Aberdeen’s Enterprising Third Sector Programme

11:30 – Arrivals, registration and networking

12:00 – Opening and welcome

12:05 – TED-style talks (First half)

13:00 – Lunch and marketplace

14:00 – TED-style talks (Second half)

14:55 – Close

Eventbrite - Aberdeen's Enterprising Third Sector

Speaker Information

Jim Grimmer (CEO, Business Pastors)

Jim Grimmer has over 40 years work experience, his 20 years as a Police Officer at Grampian Police followed by 20 years in Business Development, General Management and Director level roles within the Oil & Gas industry.

A co-founder and trustee of The Business Connection charity, in November 2017 Jim stepped into the role of CEO of Business Pastors,  a social enterprise he created to bring personal proactive care, support and encouragement to people working in the 9-5 corporate sector.  Jim is a graduate of Robert Gordon University (MCIPD) and Hillsong International Leadership College in Sydney.

“Our staff are the most important asset” … Really?

We all know that people cannot leave their problems at home, but rather problems with health, relationships, drugs, debt, and children can weigh people down affecting them negatively wherever they are. These issues often affect employee productivity at work causing sickness absence and presenteism.

Jim will take us on an investigative journey to find out how the corporate villain of lack of time and capacity is affecting employee wellbeing and how a caring work environment can bring that villain to justice.


Andy Hyde (CEO, Go Upstream)

Andy Hyde has many years of experience of working with Government, health and third sector organisations across the UK to explore ways in which people can truly participate in the design and development of services that improve health and wellbeing. He develops tools and processes that enable people to tell their stories and aims to foster the inclusive design of services that promote healthier, better connected communities.

In 2016 he started Upstream, a project exploring the potential for bringing people with dementia together with transport service providers to learn and develop solutions together. In 2018 he launched Go Upstream Ltd, a new enterprise to develop this work further, aimed primarily at transport service providers.

Travelling well with dementia

Journeys can be complex. They require planning, local knowledge, responses to last-minute changes and using services that may not be familiar or designed for our needs. It’s a challenge for all of us at some point. Feeling enabled to continue travelling after a diagnosis of dementia is a key aspect of remaining independent and connected with our communities and yet many aspects of travel services can present barriers for people with dementia. Andy will describe his work with people around Scotland, exploring particular travel challenges and their plans to design better services by bringing people together and working in collaboration with service providers.


Andrew Reid (Development Manager, Inspire)

Andrew is currently Development Manager with local learning disability charity Inspire. He has eight years Third sector experience in a variety of roles, following a decade of working in Media and Communications. Andrew is married with two young children and lives in Aberdeen. When spare time allows, he enjoys watching his local football team and running (slowly!)

‘Inspire…By’ – empowerment through employment

Work is an essential part of everyone’s life – it gives us purpose and sense of fulfilment.

Andrew will tell us about ‘Inspire…By’ Charity Shop & Workshop which combines an employability-focussed daily support service for people with additional support needs, with the fundraising potential of a charity shop.

Opened in October 2016, ‘Inspire…By’ marked a significant change in community social care as a departure from the traditional form of Day Service Support. Still providing daily support to people with learning disabilities and additional support needs,’ Inspire…By’ also empowers life choices by fostering employability skills, with the ultimate aim of further community integration.

The enterprise provides a unique opportunity for individuals with learning disabilities to develop their skillset in the operation of a retail outlet, as well as gaining competencies relating to a nationally recognised ASDAN qualification.


Emma Bellu (CEO, Absafe)

Emma is the chief executive of Absafe. Since 2003, her career has been dedicated to improving safety in the community. Her leadership has led this unique social enterprise to reimagine how far the benefits of industry safety success can reach into the heart of the community.

Emma has led Absafe to multiple accolades including the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, Outstanding Contribution to Society 2017 Northern Star Award, and Best Partner in Community Safety award amongst many others. As a member of local partnerships, national bodies, and executive boards, Emma works across the private, public and charitable sectors to bring together the experience and expertise from all areas to the benefit of the people at the heart of our local community.

Surviving by accident

Not using the word “accident” could save the lives of up to 70 children in the North-East over the next five years.

