AVA - your Third Sector Interface in Aberdeenshire.
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Welcome to this month's edition of the Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action Network Newsletter. Thank you for all your contributions, we really appreciate all input. You can also view the newsletter on your browser via the link at the top of this email and as ever, it is available on our website along with previous editions here.

December 2020

Dear Colleagues in the Third Sector
Welcome to this, the final newsletter from AVA for 2020.
We all know that this year has been particularly tough in almost as many ways as there are individual people. It has also been incredibly challenging on the many third sector groups who have worked amazingly hard to offer support where it was needed.
Listening to the ‘Valuing the Third Sector’ debate in the Scottish Parliament on 1st December, I took heart that voices from all sides of the political divide were all delivering a very similar message, which was that more has to be done to support the sector because of the value it brings to people and society as a whole. I look forward to hearing how the landscape might look in the future for the sector and hope that the TSI Scotland Network’s Manifesto for Change will be used to inform the development of a tangible plan for ‘Valuing the Third Sector’ a little more in the future (TSI Manifesto (
With the approval of a vaccine having been announced on 2nd December, I urge everyone to stay safe over the holiday period and until as many people as possible have been protected. The more vulnerable members of our society also need to have the best chance to remain safe and well into what we all hope will be a better 2021.
Just as the pandemic doesn’t stop for Christmas, neither do the incredible services that are delivered by the Third Sector. On behalf of AVA (our staff team and our Directors), I’d like to offer a very personal thank you to everyone who will be going that extra mile over the Christmas period to offer support where it is needed.
Whether you will be celebrating Christmas or not, I wish you all the very best for a safe holiday period.
With best wishes
Chief Executive Officer
Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action

AVA Supports Communities throughout Aberdeenshire. If you or your group are based in Aberdeenshire and are looking for some support - contact your local Development Officer:
      Contents: (click on heading links below to skip to relevant section)

The Meadows Sports Centre, Ellon is a self funded charity which offers a wide range of indoor and outdoor sporting activities to the community of Ellon and the surrounding area.  The centre is focused on providing “sport for all” and encourages participation for all ages and abilities.
In March 2020, along with all other similar establishments, the centre was forced to close and only re-opened on 21 September 2020 having gone through significant challenges due to no income being generated during that period of time.
During the period of closure, however, a number of preparatory measures were put in place to ensure the premises were fit for purpose when permitted to re-open, including office refurbishment, deep cleaning, improved cleansing/sanitising stations and a full relocation of the gym equipment.  All these measures have assisted in improving the sports centre making the premises into a safe environment for both users and staff.
The Centre also offers outdoor facilities in the form of a 2G astro pitch, 2 football pitches, 2 rugby pitches and a track and field area for athletics.  The Groundskeeper remained employed throughout lockdown to ensure the grass pitches and astro pitch were in excellent condition when children, and lately adults, returned to outdoor sport.
There remains a restriction on indoor adult contact sport which reduces the usage of our four court games hall which continues to have a negative impact on indoor usage, such as indoor adult football, basketball and squash.  This has naturally seen a significant reduction on the indoor footfall, however, whilst restrictions remain in place, it will be a continual challenge for this to improve and get to a position where the charity is financially stable. 
There will naturally still be a feeling of trepidation amongst the local community on attending the gym, fitness classes and other indoor sports, however, our premises have undergone extensive measures and have protocols in place to ensure the safety of users. 
Lastly, Ellon Meadows  would urge the people of Ellon and the surrounding community who want to take part in activities to go and view the changes made, the safety protocols in place and to see what activities are on offer.


AVA Services Festive Closing

Over the festive period, the AVA team will be taking a break. AVA’s services to third sector groups and organisations will close at 2pm on Wednesday 23rd December and reopen at 10am on Tuesday 5th January 2021. 

Magpie Festive Opening Hours

24th December - 10am - 12pm
25th - 28th December - Closed 
29th - 31st December - 10am - 3:30pm
1st - 4th January - Closed
5th January onwards - 10am - 3:30pm

Thank you to our staff and volunteers for their hard work this year and we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

Aberdeenshire North Foodbank festive opening times

Huntly: Tuesday 22nd & Tuesday 29th December
Fraserburgh: Monday 21st & Monday 28th December 
Peterhead: Monday 21st, Wednesday 23rd, Thursday 24th, Wednesday 30th & Thursday 31st December
Ellon: Monday 21st, Tuesday 29th December & 4th January  
Inverurie: *Deliveries only - please call 07967 364600* Closed 25th December & 1st January.

