be affected in some way by the impact of smoking and second-hand smoke.

poverty and the devastating impact it has on communities, Aberdeen’s Community Planning Partnership has set the admirable target that ‘no one will suffer due to poverty by 2026.’

Tackling poverty and inequality

Working to end poverty must include supporting people to quit smoking.

To rub salt in the wound, the costs of smoking fall most heavily on communities that are already struggling against the injustice of poverty. Smoking rates in the most deprived areas are five times higher than in the least deprived areas and smokers living in deprived areas run four times the risk of being hospitalised due to tobacco. Recent studies have shown around 69,000 households in Scotland could be lifted out of poverty if smoking costs were removed. Signalling the city’s commitment to tackling

Reducing the smoking rate in Scotland’s most deprived areas by just 1% would freeup an additional £16 million every year. It’s vital we approach the issue of smoking supportively, with empathy and no hint of blame. We’re not here to make judgements about the ways people cope with their circumstances. Crucially it is a matter of addiction and social justice, not poor decision-making or lifestyle choices. Twothirds of smokers tell us that they want to quit and most were only children when they picked up the habit.

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It’s no surprise that after health reasons the next most common reason given for wanting to stop smoking is financial. ​It’s an expensive habit and the costs can quickly add up. Someone who smokes 20 a day of the cheapest supermarket cigarettes can spend around £67 a week or £287 a month. Local organisations play a vital part in improving people’s mental, physical and financial wellbeing. Aberdeen’s vibrant third sector are knowledgeable about their community, trusted by the people they work with and capable of giving respectful, sensitively delivered advice in familiar settings. That’s why ASH Scotland are looking to work with partners in Aberdeen with a vested interest in ending poverty and reducing inequalities. Together we can shape understanding and test ways forward to address smoking in a compassionate, supportive and person-centred way. Community organisations operating in Aberdeen can access small grants of £500 to improve wellbeing by addressing smoking. ASH Scotland are also on-hand with a package of free advice, resources and training. Interested? Contact Connie for more information and an application link Improving mental health Tobacco widens inequalities, increasing illhealth and makes life more difficult for those already facing challenges. The proportion of people in Aberdeen being prescribed drugs for anxiety, depression or psychosis has increased significantly in recent years. It’s an insidious combination as people with mental health problems are far more likely to smoke and smoke more heavily, fused with concerns that the pandemic is having a detrimental impact on mental health.

For many people, smoking feels like a way of coping. It is experienced as stress relief, and gives a sense of control in difficult living situations. However, not only does research show that smoking contributes to feelings of anxiety and depression but stopping smoking is proven to boost mental health, improve mood, and help relieve stress, anxiety and depression. ASH Scotland’s free IMPACT training courses provide guidance for mental health support services on starting conversations about the effect of smoking on mental health. For upcoming dates visit Get involved: support, training and resources from ASH Scotland ASH Scotland want to work directly with communities in Aberdeen to support them to be healthier, wealthier and happier by breaking free from the harms of tobacco. Take the first step - contact our Engagement Team to arrange a conversation about how we can support you improve the health and wellbeing of the people you work with To get started in responding to the impact of smoking on your community, you can: • Apply for a small grant of £500 to help you respond to the impact of smoking in your community, email Connie for an application link • Register for free training at . This will help increase your knowledge and confidence around smoking and tobacco issues. • Signpost people to NHS Quit Your Way services, where they can get free, expert support to quit. • Pledge support Scotland’s Charter for a Tobacco-free Generation. It is free and shows your organisation's commitment to tackling the harm caused by smoking.

ACVO News 38 December 2021



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ACVO News 40 December 2021

“Don’t lose hope there is always a solution” An interview with Karen Bain, Operations Manager of Ditch Debit with Dignity

For a number of years, Ditch Debt with Dignity has been offering support and advice to people facing financial difficulties. What was the inspiration behind the formation of the organisation? In 2009 our founder, Wendy Fleming, woke up one Sunday morning at 5am and wrote down a dream. It was about how true Stewardship comes from using the time, talents, and money that we as individuals have.

It is this which has driven the organisation to survive through some really tough times; lack of funding, lack of staff, lack of awareness from people who do not know what it is DDwD is all about.

Using “our gifts” to reach our full potential whilst engaging with and empowering others to reach theirs. It was from this point Wendy started to explore what she could do using the gifts she had, to help and support others.

In the early days there have been many times that Wendy has wanted to give up on the vision, but something her husband Zak, now the Charity Chair, said gave her hope – “surely helping one family is enough reason to keep going”. And it is. If we can stop one person from committing suicide due to the anxiety, stress, and shame of the financial situation they are in, then we must keep going no matter what struggles the organisation faces.

From 2009-2014 she helped families that would contact her through word of mouth via her “day” job as a Chartered Financial Planner. During those 5 years she began to learn and develop from the people who were in receipt of her support and help, to which she offered freely. In 2014, after years of building on her knowledge and expertise, she had the nerve and support of two others, who shared her vision, to set up Ditch Debt with Dignity (DDwD) as it is today, supporting people perceived to be financially stable and are privately struggling with their finances. The reason she wanted to focus on that group of people, who to the outside world seemed to be financially stable, was that in her experience the least likely to ask for help. People who earn money that preclude them from receiving benefits, often feel like they do not deserve help, should know better, or should be able to get themselves out of the situation. They are also less likely to share the situation with their partners, friends’, or colleagues as most of their peers seem to manage their finances well. Men in these circumstances are more susceptible to self-harm and even suicide.

Obviously the pandemic and resulting employment issues has had a major impact on people across the country, have you seen evidence of this through your work at Ditch Debt with Dignity? Across the third sector, the ability to carry out face to face activities has been somewhat restricted of late and even with restrictions being lifted a return to normal life will not be immediate. Charities like DDwD provide vital services in the community every day, which sometimes goes unseen. Many people will emerge from this crisis with financial difficulties, health concerns and a feeling of disconnect. They will need their communities and charities more than ever. That is a challenge that the sector will undoubtedly work hard to meet, despite the difficult financial circumstances it will be facing.

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Where we are already working hard to support vulnerable people in our community, those that are at risk losing their homes, livelihoods and having the threat of bankruptcy. We are keen to be using our skills and knowledge to access a wider range of people in the community, who are desperately in need of our services. Our team understands that our interaction with clients and the support of families not only deals with debt management but also the personal aspects of an individual’s life and realise the extent to which this can affect their mental health. As we move into our new normal, we are facing some uncertainty about the future. With furlough ending and organisations will be trying to decide the best course of action to take for business and employees, having already faced a devastating year of unpredictability and risk. Some will most likely decide that the future is too insecure for them and close up shop. Whilst we do not want to be the messengers of doom, we do want to be there for the people who find themselves in that kind of precarious position, not knowing where to turn, feeling isolated and in need of help.

