Record Month for Young Volunteers in Aberdeen

ACVO is celebrating after logging the busiest month on record for the Saltire Awards since the awards were first launched in April 2012 in Aberdeen.

The Saltire Awards recognise the contribution which 12-25 year olds make to their communities on a voluntary basis.

In September there were 116 new registrations and a total of 170 Saltire Award certificates issued in the last month.

Mike Melvin, Volunteer Co-ordinator at ACVO said, “This reflects the tremendous volunteering from young people in Aberdeen City and demonstrates the positive impact these awards are now having.”

Since the awards were first launched an incredible 284,028 hours of volunteering has now been recognised in Aberdeen alone.

With 2018 designated as the Year of the Young People in Scotland the excellent contribution that young people are making in our communities is set to increase and be recognised even further.

For more information about the Saltire Awards visit – http://www.volunteeraberdeen.org.uk/volunteers/young-volunteers/

ACVO is Committed to Excellence

ACVO TSI is delighted to announce that we are the first Third Sector Interface to be recognised by Quality Scotland as ‘Committed to Excellence – 2 Star’.

Quality Scotland assessed and validated ACVO against the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) Excellence Model, which provides a framework that encourages the cooperation, collaboration and innovation within organisations. The EFQM Excellence Model provides a holistic view of the organisation and it can be used to determine how these different methods fit together and complement each other.

The EFQM Excellence Model allows people to understand the cause and effect relationships between what their organisation does and the results it achieves.

ACVO strives for excellence in all the areas of performance with the organisation and we are delighted to have been recognised at such a high level.

New Volunteer Aberdeen Website Launched

Volunteer Aberdeen has launched a completely redesigned website to help connect the people of Aberdeen to volunteering opportunities.

Volunteer Aberdeen, which is run and operated by ACVO TSI, has developed a website that is intuitive, attractive, easy to use and informative. It is also a mobile friendly design so that it can be viewed on mobile devices and tablets.

The website makes it easy to search through Volunteer Aberdeen’s database of nearly 1000 volunteer opportunities, allowing members of the public to search by keyword, location, what they want to do or who they want to work with.  The charity also curates a list of ‘Hot Opportunities’ that highlights organisations in need.

The website also makes it easier for third sector organisations to find out about the help and support that Volunteer Aberdeen offer in promoting their volunteer opportunities.

Mike Melvin, Volunteer Co-ordinator at ACVO said “Aberdeen continues to be a city that is generous with its time, volunteering levels in Aberdeen are 9% above the national average, and it is important that all those who want to volunteer are able to easily find organisations in need.

“This new website brings volunteering into the 21st century and allows users to search for opportunities wherever they are and easily make connections.

“We welcome feedback, as the website will continually evolve to meet the needs of the people of Aberdeen”

The website is www.volunteeraberdeen.org.uk

Saltire Awards Surpasses 100,000 Milestone

Young people in Scotland are turning to volunteering in their thousands with numbers growing year on year.

As the country marks Volunteers’ Week 2017 (1 to 7 June), this is a trend reflected by the Scottish Government’s national youth volunteer initiative, the Saltire Awards, now celebrating the landmark 100,000 certificates it has awarded to young people since its launch five years ago.

The Saltire Awards aims to help broaden opportunities for 12 to 25-year-olds to volunteer and be recognised for their efforts. Voluntary Action Scotland (VAS) and the network of 32 local Third Sector Interfaces (TSIs) manage the programme, introduced in 2012 after a Scottish pilot. Since then, it has grown from 14,000 certificates awarded in 2012/13 to 27,000 in 2016/17.

In Aberdeen ACVO handed out 1044 certificates last year with 503 new young people registering for the awards during the same period – another record year for the awards and youth volunteering locally.

Since the scheme began in 2012 an incredible 268,792 hours of volunteering by young people in Aberdeen has been recognised by the awards.

While celebrating their achievements, the Saltire Awards encourages young people to try out new ideas and record their volunteering experiences, as well as the valuable life skills they gain. Incorporating the principles of Curriculum for Excellence, it helps them become successful learners and far more confident, content and responsible individuals, who go on to become significant contributors to society with greater job prospects.

Angela Constance, Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities said: “I am delighted that over 100,000 Saltire Awards have now been presented to young people for their remarkable volunteering achievements, which shows their commitment to making a difference.

“We should all be very proud of the increase we have seen in our youth volunteering rate. I congratulate not only the volunteers but also the agencies, which are developing youth volunteering opportunities across Scotland.

“Volunteers are the lifeblood of our communities and we remain committed to doing all we can to ensure everyone who wants to volunteer can do so.”

Commenting on a growing trend that looks set to continue, Allan Johnstone, Acting Chief Executive, VAS said: “While volunteering enables young people to contribute to their local communities in ways that are enjoyable, fun and creative, they bring a fresh perspective and enthusiasm, offering valuable solutions to communities and voluntary organisations especially in challenging times.

“The substantial benefits that volunteering brings to our country, go way beyond the estimated £2.6 billion it is worth to the Scottish economy. For one, the ethos of support that young people take with them into adult life is a fundamental part of this country’s social fabric. As we celebrate 100,000 certificates during Volunteers’ Week 2017, we are delighted to be able to reward their significant impact on society through the awards.

“We also want to recognise the valuable input of the TSIs. By continuing their development work at a local level and encouraging sign up to the Saltire Awards, our aim to inspire even more young people to come on board and safeguard the culture of volunteering for generations to come.”