Aberdeenshire South Foodbank festive opening times
Banchory: Wednesday 23rd & Wednesday 30th December


New Facebook Page to Promote Winter Wellbeing 

This winter it is more important than ever to take care of our wellbeing and to stay connected.
The Aberdeenshire ADP community forums have launched a new Facebook Page to share information about activities and supports available in Aberdeenshire. 

Information about social activities, recovery projects and supports available to folk during the winter months and festive season will be shared on this page - Follow 3 Forums Winter Wellbeing on Facebook to see all news and announcements. 
Garioch Community Kitchen offer additional help for Christmas 

Age Scotland Christmas Appeal 
Age Scotland is asking people to support their friendship line this winter with a monthly donation of £5 which will fund a regular call to an older person in need. This free service was launched in June by Still Game star Greg Hemphill in response to the huge rise in calls to the charity from older people who were lonely and just wanted a friendly chat. It is available on 0800 12 44 222 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Click on the image below to view their video.
Children's Rights and Inclusion Strategy Launch

Childrens Hearings Scotland  launched their Children’s Rights and Inclusion Strategy on the 20th November. The strategy is focused on ensuring children and young people feel able to speak openly and honestly in hearings, that their views are given real weight in the decision making process and that they feel empowered and have ownership of their rights.

The strategy has been developed in collaboration with young people with lived experience of the children’s hearings system, representatives the from Children’s Hearings Scotland (CHS) community – both staff and volunteers - and experts in participation and engagement.

You can view the full strategy here.

Asda to donate over 1 million meals this Christmas

Asda have announced it will donate one million meals before Christmas to support vulnerable people across the UK.

The majority of the one million meals donated will come from Asda’s back of store donation scheme and depots, which sees non-chilled fruit, vegetables, eggs, and bread products go to local foodbanks, charities and community groups. In addition, Asda’s 387 Community Champions will also make donations on behalf of the store to their local food banks.

See here for more information on Asda's initiatives.

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Visit the AVA website for regularly updated funding information at:  Our AVA Funding Officer can also assist with funding searches. Contact Donna Speed at: or Tel: 07964 036821.


The Clashindarroch Community Fund

The Clashindarroch Community Fund is provided by Vattenfall, the
developer and owner of the Clashindarroch Wind Farm in Aberdeenshire. The Fund supports projects located within or directly benefiting one or more of the three community council areas of Huntly, Strathbogie and Tap O Noth and the area of the Cabrach Community Association.

Apply by 25th January 2021 for a decision in mid March 2021
Apply by 3rd May 2021 for s decision in mid June 2021

Visit Foundation Scotland for more information or to apply.

The Greencoat Kildrummy, Lumsden & Towie Community Fund

The Greencoat Kildrummy, Lumsden & Towie Community Fund is a
charitable Fund set up to benefit residents of three communities within the area covered by Donside Community Council. The Fund is owned by Greencoat UK Wind and managed by Foundation Scotland.

The Fund will provide grants to support charitable activities that reflect the ambitions and activity of the Kildrummy, Lumsden & Towie Community Action Plan 2013, and the Glenkindie & Towie Community Action Plan 2019, both of which that was produced in partnership with Marr Area Partnership

Apply by 15th January 2021 for a decision in mid March 2021
Apply by 31st July for a decision in mid September 2021

Visit Foundation Scotland for more information or to apply.

Covid-19 Residential Outdoor Education Centre Recovery Fund 

Round one of the Covid-19 Residential Outdoor Education Centre Recovery Fund is open until 11th December.
The fund is open to third and private sector centres that routinely provided curricular relevant, residential outdoor learning opportunities for young people (aged 3-18) before March 2020, and that can demonstrate a negative financial impact as a result of a loss of residential activity since the emergence of the current pandemic.

The deadline for Round 1 applications is 11th December 2020.
For more details, or to apply visit here.

Children In Need Funding Webinar

The latest Children In Need funding programme is now open.
The team in Scotland are hosting a virtual session on Thursday 10th December for anyone who is interested in finding out more information.  To book your place, please email

Aberlour's Urgent Assistance Fund

Aberlour’s Urgent Assistance Fund can provide cash grants to help families with children (aged 21 and under) who are suffering extreme hardship, including the impact of the Coronavirus.

Applications must be endorsed and submitted by a sponsor, acting in their professional capacity. Examples of eligible sponsors include social workers, health care professionals, teachers, clergy, and third sector organisations.  Applications from individuals cannot be accepted.