As an organisation you offer help and advice for people facing financial crisis, what kind of services and support do you offer? Ditch Debt with Dignity (DDwD) is an Aberdeen based charity which supports people in the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire area. We provide free, non-judgmental, discreet, professional advice and support to people perceived to be financially stable, privately struggling with their finances, empowering them to have clarity and positive, fresh perspective for the future. We offer clients a realistic plan in place to repay their debts. In addition, we work with them to understand the issues that led to the debt, enabling them to establish a healthier relationship with money and put in place a more secure financial foundation for the future. Since 2017 we have worked with over 50 families in the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire whose debt totalled over £750,000.00. The affordable debt repayment plans we have agreed on our clients’ behalf have resulted in the repayment of more £200,000 of debt. The DDwD team are fully aware of the impact that debt has on families. We take a holistic approach to work with families to identify what additional support may be necessary. This can include supporting clients to face the personal challenges that have led to their debt problems. We have assisted clients who have a severe propensity for over-spending, people who have become caught in a spiral of gambling addiction and those whose inability to budget has seen a drastic amount of debt from bills

ACVO News 42 December 2021

accumulating and people who have recently been made redundant and have commitments they cannot now fill. Clients can have tremendous problems in facing the reality of the impact on the family. The impact of debt can also impact on the client’s professional life as s/he is unable to focus on work and so the spiral continues. We are there to provide a solution as well as a safe space to work through the journey, providing support so that the circle does not continue.

their progress along each step of the way. These combined assets will give people hope, enabling them to see a light at the end of the tunnel and get them making a difference in their own lives for the better.

Could you tell us more about your new video resource?

It was extremely important to us to be able to host these free videos on our website, giving individuals a range of options and services from our organisation, whilst still offering the 1:1 sessions that we offer at present. The videos have given us the ability to reach a much larger client group than we can with advisers alone as they are not bound to a specific geographical area. That’s the beauty of the video resource, it can be used anywhere, at any time and at a pace that is right for the individual.

The video resource is for individuals to use, in conjunction with advisers’ support or on their own. These videos go through the entire process of recovering from debt in great detail, they also include many resources to enable individuals to keep track of

While we thrive on client interaction, we realise that debt is a very private matter, and the videos may just give the advice and guidance needed to set you on the path without having any human interaction. Although we are only a click away if additional support is needed.

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“Don’t lose hope there is always a solution. Don’t try to take it all on yourself, we have the capabilities and the expertise, just get in contact with us and discuss your situation and see how we can assist. We already have a great track record of attainment and of being discreet and professional, let us help you too. We can take some of the burden for you. We are not here to judge, and we certainly don’t lecture. We offer salvation and are on your side.”

Find out more about Ditch Debt with Dignity and access their interactive video resource at

ACVO News 44 December 2021

“The pandemic accelerated the move to digital and with it left many people behind who haven’t been able to access the support services and information required to assist with the issues they are experiencing.” An interview with Bea Dawkins, Community Development Worker, Cornhill Community Centre

Community Centre’s have always played an important part in bringing people together by providing a familiar space in the heart the community to gather, socialise, learn and access support and information when needed.

Like many services which had a face-to-face delivery method at its core, when the Covid-19 Pandemic struck in March 2020 and brought with it lockdown and social distancing measures, Community Centres were required to adapt and rethink the ways in which they could connect with the people of the areas they serve and facilitate that sense of community at a distance. Cornhill Community Centre is situated in an Aberdeen neighbourhood which Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) data identifies as having issues with poverty, health concerns and drug & alcohol misuse. Being able to target communities directly to asses their needs with the aim of creating a more equal and fairer society is a key aim of Aberdeen’s Local Outcome Improvement Plan and, going forward, Cornhill Community Centre is determined to be part of it. Bea Dawkins, Community Development Worker at Cornhill Community Centre shared some of her aspirations for the reopening of the centre, their potential for partnership working and details of the networks of support they currently offer.

“The pandemic has meant my journey with Cornhill Community Centre has been a bit of an unusual one so far…

“I only actually started working at the centre a month before we went in to complete lockdown last March. It was frustrating as I had developed a programme of events which we were about to launch which all obviously had to be put on hold. “However, I felt it was still important to reach out to the community, not only to remind them that we were still here to help but also so that we could connect people with each other. Isolation as a result of lockdown had a detrimental impact on people’s lives and in an area like Cornhill, where there are already issues with mental health and alcohol and substance misuse, it had the potential to exacerbate existing problems hugely. That’s why we tried to play a part in reaching people and providing activities to reinforce that sense of community and interconnectivity. “So we launched a series of regular online meetings and workshops including a music group where people could get together to listen to and discuss music as well as share original compositions; a poetry group which turned out to be really successful and saw people expressing their feelings and experiences through their work; a mother and toddler music group music for early year cognitive development; a crafting group where the coordinator hand delivered all the necessary materials to participants before hand so that everyone

News 45 ACVO December 2021 could make things together over the Zoom call; a healthy habits discussion group and a wellbeing group led by a Capacitar practitioner which was a really great way to unwind at the end of the week. “By offering these regular activities free of charge we were able to connect with our community on a regular basis and also signpost people to support that was available if they found they were struggling with things. What mattered most though I think was that social connection – the friendships that formed, the discussions that were had, the thoughts that were shared, I think that has made a huge difference to people’s lives over the past 18 months. “And now, as we prepare to open the Community Centre once again, which we hope will be at some point over the coming months, we want to build on the success of our online workshops and further fulfil our potential as a place where people can feel a sense of belonging and get the support they need. “If you look at where we are, right in the middle of Cornhill, we are in the perfect geographic location to act as a hub to offer help and support to the community. We have the real potential to make a difference to lives and to alleviate some of those issues noted in the SIMD data, especially the issue of poverty.