To participate in the Saltire Awards, young people can sign up at: www.saltireawards.org.uk or contact ACVO Volunteer@acvo.org.uk/01224 686076

Aberdeen Gets Set for Volunteers Week

National Volunteers Week – 1st-7th June – celebrates the millions of volunteers throughout the country who do so much good for people and our communities. It is a time to:

  • Recognise the essential contribution volunteers make in our communities.
  • Give special thanks and recognition to people who volunteer.
  • Promote volunteering and inspire more people to get involved

There will be a huge range of fantastic events being held across Aberdeen during Volunteers Week and big announcements to recognise, celebrate and thank volunteers in Aberdeen for the tremendous contribution everyone makes with an amazing:

  • 70,500 plus people volunteering in Aberdeen
  • An incredible 8.7 million hours of volunteer help given annually in Aberdeen.

The following special thank you messages have been received at ACVO for volunteers in Aberdeen: 

‘Volunteers are part of the social fabric of Scotland and are at the heart of creating local social capital: Strengthening social connections and networks within communities; encouraging people to become active citizens; building local resilience. ACVO is the backbone of Volunteering in Aberdeen – they work hard, behind the scenes, to open up volunteering to all. Voluntary Action Scotland is delighted to join them in celebrating and recognising the contribution of volunteers this Volunteers’ Week.’ Allan Johnstone, Acting Chief Executive, Voluntary Action Scotland

 ‘I am always amazed at how many Aberdonians give up their time to volunteer for numerous organisations in our city. Without this army of volunteers many of the things that we take for granted just would not happen. Hats off to all of our city’s volunteers for all of your efforts!’ Kevin Stewart MSP, Aberdeen Central

 ‘On behalf of all of the team at ACVO, I would like to thank everyone involved in volunteering in Aberdeen.  Without your support, our work would be so much harder and less fun.  You have brought fantastic skills and enthusiasm which have made a difference to the lives of many in the city.  I urge you to continue to be involved in volunteering. Anyone wishing to join in helping as a volunteer can visit: www.volunteeraberdeen.org.uk and www.acvo.org.uk for more details’ Joyce Duncan, Chief Executive ACVO

 ‘In a world which is becoming very uncertain there is one certainty that will not change, that people volunteering in Scotland giving time within their communities is uplifting by building friendship and solidarity. Volunteers Week is a good time to celebrate this.’ George Thomson, Chief Executive of Volunteer Scotland

 ‘Volunteers’ Week Scotland offers a rare opportunity to mark the huge difference made by volunteers all over the country, and to catch the attention of potential new recruits. Don’t miss out on what’s set to be an inspirational week.’ Paul Okroj, Chairperson, Scottish Volunteering Forum

For more details about volunteer opportunities across Aberdeen please visit: http://www.volunteeraberdeen.org.uk

For latest Volunteers Week Scotland 2017 updates including links to events in Aberdeen please visit: http://www.volunteerscotland.net/volunteer/volunteers-week-2017/ and http://www.volunteerscotland.net/volunteer/volunteers-week-2017/volunteers-week-events/

ACVO Awards 2017

Top organisations and outstanding individuals working within Aberdeen’s third sector were recognised at a lunchtime ceremony on the 30th March.

ACVO TSI held its 5th annual awards at the Doubletree Hilton in Aberdeen.

This year ACVO brought together over 100 representatives from the private, public and third sector to recognise, not just the achievements of the third sector but all those who contribute to making Aberdeen a better place.

Following a performance by the VSA choir, the event was officially opened by ACVO’s Treasurer, Gordon Edwards and Lord Provost of Aberdeen, George Adam.

Gordon Edwards opened the event by saying “These awards are unique as they celebrate the work of individuals, organisations and collaborations all involving the third sector but also recognising the critical aspect of partnership with both the public and private sector which is key to third sector success and sustainability.

“We neither live nor work in a silo, our lives, our working experience and our happiness depends on building successful relationships with those around us.”

The first award of the night was the Connecting and Collaborating award which went to Move More Aberdeen.

Move More Aberdeen is a community-based physical activity programme specifically designed for people affected by cancer in Aberdeen City. Move More Aberdeen is funded by Macmillan Cancer Support and delivered in partnership with Sport Aberdeen, with support from CLAN Cancer Support, Paths for All and NHS Grampian.

One of the more hotly contested awards of the night was for the Friends of the Third Sector awards which saw the Enerco Group come out on top over fellow finalists Conocophilips and Hilton Garden Inn.  Enerco was nominated based on their work with the Denis Law Legacy Trust’s Streetsport.

This year’s Active Citizen, an award for an Aberdeen volunteer who has gone above and beyond the call of duty, was won by John Gall.

Lorna Dunbar, who nominated Mr Gall, said “John first began volunteering with Contact the Elderly, as a driver for one of our groups, 6 years ago. John realised that there was a need for more groups so that more isolated, lonely people in the community could be involved. From that one group 6 years ago, John has now been instrumental in starting no less than another 7 groups.

“Staff at Contact the Elderly are hugely grateful to John for all that he does, enabling us to reach many lonely, isolated people in Aberdeen, making a difference to their lives.”

Other award winners included Me Too Magazine, Aberdeen Community Energy, Home-start Aberdeen, SCARF and the City Centre Community Council.

After the awards concluded ACVO, on behalf of the Third Sector, presented the Lord Provost George Adam with a certificate and gift to show its appreciation for all the work he has done for the voluntary sector during his time in office.

Full List of Winners:

  • Active Citizen sponsored by Inchgarth Community Centre: John Gall
    Finalists: Antony McGowan and Elisabeth Barry
  • Big Aberdeen: Me Too! Magazine
  • Connecting and Collaborating sponsored by Glenbrex: Sport Aberdeen
    Finalists: Aberdeen FC Community Trust and The Active Aberdeen Partnership
  • Friend of the Third Sector: Enerco Group LTD
    Finalists: ConocoPhillips and Hilton Garden Inn
  • Improving Local Lives sponsored by Hall Morrice: City Centre Community Council
    Finalists: Befriend a Child Aberdeen and Aberdeen Muslims
  • Most Enterprising Third Sector Organisation sponsored by Anderson Anderson Brown: SCARF
    Finalists: Aberdeen Community Energy and Shazam Theatre Company
  • Top Newcomer sponsored by Tricker PR: Aberdeen Community Energy
    Finalist: Me Too! Magazine
  • Top Third Sector Team sponsored by Stronachs: Home-Start Aberdeen
    Finalists: Absafe and Barnardos North Locality

Two Weeks Until The ACVO Awards

We are two weeks away from the fifth annual ACVO award ceremony and we couldn’t be more hyped.