Injuries are the leading cause of death in children aged 5–19 years, causing 71 deaths of under 24’s in Grampian in the last 5 years and over 60,000 serious injuries requiring hospital admission.  Using the word “accident” suggests there was nothing that could have been done to prevent this.

Absafe thinks differently. They believe that the right way to tackle this is to create safe behaviour by ensuring people are informed, confident, empowered and engaged with safety as a positive benefit to their lives.  The Safe, their safety adventure facility, uses fun, memorable and positive experiences where young people can decide how to deal with the perils of life, giving them valuable skills that will save their life.


Graeme Pyper (Service Team Leader, SACRO)

Graeme Pyper was born and educated in Aberdeen Scotland, his first job as a Baker is a far cry from his role as National Service Team Leader for Sacro’s Refresh service.

Graeme has worked for Sacro in various guises for the past Eighteen years, where he was an integral part of developing the Assertive Outreach Service which was recorded to have achieved a 91% reduction in offending by the target group the team engaged with.

Graeme is very passionate about his work believing that given the right support and circumstances anyone can start to make positive change in their life. This is also a believe which he shares with Sacro and continues to evidence such possibilities to the client group he and his team work with.

The belief that no one should be precious about knowledge Graeme can also be seen with his trainer hat on, delivering conflict management and crisis intervention programmes to other health, social and Educational professionals.

Graeme also runs his own motivational coaching business using physical transformational experiences, one of which he is more known for is the ancient art of Fire Walking, This has seen Graeme working with private groups as well as corporate groups across the globe. 

Skene Street Park – reimagining city space to support physical and mental health

Spaces in which we live, work and play affect our mood and wellbeing. Design can create opportunities for human interaction or limit people’s ability to make connections.

In his talk, Graeme will share his vision for Skene Street Park as a city centre space which will not exclude anyone by error or malice. The ethos of the park is that it becomes a multi-generational space bringing the community together in a cohesive way.

The park has three features: a children and parent play and rest area, a multi-purpose area with a solar light stage, which will have a kinetic gym as part of the power producing aspect, and a quiet reflective area planted out with edible fruit trees and herbs.

The project has proven that the idea and design passively address issues around physical and mental health as well as social exclusion.


Simon Dennis (Lead Pastor, Sheddoksley Baptist Church)

Originally from Inverness, Simon graduated with Joint Honours in Technology&Business from University of Strathclyde in 1996. He moved to Aberdeen and spent 14 years with Schlumberger at the cutting edge of technological development in the offshore oil and gas industry, where he had responsibility for major client relationships, and for managing a team of sales professionals.

In 2010 he took a leap out of the oil industry into the third sector by accepting a full time post with his own church (Sheddocksley Baptist Church), a dynamic, local, faith-based charity working with all age groups in the Summerhill, Woodend, Mastrick and Sheddocksley area of the city. As chaplain to two city secondary schools, Simon has spent several years pioneering youth work in the community, and his church continue to build healthy community by prioritising long term intergenerational relationships. Their Fine Peace Community Cafe was awarded Aberdeen Social Enterprise of the year in 2016, and they are the first church in the city to employ registered nurses as part of their pastoral community-care approach. He is married to Karen (a mobility and rehab OT) and they have 3 boys who love sport, music and movies.

‘Relationology’ – a new approach to health

It’s the quality, not quantity, of our relationships that determines our wellbeing.

In his talk, Simon will share his unique approach to health. ‘Relationology’ prioritises authentic (long term) ‘client’ relationships, where health is improved by meeting people’s most basic human needs, one of which is to belong in community.

“Relationology requires longer term investment in the journey of people’s lives. It’s not a symptom fix, it’s a syndrome solution – the syndrome of loneliness (which manifests many symptoms) is epidemic in Aberdeen today. Sheddocklsey’s approach has been to start with the person next to them (a neighbour) in longer term relational practice – lunch clubs, health checks, befriending that began short term but has become embedded in their culture until the end of life. Their relational ethos enables Sheddocskley to commit to people long term, and their size and structure means that their can prioritise relationships over administration. Whilst high tech seems to herald major advances in our data driven world, only high-touch (trusted) relationships can qualitatively improve health and wellbeing.”

Eventbrite - Aberdeen's Enterprising Third Sector