“Going forward, what we are hoping to do is to form partnerships with organisations in the city to deliver programmes of support which will benefit the people of Cornhill… “Online engagement is one thing but having a physical, trusted space within a community where people know they can come, and feel comfortable to do so, is a huge

advantage when it comes to reaching people. “What I would ideally like to see is the establishment of employment workshops and support sessions where people who are struggling to find work can come along and feel listened to and supported. Likewise, I see the potential for working in partnership with drug and alcohol support services to deliver regular in community support within the informal setting of our centre. “I’m also looking at the ways in which other organisations deliver services and bring communities together across the city. For example, we are considering establishing a food pantry and, taking inspiration from other community organisations which have popped up over lockdown, I think it would be great for the Community Centre to act as a base for the facilitation of community action – I envision organised litter picks and people from the community getting together to help each other and their wider community. “The pandemic showed us that people do want to connect with each other and I think by offering a central base and by actively promoting these ideas and opportunities that Cornhill Community Centre can act as a catalyst for real change in the area. If we can bring the community together we can identify where the problems are, what the needs are and with strong partnership working, can be in the position to direct people to services so they can get the support they need. “The pandemic accelerated the move to digital and with it left many people behind who haven’t been able to access the support services and information required to assist with the issues they are experiencing. I’m excited about the move back to face to face delivery and look forward to engaging with people at the Community Centre and to bringing the people of Cornhill back together soon.


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“Aberdeen is sometimes a bit polarising as city, alongside the perceived wealth there are a lot of people who really struggle to get by. “Obviously with the recent cuts in Universal Credit and the rise in energy prices, the coming months will be very difficult for people. There are so many organisations in the city that do amazing work to support people in need and I think it’s important that as a community organisation we work with them so the people we serve in Cornhill know that help is available and that we are always here to support them.

“I feel in a way we are reopening with a clean slate and with a lot of potential and would like to invite any organisations who would like to work with us and deliver their services face to face in Cornhill to get in touch.”

More information about Cornhill Community Centre, the work they do and the current programme of online events can be found at You can also follow them on social media at and


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a guest feature from Grampian Women's Aid

WHY 16 DAYS? Each Year we support 16 Days of Activism (or Action) Against Gender-Based Violence, an annual international campaign running from 25th November to 10th December. Look out for: daily social media posts; shared posts from partner organisations; connecting women events; and our 16 Days training session. Please join us on the 2021 campaign. You can find out more about 16 Days of Activism

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WHO WE ARE Grampian Women’s Aid is a feminist organisation which has been delivering domestic abuse services in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire for over 40 years. Domestic abuse is a cause and consequence of gender inequality and as part of the Women’s Aid movement, we work to achieve political, economic, and social gender equality. We take a gender analysis approach of domestic abuse which identities the differences between and among women and men in terms of their relative position in society and the unequal distribution of resources, opportunities, constraints, and power. In this way, conducting a gender analysis has allowed us to develop interventions that address gender inequalities and meet the needs of women.

SUPPORT We provide refuge accommodation for women, children, and young people who are experiencing domestic abuse, offering a safe place and protection. We also provide outreach support to women, children and young people in their community. We deliver individualised support on issues such as safety, understanding the impact of domestic abuse, understanding of healthy relationships, improving access to services, helping to improve day to day coping skills, and understanding emotions and feelings. We provide women, children and young people with highly trained support staff who have specialist knowledge and experience.


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SERVICE USER ENGAGEMENT: OWN MY LIFE PROGRAMME We facilitate group work courses which, by attending, support women to regain ownership of their lives. Content includes short videos, structured discussions and group and individual activities. These courses include evidencing how popular culture reinforces, or perpetuates, sexism, rape culture, violence, misogyny, disrespect in relationships and abusive behaviour. These groups also lead to an increase in participation and activism.

EDUCATION & AWARENESS RAISING We provide a wide range of awareness raising events and campaigns so that our communities have an increased understanding of domestic abuse and gender inequality which is key to changing how society recognises the cause and consequences of domestic abuse. We do this through presentations, training, our website, local media, and social media. We offer a regular programme of training open to the community, and to partner agencies in order to develop their workforce. These are delivered in a flexible way by face to face or through on-line webinars. Our training is informed both by leading research and delivery models, and by practical information given directly to us from the women, children, and young people we support.

THE FUTURE Our long-term vision is of a fair and equal society in which women, children and young people are fully included and can live free from all forms of abuse, empowered with knowledge, skills, and tools to live life to their full potential. We will continue to develop our organisation, recognised by all stakeholders, professional and individual, as the specialist and preferred service provider, for women, children and young people who have experienced domestic abuse.

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INFLUENCING SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT POLICY As part of the Women’s Aid movement, Grampian Women’s Aid play a vital role in campaigning and lobbying for effective responses in legislation and policy making. All our responses are shaped by listening to women, children and young people who have used our service. We recently welcomed the opportunity to submit a response to the consultation on the recent changes to The Children (Scotland) Act. To shape our response, we consulted with women who had previously used our service on these proposed changes to how Child Welfare Reporters and Child Contact Centre staff should be trained and regulated. Firstly, we asked the women about their experience of Child Welfare Reporters to help understand how best to make improvements. The Child Welfare Reporter (CWR) is usually a solicitor but could in future be other roles, for instance a social worker. The CWR can be instructed by the court to speak to children about the matter the court is considering and to take the children’s views on certain matters. They may also be instructed to speak with adults, including both parents, and sometimes make recommendations to the court around the child’s best interests in the case.

The new law sets out that only trained people with appropriate qualifications and skills should be allowed to work as CWR and that these people should be listed in a register that the courts can use. The women we spoke to gave us valuable information on the types of skills and experience they thought CWR’s should have in order to be effective in their role. Secondly, we asked the women about child contact centres. The Children (Scotland) Act makes significant changes to how child contact centres should be regulated and how staff who work in contact centres should be trained. We asked the women about their experience of child contact centres to help us understand how best to make improvements. Our contribution to the consultation should help children who visit child contact centres feel safe and ensure that the spaces are suitable for all ages. Also, our contribution will help to ensure that the people who work at child contact centres have the right kind of training and experience to work alongside families, making them feel safe and comfortable. Grampian Women’s Aid would like to thank all the women who gave up their time to contribute to this consultation.