The ACVO offices are buzzing with excitement as the team is hard at work designing plaques, organising V.I.Ps and choosing menus for the big day.  Tickets are selling fast so make sure you act now to ensure that you aren’t missing out on what is sure to be a memorable lunch.

The ACVO Awards, now in their fifth year, were created to recognise volunteers, encourage good practice and aspiration in local Third Sector teams and to recognise support and partnership from friends in other sectors.

Each year the calibre of entries get better and this year is no exception so book your tickets ASAP to avoid disappointment.

The ACVO awards will take place on Thursday 30th March at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/acvo-awards-tickets-31596449832

ACVO Awards Deadline Extended

The deadline for entries to this year’s ACVO Awards has been extended to 10th February.

Following a number of requests from potential nominees, we have decided to extend the deadline until 10th February to allow everyone the opportunity to take part.

We would like to thank everyone who was able to get their nomination in before the 31st of January. If anyone feels their nominations were rushed and would like to take another look please feel free to contact us.

The ACVO Awards, now in their fifth year, are run by local third sector interface, ACVO. They were created to recognise volunteers, encourage good practice and aspiration in local Third Sector teams and to recognise support and partnership from friends in other sectors.

ACVO Chief Executive, Joyce Duncan, said, “Aberdeen’s volunteers and third sector organisations make a huge difference to the lives of others. Through the ACVO Awards, the city as a whole has an opportunity to recognise and reward all of their work.”

“We want to encourage everyone who feels they know an organisation or an individual to nominate them so they can receive the recognition they deserve.”

There are 8 categories open for nomination this year:

  • Connecting and Collaborating sponsored by Glenbrex
  • Friend(s) of the Third Sector
  • Active Citizen
  • Top Third Sector Team sponsored by Stronachs
  • Top Newcomer sponsored by Tricker PR
  • Most Enterprising Third Sector Organisation sponsored by Anderson Anderson Brown
  • Improving Local Lives sponsored by Hall Morrice
  • Big Aberdeen

More Information and Nomination Form

Word Version of Nomination Form

ACVO Awards Now Open for Nominations

The third sector and the people of Aberdeen are being encouraged to nominate for the 2016/17 ACVO Awards.

The ACVO Awards, now in their fifth year, are run by local third sector interface, ACVO. They were created to recognise volunteers, encourage good practice and aspiration in local Third Sector teams and to recognise support and partnership from friends in other sectors.

ACVO Chief Executive, Joyce Duncan, said, “Aberdeen’s volunteers and third sector organisations make a huge difference to the lives of others. Through the ACVO Awards, the city as a whole has an opportunity to recognise and reward all of their work.”

“We want to encourage everyone who feels they knows an organisation or an individual to nominate them so they can receive the recognition they deserve.”

There are 8 categories open for nomination this year:

  • Connecting and Collaborating sponsored by Glenbrex
  • Friend(s) of the Third Sector
  • Active Citizen
  • Top Third Sector Team sponsored by Stronachs
  • Top Newcomer sponsored by Tricker PR
  • Most Enterprising Third Sector Organisation sponsored by Anderson Anderson Brown
  • Improving Local Lives sponsored by Hall Morrice
  • Big Aberdeen

More Information and Nomination Form

“Too old to use technology?“

img_8159“Well I’m nae!“ says Blanche, 81. The Aberdonian star of the latest Big Aberdeen Story told us this week.

“Look at me. I’m willing to have a go. It helps to keep your brain active.

“I wish I’d been taught this years ago as it’s taken me away from thinking about my aches and pains.”

Blanche’s story is the twelfth in the ever-building collection of true life tales gathered from Third Sector organisations to make it easy for you and your stakeholders to address the City’s gaps – whether as a referrer, educator, volunteer, partner, donor or in whatever other way – please share them.

Each story comes from a local Storyteller organization and Blanche’s comes from Silver City Surfers who run weekly sessions throughout the City, monthly talks, and an intergenerational project with Schools. Older people can learn technology at their own pace and within their own very local and social Community setting. Participants choose what and how they want to learn and can bring their own devices or use ones that are on site.

To read all twelve stories so far visit: http://acvo.org.uk/working-with/big-aberdeen/bigaberdeenstories/.

ACVO are keen to tell other stories – and would love to tell a Donor’s story. Stories can also be about clients, volunteers, apprentices, staff and can be anonymized.

If you would like to submit a story click here.

Erskine Bench Unveiled

20161004_131105The second Blooming Big Aberdeen friendly bench has been unveiled in Seaton Park by veterans’ charity Erskine in their centenary year.

The Lord Provost of Aberdeen, George Adam, has officially revealed the Erskine bench on Cathedral Walk which is painted the colours of the medal ribbon which features on the charities logo.  The purpose of the ribbon is to connect Erskine in a clear way to its core focus – provision of care to members and ex members of the armed services.

Erskine has four care homes in Scotland, providing nursing, residential, respite and dementia care to veterans and their spouses.  The charity supports over 1,000 veterans and their spouses each year.

The friendly bench project is one of the most recent initiatives to have arisen from the Big Aberdeen Event in September 2014 and is supported by ACVO TSI in partnership with Aberdeen City Council.  Third sector organisations were invited to claim and design a bench in the city to raise awareness of the support and services they provide, with Erskine jumping at the chance to get involved.

