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Visual stories from Aberdeen’s third sector

Aberdeen Cares: 150 Years of VSA

Third Sector Events

April 2022

Since 1870 Aberdeen Association of Social Service (VSA), has stood next to the people of the city, offering care, support, and vital services to vulnerable people in our communities. To mark the organisation’s 150th anniversary, this exhibition, which is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, explores VSA’s role in the history of social care in Aberdeen.

Alexander Nicol, a former Lord Provost of Aberdeen (1865-1869), was inspired after his term in office to establish an organisation that could help change the lives of people living in poverty across the city for the better. Every Lord Provost of Aberdeen serves as President of VSA.

Lynne Clark, who curated the exhibition for VSA, gathered together 150 stories from archives across the city as inspiration for the exhibition’s themes. Aberdeen Cares highlights the impact of human kindness through poignant and inspirational personal stories, archival photography, documents and objects associated with care giving in Aberdeen.

Dr Kenneth Simpson, Chief Executive of VSA, said: “VSA has been caring for vulnerable children and adults in Aberdeen and beyond for over 150 years, and the vast history of the charity has been amazing to discover. As times have changed, so has the way we have delivered our services, but always with one ambition: to give the people of Aberdeen the best of care to enable them to live the best of lives.”

“We are so incredibly grateful to The National Lottery Heritage Fund for awarding us a grant to help deliver this project and showcase the history of social care. I would also like to thank Aberdeen Art Gallery and Aberdeen City Council for their support in helping us present this exhibition.”

The exhibition was open to the public between 12th March and 29th May 2022. To find out more about VSA and their work, visit: vsa.org.uk