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Myth #1 It only happens to poor women in rundown areas The Truth is.... Domestic abuse happens to women of all ages and ethnicities and from all walks of life

Myth #3 Some women deserve it The Truth is.... No-one deserves to be abused, no matter how they may have behaved

Myth #2 Alcohol and drugs are causes of domestic abuse The Truth is.... Perpetrators are the cause of domestic abuse; drugs and alcohol cannot be used to deny responsibility

Myth #4 If it was that bad, women would just leave The Truth is.... There are many reasons why women don’t leave including fear, shame, guilt, hope and love

Myth #5 She must have provoked him The Truth is.... It’s important to remember that the perpetrator is ALWAYS responsible for the abuse

Myth #7 What goes on behind closed doors should stay there The Truth is.... Domestic abuse is a criminal act and people must speak out for it to stop

Myth #6 If it’s not physical, it’s not domestic abuse The Truth is.... Domestic abuse can be verbal, emotional, controlling, coercive, degrading, psychological, financial, and sexual, as well as violent

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Myth #8 It must have just been a ‘domestic’, every couple argues The Truth is.... It is never okay for an argument to escalate to violence or emotional abuse

Myth #10 Perpetrators are always nasty, violent men who are easy to spot The Truth is.... Most perpetrators live a seemingly normal life and are skilled at hiding their behaviour from those on the outside including friends, family, and work colleagues

Myth #12 She didn’t tell anyone when it started so she must be lying The Truth is.... Many women hide the truth as they feel scared and ashamed or believe they are to blame

Myth #14 Domestic abuse is just a temporary loss of temper

Myth #9 Just as many men experience domestic abuse The Truth is.... Domestic abuse is a gendered crime. Statistically, more cases of domestic abuse are experienced by women and committed by men

Myth #11 Just because he abuses his partner doesn’t mean he’s a bad father The Truth is.... Children who witness or experience domestic abuse can be traumatised longterm and are also victims of child abuse

Myth #13 People who experience domestic abuse are sometimes to blame The Truth is.... Survivors of domestic abuse are never to blame; the perpetrator must always be held responsible

Myth #15 Domestic abuse happens more in some cultures and communities than others The Truth is....

The Truth is.... Domestic abuse is not related to anger management or temper, it is about sustained control

Domestic abuse can happen to anyone regardless of race, religion, education or how much money you have


December 2021 54


OWN MY LIFE PROGRAMME Own My Life is an innovative, creative & educational course supporting women who have been subjected to domestic abuse by a partner to regain ownership of their lives - of their mind, body, choices, relationships, and feelings. The programme consists of weekly 2-hour sessions over a twelve-week period, taking place on the same day and at the same time each week. The sessions include structured discussions and group and individual activities. Short videos explain complex concepts about trauma and abuse in easy-to-understand video clips; and inform and evidence how popular culture reinforces, or perpetuates, sexism, rape culture, violence, misogyny, disrespect in relationships and abusive behaviour. Each course attendee receives an individual learning journal which provides space for reflection and includes all the information provided throughout the course. In addition, the journal can be used as a useful ongoing resource after the course has finished. You can find out more about Own My Life at

WOMEN’S CAFÉ The monthly Women’s Café is available to all women who have used, or are using, our services. It’s an opportunity for women to take some time out, to meet and connect with other women in a safe and supportive environment; to have a cuppa, a chat, and some fun & laughter in an informal setting. The drop-in Café is held on the first Thursday of every month, from 10:30 to 12:30, on the first floor of our offices in Aberdeen. Children are welcome. Please note the Cafe location is up one flight of stairs and there is limited space for buggies. You can find out more about the monthly café at Or, alternatively, email or call 01224 593381, leave a message and Sandra, our Group Worker, will get back to you.

GET IN TOUCH If you are experiencing domestic abuse, please call us on 01224 593381, email or complete our ONLINE FORM for free, confidential, advice. When our phone lines are closed, Scotland’s Domestic Abuse & Forced Marriage helpline is always available on 0800 027 1234, email or on WebChat

News 55 ACVO December 2021

Survivor The end of the date brought our first kiss, Butterflies galore - nothing was amiss, Daytime texts and phone calls every night, Could it be love? I think it might. With every day we got closer, It then turned into a roller-coaster. Wasn't allowed to see my friends, And soon tracked all my spends, Couldn’t leave the house looking nice, Wasn’t allowed a mobile device, Then it was made crystal clear, Under no circumstances was I to have a career. The kisses turned to kicks, Then came the mind tricks, Bullying, name calling and alienation, Then told me it was just my imagination, And if at night I wasn't in the mood, I was then withheld from having any food, But that didn't matter, still forced to perform, All of this quickly become my new norm. Cuts and bruises I was always in pain, Nothing of the old me was left to remain, And if another looked my way, The next time I would need to stay. Wasn’t allowed to leave this place, Not with bruises all over my face, Which by now there were more than not, Unbroken skin was hard to spot. One day I was left at deaths door, Couldn’t move I was left on the floor. I just wanted my life to end, It got so bad that I couldn’t pretend. Why did I stay I hear you ask? All the sorrys were just a mask, First apologies were flowers and gifts, And then if I ran threats of cut wrists. Guilt trips were used every time, I was in too deep, I was scared for my life. Until one day when out of sight, I ran out the open door with all my might, I ran outside to flag down a driver, And from that day on I've been a survivor! So if you start reading between the lines, Please don't ignore the very first signs, To all of the victims of domestic abuse, It's never too late to finally break loose.

This powerful and thought-provoking poem reflects the experiences and feelings of many survivors of domestic abuse. Laura pens poems about real life issues with the purpose of bringing awareness and hope to victims and others. We feel privileged she has chosen to share the passionate and insightful words of “Survivor” with us. Thank you, Laura.


ACVO News 56 December 2021

Volunteering Latest from Mike Melvin and Volunteer Aberdeen Find out more at

#IVD2021 International Volunteer Day 2021 Volunteers in Aberdeen and across the globe have once again made an outstanding impact this year and been a real lifeline for people and communities like never before. ACVO is therefore delighted to join millions of people across the globe in recognising UNV - United Nations Volunteers International Volunteers Day 2021 which takes place on the 5th December 2021. UNV - United Nations Volunteers coordinates International Volunteer Day on 5th December every year to recognise and promote the incredible efforts of UN Volunteers and volunteers across the globe. Every day, volunteers dedicate time and effort to ensure the inclusion of people otherwise often left behind, drive climate action and advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). On #IVD2021-International Volunteer Day 2021, people, communities and organisations across the world will join in celebrating the contributions of millions who #VolunteerNow for our common future.

ACVO extends a huge International Volunteer Day 2021 thank you to all volunteers in Aberdeen and across the globe -For further information about UNV International Volunteer Day 2021 please visit -For details of volunteering in Aberdeen please visit


Operation Elf 2021 Whether you want to volunteer as a one off as part of your corporate volunteering programme, pick up a few festive shifts or explore supporting us longer term when you can, we value any time you can give us. There are lots of things our volunteering elves can do in an hour or two that will help fund our life saving research. At this busy time of year, there's lots to be done in our shops and stores to help raise funds for our life-saving research. This festive season, do you have some time to give the BHF a helping hand, even just for an afternoon or a day to donate the gift of time to your local store? What better way to get into the Christmas spirit than supporting a charity whilst sporting a Santa hat and tinsel?