Erskine Community Fundraiser for the North, Michael Parkes has invited local volunteers and supporters to the unveiling at 1pm as a thank you for all they do for the charity.

Speaking about the bench Michael said: “It is a great honour for Erskine’s Blooming Big Aberdeen friendly bench to be in one of Aberdeen’s most popular green spaces.  Thanks to our bench designers, Neil and Louise McIvor, they have helped make Cathedral Way even more picturesque!

“The project is a fantastic way to promote the charity in the city.  We will also be able to use it as an outreach point for local supporters, volunteers and veterans.  The North of Scotland has a rich history in the services so it is great that we can recognise this with the Erskine bench.  One of our veterans currently being cared for at The Erskine Home is originally from the Hilton area in Aberdeen.  Previous residents have also served in the Gordon Highlanders.”

Lord Provost George Adam said: “This initiative is a creative way of promoting the vital work of the third sector and at the same time adding something new to our parks and open spaces.  Erskine does an outstanding job caring for our veterans and I hope people using the park will see the bench and take the time to find out more.  A lot of work has been done in Seaton Park recently and I’d encourage everyone to come down and see how great it’s looking.”

Anyone interested in supporting Erskine locally can contact Michael Parkes on 07811 326 206.

Blooming Big Photo Exhibition Goes on Tour

img_1490The Blooming Big Aberdeen Photo Exhibition was created by the Finalists in a photography competition for 16-25 year olds living in the City. It ran from 22nd September 2015-2016.

The project aims to use cultural activities to build bridges between people, to encourage people to get out and about in the City and to celebrate our clean green spaces.  The exhibition is also intended as a prompt for future Big Aberdeen activity to connect and challenge all parts of the city to come together, collaborate and create positive change.

Your organisation or business can use the exhibition as a catalyst for all sorts of conversation and activity – about the ideas of young people, about  clean and green activities, about challenges for Aberdeen, about relationships, environment, beauty, team-building, regeneration …. whatever!

You can already look out for the exhibition at the following locations.

  • Beach Ballroom – 22nd til 30th September
  • NHS Health Village – 1st October til 25th October
  • ACC Staff Conference, Marischal College – 26th til 27th October
  • ACVO Affiliates Lunch, Café Coast – 28th October
  • ACVO Training Room – 28th October til 14th November
  • RGU, Sir Ian Wood Building – 14th til 25th November

If you would like your organisation to host the exhibition (which consists of a self-standing 3-panelled display) please email your preferred dates and location to achandler@acvo.org.uk. We will be delighted to promote your exhibition venue as part of the ongoing tour.  (Please note that you
will be required to collect and return the display (which folds into a carrying case) and accompanying materials by car from ACVO’s premises at 38 Castle Street during normal working hours.)

More information about the Big Aberdeen movement is available at http://acvo.org.uk/working-with/big-aberdeen/

Young Photographer Wins £1000 Prize in ACVO Photo Contest

erik-mrozinski-and-lord-provost-george-adamAt the Beautiful Scotland celebrations in The Beach Ballroom on Thursday 22nd September Erik Mrozinski (22) was announced by the Lord Provost as the winner of the Blooming Big Aberdeen photo competition.

The Blooming Big Aberdeen photo competition was designed by ACVO TSI to encourage young people to create images that express their views and experiences of the city.

Erik won a £1000 cash prize and, thanks to Aberdeen Football Club, exclusive and unique access to photograph Russell Anderson and players behind-the-scenes at Pittodrie.

Erik’s picture in the City Landscape category shows the Northern Lights playing in the sky over Aberdeen harbour and beat over 40 other entries in the competition.

The contest was judged by a panel from Aberdeen City Council Environmental Services, Aberdeen Youth Council, Graeme MacDonald Photography, ACVO and Aberdeen Inspired.  There was also a public vote at the David Welch Winter Gardens in which 336 visitors had their say.

The Awards presentation marks the second anniversary of The Big Aberdeen Event at Pittodire in 2014 which has kick-started a range of activities under its “Clean Green Aberdeen” theme.

An exhibition, sponsored by local fine art printing and developing service Photoghost, of all the shortlisted entrants across the five categories will travel to key locations across the City and an online Big Aberdeen Gallery of all entries is currently available on the ACVO website.

Winners in the individual categories will receive £100 prizes through the ACVO Bursary scheme into which ACVO Affiliated City businesses contribute while runners up will receive a donated voucher for the new Spree Book app.

northern-lights-erik-mrozinskiOVERALL WINNER – Northern Lights by Erik Mrozinski

City Landscape

1st– The Old and The New by Tom Inglis

2nd– Untitled by Eleonora Zapryanova

3rd– Untitled by Jane Tudorache

Street Photography

1st– Belmont Street- Grey by Daniel Kaminek

2nd– Entrance by Tom Inglis

3rd– Beach Scene by Xanthe Bodington

Conceptual and Expressive

1st– Broadford Works by Caitlin Wilkinson

2nd– Frozen Fall of Snow by Pabbathi Venkata Prashanth

3rd– Untitled by Erin Wyness

Nature in Bloom

1st– Untitled by Jane Tudorache

2nd– Low Tide by Daniel Kaminek

3rd– Alice in Hazelhead Park by Stoika Panova

Portrait on Location

1st– Blooming Seagulls by Rebecca Carnegy

2nd– Kevin by Patrick Neville

3rd– Badime by Margeaux Demeyer

The Future is Bright and the Future is Social Impact

ACVO TSI is delighted to announce that the Social Impact Report on Social transport in Aberdeen City is now available on the ACVO Website.

For two years ACVO, via their Reshaping Care for Older People (RCOP) funded social transport project, have been helping Aberdeen city residents, aged 55 and over, who are unable to use public transport to access health and social care appointments and get out and about.