For more information please visit

Formartine Rural Partnership Small Grants Scheme

The Formartine Rural Partnership Small Grants Scheme (2nd round) is now open for applications. 
The Fund is open to one-off survival grant applications from small groups facing closure due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in addition to the standard application criteria.
This scheme is funded by Cardinghill Renewables Limited for the good of the communities throughout the Formartine area of Aberdeenshire.

Closing date is noon 9th December 2020, decisions made by 15th December 2020.

To apply please visit here.

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Search for volunteering opportunities on the AVA Website

AVA has a volunteering opportunities search facility on our website which makes it easier to find opportunities in the Aberdeenshire area. You can refine your search depending on what kind of volunteering you are looking for and you can also make it area specific.

Visit the AVA website at:

CHAS are looking to recruit Home Nursing Support Volunteers across
Aberdeenshire. Caring for a child with a life-shortening condition is a full time job. Our families need help with activities and practical tasks. As a CHAS Home Support volunteer you will be matched to one family to support them with whatever tasks will help them most.

Visit here for more details.
Langstane Housing Association Ltd are currently recruiting for Board of  Management members.
Although Langstane Housing Association is very open to applications from ‘experts in their field’ they also recognise the invaluable experience that voluntary positions can have on those wishing to progress their careers.
The Association offers a wide range of internal and external training, with the opportunity to participate in relevant conferences / events provided by a number of professional bodies.

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Who cares if they die? They’re only junkies :  An event on drug related deaths
Monday 14th December 2020 4-6pm 

This event aims to facilitate an inclusive discussion to explore how all policy actors and communities can work collaboratively to affect meaningful systemic change and reduce DRDs within Scottish society.
A range of speakers, ranging from academics, policy professionals, authors and social commentators will be contributing to the event.

For more information, or to sign up to attend, please visit here.

Winter Holidays Crisis Points Webinar
Thursday 3rd December 2020 9:45 - 11:45am

One Stop Shop Aberdeen are hosting a Winter Holidays Crisis Points webinar which is designed to Improve Understanding of Autism. They will be discussing; helping understand crisis points, as well as giving hints and tips for a happy holiday period for both autistic adults living alone and for families with autistic members with some time a Q&A session at the end.

You can register for the event here.

Peaceful Solutions to the War on Drugs 
16th December 5pm  - 8pm

On the day after the Scottish drug death figures will be released, join Recovering Justice for this special line up of international speakers. They will discuss drug policy reform, the history of the war on drugs , grassroots activism and how we can all get involved in creating change.

Visit here for more information or to secure a place at this event.

Friends of AL AMAL Project Free Training Opportunities

  • Basic Zoom training for beginners
    Friday 22nd January - 10am- 12noon 

    Delivered by Katrena Wilkie, an experienced tutor who delivers English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) for the Workers Educational Association (WEA). Let Katrena talk you through the basics of attending and contributing to Zoom Social Sessions. (1:1 sessions to help you get started can also be set up if required.)
  • Communicating with people with low level English language skills. 
    Friday 8th January - 10 - 12noon

    The session promises to be relaxed, fun and informative and, as the title suggests, will explore how we can communicate effectively with people with low English language skills. It is aimed at people who would like to volunteer with our Social/Friendship Groups where we discuss all sorts of things to do with our different cultures depending on what seems most relevant at the time.
  • Working 'one - to - one' with Pre-Literacy / Literacy ESOL students
    Wednesday 13th and Monday 18th January 6:30pm - 8:30pm

    Webinar training session run by Emily Bryson, a teacher trainer and ESOL lecturer at the City of Glasgow College. It will contain tips and activity ideas to help those volunteers willing to support individual members of the New Scots community practice what they have learned in their ESOL classes. Topics will include: using phonics; handwriting practice; spelling activities; creating accessible materials; 'drilling' and sites to find suitable (and free) resources.
For more information or to book a place on any of the above training courses, please email
Introduction to Suicide Prevention training 

SAMH are pleased to offer a series of dates bookable through EventBrite for their 90 minute ‘Introduction to Suicide Prevention’ delivered via Microsoft Teams and available free of charge to all staff in Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray.  They have offered differing days and times for flexibility.
Bookings will only be taken through the Eventbrite link and not via email requests. You can book a maximum of 4 tickets per booking for staff and colleagues.  Spaces are limited to 12 participants per course. 
The dates for training are as follows:
Wednesday 9th December – 10am
Thursday 17th December – 2pm
Friday 8th January – 2pm
Tuesday 12th January – 2pm
Wednesday 20th January – 2pm
Thursday 28th January – 10am
Friday 5th February – 10am
HomeStart Volunteering Training

HomeStart Deeside, Alford and Strathdon have just started up their socially distanced volunteer training. They are looking for Family Visiting Volunteers to start a new course of training early in the New Year and are looking for people to register interest by getting in touch on 01330 824443 or

Your views on proposals to strengthen Scots charity law

The Scottish Government – in partnership with ACOSVO and SCVO – invites you to two events as part of its engagement with the charity sector to develop and refine the proposals consulted on in 2019. These online events will provide those attending with an opportunity to help the Scottish Government formulate a position on the way forward with charity law in Scotland.