ACVO News 58 December 2021

If you would like to elf out over the festive period, email or call 01224 252769 If you prefer to pop in and see us you will find us at 31 Union St, Aberdeen AB11 5BP Heart and circulatory diseases can affect anyone and everyone; in the UK alone these diseases kill 1 in 4 people. We are committed to changing that and beating the heartbreak caused by heart disease, stroke, vascular dementia and diabetes. Our volunteers have a huge impact on raising money through our stores, and your support can help. You can also find the location of all our BHF shops and stores here Thank you, we appreciate every hour of time you are able to give this Christmas


ACVO News 60 December 2021

MCR Pathways:

Volunteer Mentors wanted at Lochside Academy MCR Pathways has been partnering with schools since 2007 so we know just how amazing the young people of Scotland are. However, sometimes due to situations out of their control, young people face challenges that make it more difficult for them to succeed. That’s why providing the simple support of a mentor is so important and has been proven to make a life-changing difference. This is where you can help… MCR recruits and trains volunteer mentors who are matched with a young person that shares similar interests, hobbies or career aspirations. Mentors meet with their young person at their school for just one hour per week and the difference this makes is transformational. The mentoring relationship is unique as young people establish a friendship with someone who’s there, just for them and is not a teacher, parent, guardian or counsellor. The impact on their life is huge. Recent ScotCen research shows 81.6% of mentored care-experienced pupils left school for college, university or a job, compared with 56.3% of those young people not being mentored. We are hoping to help even more young people in the area reach their potential and are seeking volunteer mentors at Lochside Academy, Aberdeen. The only qualification you need to be a mentor is the desire to help. All young people are different and have different needs, so it’s important that our mentors come from all walks of life. Volunteer mentors are asked to commit just one hour a week for a minimum of one year and will be fully trained and PVG checked before being matched with a young person. The building of the relationship with a young person is facilitated by our fantastic MCR Pathways Coordinators who are based in each school and work with our young people on a daily basis. We’re asking you to #BeTheBridge between a young person’s talent and life possibilities. For only one hour per week, you can change a life. Why not do something to make a difference that lasts a lifetime. All help is greatly appreciated. Please register online at or contact our Mentor Services Team in Aberdeen at or 07709249661.


ACVO News 62 December 2021

Aberdeen City Health & Social Care Partnership Vaccination Support Volunteers The latest from our team. We are looking for individuals to take up an exciting opportunity to support the delivery of the vaccination programme in Aberdeen city. Working with the team at the Aberdeen City Vaccination Centre in the former John Lewis site in the city centre, you will be an integral part of the team supporting the flow of patients through the centre and providing help to the public where required. Duties will include greeting patients as they attend the centre, assisting those with mobility issues as they move through the centre, and escorting patients to other areas (i.e. toilet facilities) where required. You may also be asked to help with restocking of supplies, assist with queue management, and support the team with other tasks where required. All help makes a difference and is greatly appreciated. For more information please contact Ali Macaulay, Support Manager at email: or tel.: 07790 713260.

Volunteering at BHF The(British latest from our team. The BHF Heart Foundations) is here to Beat Heartbreak Forever. We are working towards a world free from the fear of heart and circulatory diseases. By 2030, we want to see advances across the spectrum of heart and circulatory diseases; to prevent these conditions from developing and we want those with existing conditions to have better, longer lives.In Aberdeen we have brilliant opportunities to help out volunteering at our wonderful BHF stores including: Retail Music & Entertainment Volunteers – BHF Store, 31 Union Street, Aberdeen AB11 5BP Retail Cashier Sales Assistant Volunteers – BHF Store, 31 Union Street, Aberdeen AB11 5BP or 202 Union Street, Aberdeen AB10 1QS Retail Stock Room Assistant Volunteers – BHF Store, 31 Union Street, Aberdeen AB11 5BP or 202 Union Street, Aberdeen AB10 1QS Online Sales Volunteers – BHF Store, 31 Union Street, Aberdeen AB11 5BP For further details about any of these volunteer roles please contact our Shop Manager, Eleanor at or 01224 252769.

LATNEM Peer Support (AKA Let’s All Talk North East from Mums): Peer Supporter Volunteers The latest our team. Did you know that around 1 in 5 Mums and birthing people will develop a mental illness in the ante/perinatal period? At LATNEM (AKA Let’s All Talk North East Mums) we have lived experience. We’ve been there and now provide a safe, free peer support group for mums and birthing people in the North East of Scotland. LATNEM is registered as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR)-registration number: SC051029. We now have an exciting opportunity for the right person to help us start an Aberdeen group. Our groups are warm, welcoming spaces where Mums and birthing people can come together and support each other, guided and assisted by our trained volunteers. All help is greatly appreciated and makes a real difference. For further information please contact Gill Skene, Chair and Peer Supporter at email: Further details are also available on our website at:

News 63 ACVO December 2021


Depute Area Conveners-Children’s Hearings Scotland (Aberdeen) The latest from our team. The children’s hearings system is Scotland’s unique care and justice system for infants, children and young people in need of care, protection and support. For nearly half a century, lay tribunal members have been making decisions about the best interests and welfare of children and young people in need of protection, help and support at children’s hearings. Currently, around 3,000 people dedicate their unpaid time to the system, sitting on hearings, or acting as Area Support Team (AST) members to ensure that serving Panel Members in their local area are supported and managed effectively. To assist in this we are currently recruiting Deputy Area Convenors in Aberdeen. Supporting the local Area Convener, Deputes help manage a team of volunteers, working with local partners and engaging with Panel Members. We need strong communicators who are enthusiastic and committed to securing the rights of children and young people. Excellent training and support is provided. All help makes a real difference and is greatly appreciated. For full information and to apply please go to If you want to have an informal chat about the role, or need any additional support, please get in touch with

Mum and Toddler Group Volunteers – Bethany Trust The latest Christian from our team. The Mum and Toddler Group aims to lead discussion amongst local women, and provide a space to build connections and community. The children range from 0-4 years old. At this age range, children are active, inquisitive and developing their personalities! The main goal of this volunteering role is playing with and caring for the children. The Mum and Toddler Group takes place on Wednesday mornings at Jesus House Torry, 45 Glenbervie Road, Aberdeen, AB11 9JE. *General responsibilities: Getting out appropriate toys and games for free play; Leading simple activities organised by the WFW; In time, and if they have appropriate experience, volunteers may wish to plan activities or games themselves; Adhering to training and guidelines given to ensure the safety and well-being of the children. Excellent support and relevant training is provided to all volunteers. Training will be given at induction and on an ongoing basis as necessary. All help makes a difference and is greatly appreciated. For more details please contact Stevie Stacy, Homelessness Prevention Coordinator North at E Mail: or tel.: 07436251810.