Highlights from the report include:

  • The project impacted positively on everyone that registered and used the service
  • The service succeeded in being person-centred, door to door, nil or low cost travel for individuals, allowing people to take part in activities conducive to improving or maintaining their quality of life
  • Continued investment in this service would result in even more of an impact for patients, carers and the health services in the city.
  • Social Impact is an important consideration for all new innovation in Health & Social Care and should be considered as a vital component for all pilots and innovation as we move forward in the Integration of services here in Aberdeen
  • The 3rd sector is ideally placed to implement this type of research as it is in daily close contact with and a conduit for, wider society with regards to a very broad range of life issues.
  • It shows the 3rd sector to be inherently dynamic, innovative and reflexive and able to make a significant contribution in the context of partnership working which will improve and maintain the quality of life for Aberdeen citizens

Joyce Duncan CEO said “I’m delighted to be able to release this report produced by ACVO’s Social Impact Research consultant, Dr Rob Craig. We believe this partnership project has delivered a useful evidence base which will help our partners and funders make better decisions based on transparency, clarity and accessibility.

We know this has built a great foundation to explore even more areas of concern in the city and will help to tackle some of the challenges facing people’s ability to keep well.”

The report, executive summary and information leaflet can be found below:

Friendly Bench Project Launched

Pic 3A project to encourage engagement between Aberdeen organisations and their communities burst into life on Wednesday, 27 July 2016 as the finishing touches were put to the city’s first Blooming Big Aberdeen friendly bench.  Representatives from Blooming Big Aberdeen and family support charity Home-Start Aberdeen came together in Hazlehead Park to celebrate the colourful addition of a freshly-painted Home-Start Aberdeen bench.

The friendly bench project is one of the most recent initiatives to have arisen from the Big Aberdeen Event in September 2014 and is supported by ACVO TSI in partnership with Aberdeen City Council.  It invites third sector organisations to claim and design a bench in the city to raise awareness of the support and services that they provide. Participating organisations are encouraged to create an eye-catching bench design that reflects their identity and activities, then work jointly with the other project partners to implement it.

“The big messages from the Big Aberdeen Event were ‘Let’s do something about the gaps between rich and poor’ and ‘Let’s celebrate our green spaces’,” said Alison Chandler, enterprise & sustainability lead, ACVO TSI.

“The Blooming Big Aberdeen bench project will get people talking and finding out about the great work being done around the city.

“We hope people will have fun out and about, tracking down the dozens of other friendly benches that will be popping up around Aberdeen over the months ahead in playparks, playgrounds and green spaces.”

The sunshine shone over Hazlehead Park as the final touches were put to the Home-Start Aberdeen bench accompanied by the celebratory skirl of bagpipes. Staff and volunteers from Home-Start Aberdeen were joined by families who are supported by the charity to celebrate completion of the bench.  While the adults busied themselves stencilling the charity’s helping hands logo onto the bench, some of the group’s younger members were entertained with outdoor activities organised by Home-Start Aberdeen’s co-ordinators.

“We first heard about the friendly bench project some months ago and were instantly captivated by the idea,” says Georgette Cobban, scheme manager, Home-Start Aberdeen. “Our raison d’être is to provide city-based families who may be suffering from isolation with emotional and practical support. We hope that the bench will encourage parents who didn’t know about our services to consider getting in touch.

“I also anticipate that the bench will become a popular meeting point for our existing families and their volunteers, as many of them like to make use of the fantastic community spaces that we have here in the city.

“It’s wonderful for both the charity – and for those who need our help – that there is another physical reminder of our presence in such a popular family area.”

Over the coming weeks other Blooming Big Aberdeen friendly benches will appear in popular city spaces – including Seaton Park and the Beach Esplanade – and along walking routes such as the former Deeside railway line.  Plaques for each of the benches are being produced and donated by corporate branding specialists, Recognition Express Scotland Ltd.

Further information on the friendly bench project and other Blooming Big Aberdeen initiatives is available here http://acvo.org.uk/working-with/big-aberdeen/blooming-big-aberdeen/.  For more information on the family support services provided by Home-Start Aberdeen visit www.homestartaberdeen.org.uk.

Volunteers Receive Golden Thank You

30/06/16 The Lord provost and Mike Melvin from ACVO presented Aileen Goymer-Davidson and Sylvia Davidson with God Volunteer awards for all the volunterr work totalling 70 years.The Lord Provost of Aberdeen, Councillor George Adam recognised the tremendous volunteering of two incredible volunteers. Aileen Goymer-Davidson and Sylvia Davidson were presented with Volunteering in Aberdeen Gold Awards for the amazing and important contribution they make volunteering, particularly in the Tillydrone and Woodside communities of Aberdeen and with citywide groups such as Regeneration Matters, Fairer Aberdeen Board and much more!

The Lord Provost personally thanked Aileen and Sylvia for all they do and ACVO was honoured to extend our many thanks to Aileen and Sylvia as well. The Gold Award presentation once again highlighted terrific volunteering in Aberdeen which is making a real positive difference to communities and people across the city.

Many congratulations and thanks Aileen and Sylvia.

For more information about volunteering across Aberdeen please visit www.volunteeraberdeen.org.uk and  www.acvo.org.uk or contact Mike Melvin at Mike.Melvin@acvo.org.uk

*Photograph copyright of Aberdeen City Council: Norman Adams LBIPP, Photographer, Office of the Chief Executive, Aberdeen City Council*

ACVO Affiliates Lunch at CFINE

WP_20160624_13_00_09_ProFeedback from the latest ACVO Affiliates Lunch, held at CFINE’s new Training kitchen, was that the input was “ informative and valuable “ for both private and third sector guests.