📆 Scots Charity Law Engagement: Transparency & Accountability - Dec 2nd @ 13:00 - 14:30

📆 Scots Charity Law Engagement: Increased Regulatory Powers for OSCR - Dec 9th @ 13:00 - 14:30

Visit here for more details.

Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014
Post-legislative scrutiny

Under the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 (‘2014 Act’), public bodies are required by law to consider how their procurement activity can be used to improve the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of their area and how they will facilitate the involvement of SMEs, third sector and supported businesses and promote innovation.

The Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee has heard evidence about the key role of public procurement in the Scottish economy and has agreed to carry out post-legislative scrutiny of the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act (2014) (‘the 2014 Act’). 

The Committee launched its call for views on Friday 9 October 2020. The deadline for submitting evidence is 18 December 2020.

Click here for more information on the inquiry.

NHS Grampian Elective Care Centre

NHS Grampian is delighted to be one of five Boards in Scotland to receive Scottish Government funding to build an Elective Care Centre in Aberdeen, the likely location is close to the main entrance of Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

The Centre is planned to be up and running by 2022, it aims to improve the patient care experience, the care pathway and treatment waiting times.  The services and facilities to be included in the Centre are:

  • Outpatient accommodation for Urology
  • Dermatology and Respiratory Medicine
  • Day Surgery and Endoscopy Facilities
  • MRI and CT Scanning Facilities

The Elective Care Project Team would love to hear from people with experience of planned, diagnostic and treatment services, who would be willing to give their views at informal focus groups or through electronic questionnaires.

If you are interested in getting involved or would like more information, please contact the Public Involvement Team at:

Scotland on Mars: The Future of Health Data

Are you an organisation supporting 15-18 year old’s in Scotland? Do you feel passionate about health and how health data is used?

Commissioned by Nesta UK and ScotGov as part of the Data Dialogues initiative, this high-impact project seeks to involve young people aged 15-18 years to participate in an interactive virtual game. It provides young people with the opportunity to take on the role of Health Minister. They will set up a new colony for Scotland’s citizens on Mars. Young people will explore scenarios around the use of citizen’s health data, and map what they would do as Health Minister.

For more information, or to apply please visit 

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Community Path Group Information Pack

Aberdeenshire Council have created a Community Path Group
Information Pack for those wishing to set up and run local path groups. The pack aims to supporting appropriate and effective community-led action on paths in Aberdeenshire.

If you wish to discuss the setting up of a path group or any aspect of the guidance itself, please contact

You can download the pack here

Community Fund Coordindator vacancy 

Foundation Scotland  have an exciting opportunity for a well organised and motivated individual to join our Communities Team, co-ordinating a portfolio of community benefit funds in north east Scotland.  Key responsibilities include supporting volunteer Advisory Panels, co-ordinating grant-making and other fund management activity, and engaging communities in maximising fund opportunities and impact.

You can see the Role Profile here or visit GoodMoves for more information
  • Closing date for applications: Monday 14th December 2020
  • Interviews are expected to take place: online (via Zoom) on Monday 21st December 2020
Get in touch
The next AVA Newsletter will be published the week beginning 1st February 2021. The deadline for contributions to this edition is Friday 22nd January 2021. We are always looking for local groups across the Shire to contribute to our newsletters. Whether it be to advertise an event, showcase your work, appeal for volunteers or celebrate a successful funding bid - whatever it is, we’d love to hear about it! If you're an AVA member and would like to promote your work in our Members' Spotlight, please get in touch. 
If you would like to be included any information in future editions, please contact

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Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action is a charitable company limited by guarantee.
Company number: 137343. Scottish Charity Number: SC014223

Registered office:
57 Station Road, Ellon, Aberdeenshire AB41 9AR Tel: 03718 110008
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AVA are distributors of content sometimes supplied by third parties and users. Whilst we check all information thoroughly, any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed or made available by third parties are those of the respective author(s) and do not necessarily state or reflect those of Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action.