MCR Pathways: Volunteer Mentors (Lochside Academy) The latest from our team. MCR Pathways has been partnering with schools since 2007 so we know just how amazing the young people of Scotland are. However, sometimes due to situations out of their control, young people face challenges that make it more difficult for them to succeed. That’s why providing the simple support of a mentor is so important and has been proven to make a lifechanging difference. This is where you can help… MCR recruits and trains volunteer mentors who are matched with a young person that shares similar interests, hobbies or career aspirations. Mentors meet with their young person at their school for just one hour per week and the difference this makes is transformational. We are hoping to help even more young people in the area reach their potential and are seeking volunteer mentors at Lochside Academy, Aberdeen. The only qualification you need to be a mentor is the desire to help. All young people are different and have different needs, so it’s important that our mentors come from all walks of life. We’re asking you to #BeTheBridge between a young person’s talent and life possibilities. For only one hour per week, you can change a life. Why not do something to make a difference that lasts a lifetime. All help is greatly appreciated. Please register online at or contact our Mentor Services Team in Aberdeen at email / tel.: 07709249661.


ACVO News 64 December 2021

Red Cross: Independent Living Service Volunteers (Aberdeen) The latest from our team. For people leaving hospital, adjusting to life at home can be a difficult time. Helping someone get their essential shopping, pick up their prescription or get the heating turned on can make all the difference for them to feel safe at home. This service is available in Aberdeen 7 days a week 9.00am – 8.00pm depending on needs. We would like you to : volunteer at least 4 hours a week within the above times to drive and have use of a car if possible, though this is not essential *Why we want you If you are compassionate and like helping and meeting people, then this could be the role for you. Volunteers like you support people who are leaving hospital, helping to build their confidence so that they can continue to live independently in their own home. All help makes a real difference and is greatly appreciated. For full details and to apply please visit:

MISS (Miscarriage Information Support Service) Volunteers The latest from our team. MISS (Miscarriage Information Support Service) is a registered charity. We are a miscarriage support service covering all of Scotland for anyone who has experienced baby loss. MISS offers a confidential space for anyone in Scotland to receive support, information and advice as well as understand they are not alone after going through miscarriage. There are a great number of ways you can help support the work of MISS as a volunteer. Current volunteer opportunities with us include Support Co-Ordinator, Fundraising and Event Volunteers, Marketing Co-Ordinator and PA to our Board. All help makes a real difference and is greatly appreciated. For more information please contact Abi Clarke , Chairperson/Founder of MISS at email: or tel.: 07808 638428. Further information and details are also available at our website at:

Grampian Autistic Society Volunteers The latest from our team. Grampian Autistic Society are working to ensure that people in the North East of Scotland living with an Autism Spectrum Condition are enabled to fulfil their potential within their community and society. To assist in this we are seeking volunteers for the following roles: *Sensory Bus Drivers: Grampian Autistic Society have a wonderful Sensory Bus and we are seeking drivers for the bus. A great opportunity to help with our exciting Sensory Bus. *Reception and Enquiries Volunteers: We have opportunities to join our brilliant team of volunteers to help us at our offices at 3335 Carnie Drive, Aberdeen, AB25 3AN (has free parking/good public transport access). We have opportunities for you to assist in any tasks you can ranging from assisting with reception duties, person our phone in the office, support initial and general enquiries and be a friendly, supportive voice and face to those who call and attend at our office. *Events and Fundraising Support: We regularly organise events and there are fantastic opportunities to assist as a volunteer with our events. People are also welcome to contact us if you have any ideas about organising an event and/or fundraising for us. Whatever amount of time you can provide is massively welcomed. Excellent support and relevant training is provided to all volunteers and all help makes a real difference and is greatly appreciated. For further details about any of these volunteer roles or other ways you can support us in our important work please contact Megan Linklater, Engagement Officer at E Mail: or tel.: 01224 277900. Further information about our work and volunteering is also available on our website at:

News 65 ACVO December 2021


Fersands Family Centre Volunteers The latest from our team.

We have a child in nursery who has been diagnosed with Autism who would benefit from 1 to 1 support. We are looking for a volunteer(s) familiar with Autism who would be willing to support the child/staff, the child currently attends nursery in the mornings. Having support from a volunteer(s) would be a huge benefit to the child and family. -Our Setting We are a registered charity and non-profit organisation we support families in the local community which is a regeneration area. The children in our setting are aged between 2-5 years old. The volunteer(s) would be supporting us in the mornings the hours of the session is 7.45am – 12noon. The maximum amount of children in each session is 22. A fantastic opportunity to help and all volunteer assistance is greatly appreciated. For more details please contact Susan Byun, Manager at email: or tel.: 01224 524950/524946.

Volunteer Befrienders – TLC Befriending Service Thecan latest from team. Everyone feel lonely andour isolated at times, especially if experiencing hardship. This year, in response to the crippling effects of loneliness and isolation on peoples wellbeing (physical, emotional, social and mental health), that the pandemic has only exacerbated, TLC have responded to this need and developed a befriending service to combat the loneliness and isolation felt by many in our city. Our aim is that our expertly trained and compassionate volunteers will not only provide a lifeline to people, in the form of friendship, but also a helping hand to reconnect to the community, bringing joy and passion back into people’s lives. If you would like to be a beacon of hope to someone in need, please do apply to join our team. For further information please contact Jonny Astill, Development Manager at email: or tel.: 07859 771292. Details also available at:

Charlie House Volunteers The latest from our team.

Volunteer with Charlie House and give the gift of time Thousands of volunteers across the North-east of Scotland make an amazing contribution to the third sector and provide vital hours of support to charities and the families which they support. Our volunteers are an integral and invaluable part of Team Charlie House. Every single hour they contribute makes a difference to the babies, children, young people and families we support. As we develop our range of services to support even more families across the region, we are looking to expand our team of Charlie House volunteers. Some of our volunteers gift an occasional hour or two, some a whole day, and some make a regular commitment every week or month. We have a wide range of volunteering opportunities available for each and every individual, based on their available time. To find out more about volunteering with Charlie House and the full range of current ways you can help and make a real difference through volunteering please visit: or contact Joan Cowie, Volunteer & Information Coordinator at E Mail: or tel.: 01224 313333.