Stronachs Partner Eric Gilligan gave a detailed insight into particular employment law issues for Third Sector employers and introduced Collette Oliver of Social Stuff, a new social enterprise to the city.

Dave Simmers gave details of the ways in which the new Training kitchen can be used and Affiliate Brian Shanks spoke of the value to individuals of volunteering their business skills when facing a change in their career circumstances.

More information about the ACVO Affiliates scheme is available at http://acvo.org.uk/working-with/acvo-affiliates/

Big Aberdeen Good Causes Day

WP_20160626_13_13_33_ProSunday 26th Good Causes Day at Aberdeen Sports Village was the contribution to the Big Aberdeen movement of a group of business people led by Scott McDougall and Jeanette Lowe.

On a fantastically sunny day stall holders from many Aberdeen charities, charity mascots, superheroes and princesses large and small joined ACVO and the Lord Provost in a day of fun and awareness raising and the creation of a legacy for the City’s play parks.

Big Aberdeen Good Causes benches supplied by Aberdeen City Council  were painted by children on the spot in fantastic bright colours and will be positioned in playparks across the City as a place for parents and grandparents to sit and a signpost to the charity services available should they have needs unmet.

Individual Third Sector organisations can design and paint their own Blooming Big Aberdeen bench in a City greenspace and more information is available at http://acvo.org.uk/working-with/big-aberdeen/blooming-big-aberdeen/

 

AFC Offer Top Prize to Photo Competition

bigbloomingtest2“Aberdeen Football Club are delighted to provide exclusive and unique access to photograph Russell Anderson and players behind-the-scenes at Pittodrie as a top  Blooming Big Aberdeen prize” announces Dave Macdermid at the Club.

The Blooming Big Aberdeen Photo Competition, created by ACVO, is a chance for young Aberdonians to express their experiences of the City and its people.  The Blooming Big Aberdeen competition is open to anyone aged between 16 and 25 living in Aberdeen City.

Alongside the offer from AFC the overall winner will also win a top prize of one thousand pounds and an intensive creative photography masterclass from award-winning Graeme MacDonald Photography.  Other exclusive location photo-shoots with prominent VIPs and a range of other prizes and opportunities including £100 cash are available for every category winner.

The contest is judged by a panel from Aberdeen City Council Environmental Services, Aberdeen Youth Council, Graham MacDonald and Aberdeen Inspired.

“Judging will not be all about technical skill and fancy cameras which are no more important than capturing something you want to express.” explained Alison Chandler, the competition organiser. “We are already seeing a fascinating range of entries showing our beautiful City, the life within it, and some of the challenges it presents for young people.”

Entries will be exhibited at locations throughout the City from August as part of the City’s Britain in Bloom and Beautiful Scotland activities and winners will be announced on 22nd September.  The exhibition is sponsored by local fine art printing and developing  service Photoghost.

Entry details are available at http://acvo.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/entry_form.pdf or https://www.facebook.com/aberdeencityyouthcouncil

Aberdeen Gets Set for Volunteers Week 2016

volunteers weekNational Volunteers Week celebrates the millions of volunteers throughout the country who do so much good for our communities. It is a time to:

  • Recognise the essential contribution volunteers make in our communities.
  • Give special thanks and recognition to people who volunteer.
  • Promote volunteering and inspire more people to get involved

This year Volunteers Week has been extended and will now start on the 1st June 2016 and last right through to the 12th June 2016 (to also coincide with the celebration of the Queen’s birthday and Her Majesty’s patronage of more than 600 charities).

There will be a range of events held across Aberdeen during Volunteers Week to recognise, celebrate and thank volunteers for the tremendous contribution people make volunteering.

The Lord Provost of Aberdeen City Cllr. George Adam is also planning on volunteering with a different organisation each of the 12 days of the extended Volunteers Week Scotland 2016 and local MSPs, MP’s and councillors are providing great support. 

Joyce Duncan, Chief Executive at ACVO said “On behalf of all of the team at ACVO, I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in volunteering in the city throughout the year.  Without your support, our work would be so much harder and less fun.  You have brought fantastic skills and enthusiasm which have made a difference to the lives of many in the city.  I urge you to continue to be involved in volunteering.”

Kevin Stewart MSP, Aberdeen Central and Minister for Local Government & Housing, added “Without the work of volunteers many of the day to day things that we often take for granted in Aberdeen just would not happen. I’d like to thank all those folk who give up their time to volunteer and would urge others to think about volunteering during this National Volunteers Week Scotland 2016.”

In Aberdeen:

-62,000 people volunteer
-Contribute an astounding 6.2 million hours of volunteer help annually in Aberdeen.

There are many different ways to get involved in volunteering and all help is greatly appreciated. For more details about volunteer opportunities across Aberdeen please visit: www.volunteeraberdeen.org.uk / www.acvo.org.uk and for latest Volunteers Week Scotland 2016 updates please visit:

http://www.volunteerscotland.net/volunteer/volunteers-week-2016-who-would-you-like-to-thank/

ACVO Mental Health Directory

As part of Mental Health Awarness Week (16-22 May) ACVO have launched a directory of Mental Health Services in Aberdeen.

ACVO’s ongoing commitment is to partnership working and key to this is information sharing. As part of this we have compiled a comprehensive Directory of the 3rd Sector Mental Health Service Provision in Aberdeen City. This is not only across the sector but at National and Local levels too – all of which highlights the broad range and quite diverse spectrum of services available. Attached is a one-click link to this Directory, which will be hosted on our website http://acvo.org.uk/mental-health-directory/.

For ease of use we have tried to put it into as simple and straightforward a format as possible – however it is still a work in progress . Can I ask that, if relevant , you check that your organisation is listed and that all entry details are correct . Please let me know of any amendments required or omissions and I will ensure they are updated as quickly as possible. I will try to keep the Directory as up to date as possible, but need your assistance to do so.