ACVO News 66 December 2021

Funding Funding news and highlights from ACVO Funding Officer, Claire Shaw

The Health Improvement Fund now open for applications

Grants of up to £10,000 are available to support initiatives that improve health and wellbeing for people across Aberdeen. Since 2016, over 250 projects have been supported through the fund, these have included toe-tapping tea parties; improving access to woodland walks; mindful libraries; a new hen house at a local care home and many more inspirational and creative projects. Applications are open from Friday 19th November – Monday 20th December, 4pm. The fund is available for initiatives that focus on improving the health and wellbeing of those living and working in Aberdeen City. Up to £10,000 is now available. We are looking for projects that focus on: Are community led and inspire community members to get involved Meet local need and reflect local circumstances Join people together Can show improvements in health and wellbeing Applications can be received via an online form ( or by hard copy which can be accessed on the Health Improvement Fund website at Application guidance notes can be viewed on the website and there are also contact details in case you need additional support. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with the latest from the fund.

News 67 ACVO December 2021


Corra Foundation Henry Duncan Micro Grants This year’s Henry Duncan Grants will fund community-based support for mental health and wellbeing. Around one in three people in Scotland are estimated to experience mental ill health in any year. The impacts aren’t spread equally across the population, with adults living in areas of poverty approximately twice as likely to have common mental health problems. It seems likely that the health, economic and social impacts of the coronavirus pandemic will increase people’s need for support with mental health and wellbeing. Many of the stories emerging from the past year have shown how important community support has been. Although the Organisation Grants and the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Project Grants are now closed for applications, you can apply for Micro Grants up until 23rd December at 12pm Micro Grants: Are open to small charities and voluntary groups supporting communities experiencing disadvantage to improve mental health and wellbeing by reducing isolation and loneliness. This includes Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and rural communities. Aimed at organisations with an annual income up to £50,000. Provide one-off grants of max. £1,000. Find out more and apply at

Looking for funding for programmes that make a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing in Aberdeen?

Communities Mental Health & Wellbeing Fund Over £570,000 for organisations and groups in Aberdeen!

apply now at


ACVO News 68 December 2021

NHS Grampian Endowment Fund Community Grants Programme Following the tremendous success of the NHS Grampian Endowment Fund’s 2020 Grant Programme, a new Grants Programme for 2021 has been announced to encourage wellbeing in our communities.

With funds from the 2020 programme...

The Community Grants aim to support Grampian’s community organisations and local charities to develop projects which improve access to health provision, enable early intervention and help people to keep well and look after their own health. Applications which are community based and initiatives which seek to address health inequalities will be particularly welcome. The grants may also support applications which address the health and wellbeing of NHS and Health and Social Care staff as well as research which focuses on health inequalities, self- management, prevention and early intervention. Luan Grugeon, Chair of NHS Grampian Endowment Fund said “This past 20 months has been extraordinary in so many ways. Understandably, as a key health sector charity in Grampian we have concentrated our efforts on supporting staff, patients and local communities as they have dealt with the physical and mental health effects of the COVID pandemic" "Last year, with the help of an independent advisory panel, we were able to allocate funding of £320,000 to 48 community projects. We were pleased to fund diverse activities providing support to families with young children, people experiencing mental health issues, young people, people affected by cancer, carers and people with disabilities. "Feedback on the impact of last year’s grant programme has been so positive, that we are keen to do it again in 2021. Our new Community Wellbeing grants programme will specifically support projects that focus on innovative health and wellbeing projects in our local communities.” Find out more and apply at

Clan Cancer Support were awarded funds for therapeutic art workshops resulting in 60 NHS staff members participating. Working with the Roxburgh House Art team they created an NHS tribute sculpture that raised £12,000 at the Light the North auction

Cullen Community Allotment Association assembled a pergola with the money awarded for social distance community meeting and outside social event

News 69 ACVO December 2021


Microgrants to re-start in-person creative activity in Scotland Deadline: 31 January 2022 Area: Scotland-wide As creative groups start to meet up in person again, Creative Lives is offering 18 micro-grants of £300 each to help make that happen. In particular, these 'Together Again' grants are to help groups or projects based in areas of Scotland, or with participants, experiencing deprivation. Who is eligible? Groups/projects that: Are based in Scotland Are run predominantly by volunteers (some paid employees/external expertise is OK as long as these are not the only decision-makers) Benefit people/places experiencing deprivation Are participatory and creative Will spend their grant by September 2022

Here are some ideas but we're open to others - just tell us on your application what would help you get started again! Enhanced cleaning for your venue Hall hire (if you temporarily need to move to a bigger space) To cover transport costs that enable participation (if using public transport is now difficult) To cover artists costs to reinvigorate or kick-start your activity New materials (e.g. if your art materials have been lost through lack of use; you can no longer share certain items) To apply for a £300 'Together Again' microgrant, please fill in the short form here: If you have any questions, please contact Kelly Donaldson on email:

What can you spend it on? Anything that will help your creative group meet up in person again (or help get a new group off the ground).

Mary Salmond Trust applications close December 13th The Mary Salmond Trust offers grants up to £500 to groups and individuals from the North East of Scotland. The trust aims to support the advancement of community development, by encouraging activities that have a public benefit. The Trust is also keen to promote projects which focus on children and young people’s health and welfare, training and education, civic responsibility, and volunteering. The next Trustees meeting is 16 December. Completed applications should be submitted by 13 December. Full details and application details can be found at

ICF Round 2: 2023-2026 Information Webinar Sessions The Scottish Government will be hosting a one hour webinar session on Wednesday 8 December 2021 (14001500) for interested stakeholders and prospective applicants as part of our pre-launch activity for the next round of the Investing in Communities Fund (ICF), which is currently anticipated to open for applications towards the end of March or early April 2022. These webinars will provide an overview of the fund’s aims, eligibility criteria and the application process. The webinars will also include time for Q&A. If you would like to attend please register at the following link: Wednesday 8 December 2021 - 2.00pm - 3.00pm Register Now More information is available at:


ACVO News 70 December 2021

Paths for all COP26 Legacy Fund The Smarter Choices, Smarter Places - COP26 Legacy Fund supports travel behaviour change programmes with environmental outcomes. Smarter Choices Smarter Places (SCSP) is a behaviour change programme encouraging people to travel actively and sustainably by walking, wheeling, cycling and using public transport.

although 25% of the total project cost can be in-kind contributions.

In response to the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow (31 October – 12 November 2021), Smarter Choices Smarter Places has made £110,000 of funding available through the COP26 Legacy Fund.

The funding is for revenue activities only and not for capital works.

This is for projects that will specifically link transport with the wider environmental agenda. Scotland has an ambitious target to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2045. Paths for all work to support this target through encouraging greater use of sustainable travel to help reduce congestion and carbon emissions. Applications Applicants are encouraged to submit expressions of interest for this funding through the Grants for All portal. Expressions of interest should be made under the SCSP Open Fund grants stream and include ‘COP26 Legacy’ in the project title. Ideally, these should be submitted during November 2021 as we maintain focus on environmental outcomes over the COP26 period. Applicants can apply for grants from £5,000 to £50,000. Funding is available for 50% of a total project cost

Projects will have 12 months from the date of award to complete their activity.

If you’re interested in making an application, please read the Open Fund Guidance first. Some examples of activity that could be supported include: Activities that increase awareness of, and support people to tackle the Climate Emergency Carbon emission reducing cycling and walking activities Climate change awareness events Raising awareness of air pollution and its effects on our environment and health Environmental projects that benefit the community, increase environmental sustainability and encourage greater use of sustainable forms of travel Providing training, advice and support Holding car-free days Please get in touch on to discuss your proposals and ideas. Find out more at

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Being part of Scotland's Climate Festival is a great way to draw attention to your local event and get your community excited about tackling climate change and supporting Scotland's transition to net zero. You will join a network of groups inspiring their communities on climate change, creating connections across Scotland.

new climate event in their local community, or in getting their fledgling event to the next stage.

The seed fund aims to help local organisers set up community climate festivals and events across Scotland. Keep Scotland Beautiful are delighted that this funding has been provided by the Scottish Government to support community events that encourage awareness, conversation, and action on climate following the COP26 UN Climate Conference in Glasgow.

You don’t need to be an officially constituted group to apply, only to have a clear request of what the funds will be used for, a budget, and to be able to report back after your event.

This can be for any climate-related community event, such as a growing workshop, led bike ride, introduction to community energy, local forage, or a conversation or film screening. Events can be in venues or online.

Find out more at

For this first wave of Scotland’s Climate Festival, they are considering applications from festivals and community events taking place between 1 November 2021 and 31 March 2022. Who can apply? They particularly encourage applications from smaller organisations and groups that are interested in starting a

Scotland’s Climate Festival Seed Funding for Community Groups


News 73 ACVO December 2021


find out more and apply

find out more and apply


find out more and apply

Let ACVO help you to find your new team member Get in touch with to find out how to advertise your vacancy on our site and in ACVO News.

ACVO News 74 December 2021

ACVO News 76 December 2021

Event Highlig December


Volunteering Day at Compass 9:30 am - 4:00 pm Craigton RoadCults, Aberdeen,

Support our exciting community Compass Project and help to transform the naturally-beautiful and historic 4.1 acre former Waldorf School site into a centre demonstrating practical solutions for healthy, sustainable lifestyles. If you are able to lend a hand for a couple of hours, please let us know by emailing: . We usually have a Produce Pop-Up which includes organically grown produce available on a donation basis too so don’t forget your cash! As always, please bear in mind we have minimal onsite facilities at present i.e. one toilet / handwashing running water so do come prepared along with sturdy boots and gloves. All work will comply with current COVID guidelines. We are looking for enthusiastic volunteers who are willing to lend a hand with whatever needs doing. We hold regular Saturday volunteer days where you can enjoy meeting like-minded people working together to make a visible difference to our site after each session. Volunteers tell us it is very satisfying to see how much of a difference their work can make. Volunteers with specialised skills such as joiners, plumbers and DIY-enthusiasts will be especially welcome as we enter the next phase of our project to strip out the existing buildings ready for refurbishment.


Arts and crafts sessions at Cornhill Community Centre 9:30 am - 11:30 am

Join the group at Cornhill Community Centre for a craft session! No experience necessary! Find more details at

News 77 ACVO December 2021

ghts find more event listings, and submit yours free of charge at Christmas is just around the corner, and we have the perfect fun, festive activity for you! Join us at the Village Hotel on Monday the 6th of December for a Christmas Wreath Making masterclass hosted by the passionate and friendly florists from XOXO Florist. On arrival you will enjoy a delicious mince pie and warming hot chocolate before getting started with the 2-hour masterclass. During the workshop you will learn how to create your very own, bespoke traditional Christmas holly door wreath from scratch. Using a wireframe, natural moss, holly, greenery and Christmas decorations you will leave with your own beautiful, unique Christmas wreath ready to hang on your door that will see you through the holiday season.


Befriend a Child’s Christmas Wreath Making Class 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm Village Hotel Aberdeen, Kingswells

Please note this is a very popular class with limited availability so make sure you don’t miss out, we have a mince pie with your name on it! Tickets cost £60.00pp and include the masterclass, hot chocolate and a mince pie. Book your space using the link below: 1731


Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund Applicant Support Workshop 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

The Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund has been established by the Scottish Government to provide grants to grassroots community groups and organisations across Scotland in response to the mental health need arising from the pandemic. The intended outcome of The Fund is to develop a culture of mental wellbeing and prevention within local communities, tackling priority issues such as suicide prevention, social isolation, and loneliness, as well as improving awareness of how we can all stay well and help others. Over £570,000 will be distributed in Aberdeen City. Applications will be assessed by the ACVO team on a rolling basis to enable faster distribution of the funds. If you’re not familiar with applying for grant funding, reading all the funding guidance and completing an application form can seem a daunting process. To help with the application process, Sandy Mathers, Susan Morrison and Claire Shaw from ACVO will be running two workshops via Microsoft Teams for third sector organisations based in Aberdeen City. They will talk you through the guidance notes and questions on the application forms; you can also ask any questions you may have relating to the funding opportunity.

Book online

Event Highlights

ACVO News 78 December 2021

find more event listings, and submit yours free of charge at


shmu Community TV Workshops

7:6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

We want you, members of the local community, to help shape and develop our new Community TV platform. Join us at shmu and get hands on experience in our state-of-the-art TV studio. These sessions are open to adults living in Woodside, Tillydone, Seaton, Torry, Mastrick, Northfield, Middlefield and Cummings Park. So come along and have a chance to share your ideas and learn more about the volunteering opportunities as part of shmuTV. For more information, or to book your place, please contact:

Free training sessions on the adverse effects of smoking on mental health and mental health medication. Sessions are for adult services in the Third Sector, NHS or Local Authority providing support to people who have poor mental health. First complete a short e-learning module followed-up with a one or two hour session delivered through Zoom. The one hour online session covers the following topics: • effect of smoking on mental health medication; • facilitating discussions about smoking and mental health; • e-cigarettes (vaping); • local services to help people stop smoking. The two hour session also covers: • IMPACT guidance document • Ask, Inform, Discuss (AID) brief advice framework • How AID supports workplace priorities Register on eventbrite here: alternatively visit


IMPACT Smoking and Mental Health Training 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Communities Mental Health & Wellbeing Fund applications now open at

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