Any feedback or comments will be most welcome and should be made to Susan Morrison tel. 01224 686070 email: susan.morrison@acvo.org.uk

Big Aberdeen Stories Return

For 10 months of 2015/16, ACVO gathered onto its website acvo.org.uk/resources/ big-aberdeen/bigaberdeenstories/ real stories of individual Aberdonians supported by local Third Sector organisations.

The stories highlighted issues; invited readers to engage with the “Storyteller” organisations as referrers, volunteers, donors or partners; drew connections to the myriad services and opportunities which exist for all of those with concern for such stories – and most of all they provided a new way of communicating the amazing courage and determination of local people.

We are relaunching Big Aberdeen Stories with a story for Mental Health Awareness Week from Penumbra and inviting you to be part of the project through 2016/17. We are not looking for a specific number of stories this year. We are looking for:

  • Powerful stories of life transition of a real, current Aberdonian
  • Stories that come from Third Sector organisations which can tell us how they see this opportunity providing tangible benefits for their organisation
  • Third Sector organisations that will actively promote and interact with the story (through social media, newsletters, at volunteers events or Board training etc)

To take part please visit acvo.org.uk/resources/big-aberdeen/bigaberdeenstories/my-big-aberdeen-story/ or contact Alison Chandler to discuss further.

Keith story tell’s us about his battle with Mental Health issues. He was born and bred in Aberdeen. He spent 14 years working his way around the world as a truck driver with Formula 1. Following ongoing problems with alcohol and anxiety, he lost his job in 2007.

For Keith’s story please click here.

Here is what some of the 10 Storytellers have told us about what they got from the project:

“The Spark has benefitted from making new connections and raising awareness to new audiences.“ – Emma Cameron, The Spark

“A definite increase in awareness of CFINE and our support and services; improving profile and awareness has been a priority for CFINE over the past few years and BIG A def helped – lot of interest generated through ‘Stephen’s Story’. For ‘Stephen’ the exercise def had a positive impact with him feeling that he mattered, that some people cared – given his dreadful experiences and situation.” – Dave Simmers, CFINE

“We / AFCCT promoted my story via our website, twitter and facebook. As an outcome of this I have been approached by people who either volunteer or know about the trust asking a bit more about my journey

ACVO Award Winners

acvoawards2015The ACVO Awards for 2015/16 were presented on 29th March 2016 at The Doubletree Hilton Hotel with an attendance of 120 guests from across the Third, public and private sectors.  The winners were:

Active Citizen – Gladys Annand of Future Choices
Finalists were: Dave McLauchlin of Aberdeen Cyrenians, John Ingles of Gordon Highlanders Museum
Prizes in this category were generously gifted by The Marcliffe Hotel and Spa, Langstane Press*, Aberdeen Football Club, CFINE and Dolce Vita Flowers.

Emerging Social Enterprise (sponsored by Caber Coffee)  – Me Too Magazine
Finalist – The Wishing Tree

Established Social Enterprise (sponsored by Caber Coffee) – The Fine Peace Café at Sheddocksley Baptist Church
Finalists were: CFINE and Homestart

Friends of the Third Sector (sponsored by Recognition Express*) Amplus Energy Services
Finalists were: Chevron, Technip

Whole Oganisation: Home-start Aberdeen
Finalists were: Aberdeen Football Club Community Trust and  North East Sensory Services

Connecting and Collaborating: Transition Extreme
Finalists were Sport Aberdeen/Move More and Greenfingers at Aberdeen Foyer

Fundraising Impact: Robert Gordons University Main Event
Finalist: Kincorth and Leggart Community Council

Big Aberdeen (sponsored by The Royal Bank of Scotland*): Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE)
Finalists: Aberdeen City Council Environmental Services and Home-Start Aberdeen

*These companies are ACVO Affiiates.

Changes to Charity Reporting

From the 1st April, charities are going to start to seeing some changes.  The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) will be taking a more “targeted”  approach in order to  “better aim… efforts and energies at the charities and groups of charities that are likely to pose the highest risk to public trust and confidence in the sector.”

We dealt with the changes relating to the notification of serious incidents  in last week’s eBulletin.

The other changes that are being introduced on the 1st of April relate to the Annual Return which most charities now do online.  For most charities, (particularly those with an income under £25,000) there will be fewer questions to be answered.

OSCR maintain that “..none of these changes should be particularly tricky or complicated.”  OSCR is issuing guidance on the changes here;

http://www.oscr.org.uk/media/2160/2016-03-16-v1-0_new-annual-return-guidance.pdf

The next obvious change that will be seen is that OSCR intends to publish all accounts from charities with an income of more than £25,000 and also the accounts of ALL Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations (SCIOs) on their website.

There is another way that your accounts can be displayed.  If your charity’s accounts are already published on your website, you can share this link with us on your Annual Return form and the link will be published on the Register.  If you were to use this method, it would be a great way of sharing other interesting information about your charity on the page, to really spell out your charity’s activities and impact.

For further information or support, contact ACVO Development Officer  Sandy Mathers on 01224 686075 or by email at; sandy.mathers@acvo.org.uk

New City, New Culture, New Language

20160309_134405-1In June 2015 ACVO launched the #10AberdeenStories project giving citizens an opportunity to get involved in helping fellow Aberdonians through a challenge in their lives, to share their experiences and have their voices heard.

10 months later we reach the last of these stories, each of which has chronicled the experiences of a real Aberdeen citizen and provided links to multiple organisations including sponsors, public bodies and charities.

We wanted to end the project on something of a high note – celebrating the diversity of our City. We have highlighted carers, volunteers, young employees and of course the clients and users of local Third Sector organisations. We also wanted to celebrate the employment opportunities the Third Sector provides and the culture of working life in organisations which truly value equality.

Explore Rosilda’s story and then come on a journey with us as we look towards the next stage of Big Aberdeen stories.

ACVO Awards Shortlist Announced!

ACVO are delighted to announce that the Shortlist for the ACVO Awards 2015/16 are as follows.

The finalists and winners will be announced at the Awards Luncheon on 29th March 2016. This event is now sold out. We are sure our readers will be very pleased to note that in these challenging times the Third Sector in this oil and gas city can give back.

The Awards shortlist acknowledges major Friends of the Third Sector supporting the communities in which they do business. This year’s Awards recognise also a wide range of effort to respond to the call, through the Big Aberdeen movement, for collaborative working across all parts of the City.

Big Aberdeen has found stories that need to be heard and partners willing to think differently – whether they are in the fields of faith, environment, education or recreation.

The shortlist acknowledges too the responsibility of organisations to look internally at their sustainability, volunteering and governance and the organisations shortlisted should all be acknowledged as leaders in the Aberdeen community.

Friends of the Third Sector: Amplus Energy Services, Chevron, Technip, Whitewolf Collective
Active Citizen: Gladys Annand of Future Choices , Graham Findlay of NESS , Dave McLauchlin of Aberdeen Cyrenians, John Ingles of Gordon Highlanders Museum
Connecting and Collaborating: Drugs Action, Sport Aberdeen/Move More, Transition Extreme, Greenfingers – Aberdeen Foyer
Big Aberdeen: CFINE, Shopmobility, Aberdeen City Council Environmental Services, Home-Start Aberdeen
Fundraising Impact: Robert Gordon University Main Event Team , Kincorth & Leggart Community Council
Whole Organisation: Aberdeen Footbacll Club Community Trust, Disabled Persons Housing Service, Home-Start Aberdeen, NESS
Established Social Enterprise: CFINE, Fine Peace Café , Home-Start Aberdeen , Inspire Café Coast
Emerging Social Enterprise: Me Too Magazine and The Wishing Tree

On being informed of her short listing Laura Easton, Stakeholder Engagement & Social Investment Advisor at Chevron, commented “That’s wonderful news, we are very excited about the Awards and looking forward to the lunch.”

Gette Cobban from Home-Start Aberdeen added “This is really great news, we are delighted!”

Amber Clarkson from Transition Extreme commented “Whoop whoop whoop!! Thank you and the we will be there!”

#10aberdeenstories – Roz’s Story

IMG_0637For 9 months now, ACVO has been gathering and sharing the real stories of individual people in Aberdeen who have been going through a transition in their life supported by a Third Sector organisation.

Our aims have been to make the needs of people in our City come alive in a really clear and understandable way, to highlight issues of importance that are apparent in those stories, to raise awareness of how you can connect with people in need and organisations helping them – whether as a referrer or signposter, donor or sponsor, volunteer or partner.

Each story gives you the chance to comment and feedback, to share and to tweet.

The 9th story is of Roz who brings her skills and enthusiasm to Inspire at Café Coast and to her interests in sport, singing and fundraising to give back to the community.

Please visit the story and give Roz and her friends at Inspire your feedback.

Aberdonians Respond Positively to Social Transport Project

The Transport to Healthcare Information Centre transport service, THInC in the City, has been given a huge boost with the results of a recent survey.

This popular service funded by, ACVO via the ‘Reshaping Care For Older People’ Change Fund, provides a valuable service for eligible citizens across the city that have particular conditions, which make using public transport quite difficult and challenging. The service has also been reducing the number of appointments not attended, reducing the number of missed appointments, mitigating wasted resources in terms of clinician’s time.

In a recent survey, carried out by ACVO TSI, 100% of passengers said that the service has given people more confidence in being able to travel to their appointments with 94% rating the service good or excellent.  The helpfulness of the driver was also highly commended.

Passengers provided the following additional comments:

  • “Taxis in Aberdeen are expensive and this service is very helpful”
  • “This is an excellent service… long may it continue”…“The minibus is clean and comfortable”
  • “The extremely nice lady who answers phone is so kind and also Mike, the driver very helpful, always a happy smile so friendly”
  • “It allows my dad to attend activities run by Alzheimer Scotland which without THInC he would not be able to access”.

While THInC in the City is still in its early stages, over 400 people have already registered to use the service. Nearly 2000 trips have been made since March 2015, charged at an incredibly reasonable rate of 45p per mile. The average charge to passengers is around £2.00.

One of the schemes strengths is to employ hand-picked drivers who are specially trained in Dementia – Awareness, Falls Awareness and Adult Protection issues and have the necessary people skills to make sure an individual feels safe from pick up to drop off, even including providing a handy wheelchair if required, to get them to the right clinic on time.

The phone number for any citizen wishing to see if they are eligible to use THInC in the City service is: 01224 665568

ACVO Welcomes New Chairperson

ACVO TSI is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Kenneth Simpson as the new chairman of its board and Liv Cockburn as Vice Chair.

Kenneth Simpson, a trustee of ACVO since 2011 and previously Vice Chair, succeeds John Tomlinson. ACVO would like to convey its appreciation to John Tomlinson. His leadership, talent and expertise have been great assets to the organisation in his time as chairman and it is pleased to have his continued involvement as a trustee.

Dr Simpson is an Aberdonian, was educated at Robert Gordons College in Aberdeen, is a qualified Rehabilitation Worker, Chartered Manager and is a graduate of the Robert Gordon University.

He worked in Health and Social Services before joining Guide Dogs in 1989, and served in a number of senior roles including, Regional Director, Deputy Director of Operations and Director of Development, joining VSA as Chief Executive in 2004. He is has 30 years experience in the voluntary sector and has served on a number of voluntary sector committees and Boards. He is currently a Board member of the Joint Integration Board and serves on the Community Planning Board and Aberdeen Social Enterprise Network.