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Through his ongoing work with various communities, committees and agencies across Aberdeen, things are actually happening daily.
"By the strength of our common endeavour, we achieve more than we achieve alone so as to create for each of us the means to realise our true and full potential, and for all of us a community in which power, wealth and opportunity are afforded and managed by the people for the people. The objective is for the individual to fulfil their potential and ambition. My role is as the enabler of this, not the controller of it, aiming not to limit that ambition or those goals, but to open up their possibility to all. This is real community, and it is not constrained by old geographical lines or monarch-style leadership."

in the city for the city

Community Posted on Mon, May 21, 2018 12:59:59

It was an enormous pleasure to be invited to the Shah Mustafa Mosque by Cllr Malik BEM to receive food donations for TLC prior to the commencement of Ramadan.

True community crosses many perceived boundary lines. TLC has been doing an extraordinary work since it was founded in 2002, and it never ceases to amaze me how generous people are. My communities benefit from the generosity and good will of many organisations, not least from the faith groups. At the heart of all this is humanity’s heart cry to make this world a better place. It is at the grass roots of communities that cllrs and government officials can make a huge difference to local people.

Thank you to all those who made this happen. And thank you councillors for being in the city ‘for’ the city.

ACVO – Voluntary Adult Recognition Workshop

Community Posted on Sat, June 24, 2017 14:05:15

On Thursday the 22nd June 2017 I had the pleasure of sitting in a room with many community and voluntary service leaders discussing how we bring recognition to our volunteers.

One leader reminded us that Scotland has over 1 million volunteers and how cumbersome and broad a national recognition scheme may be (suggesting that the Saltire Awards for young adults has lost its integrity with so many being printed out and handed out without any recognised traceability). I’m not sure I agree with all that was said but what is needed for sure is a professional looking way of measuring, reviewing and recognising the efforts of our volunteers.

It may be lost in translation, but my points were that there should – just like in the professional world – be a way of measuring a volunteers continual development (CPD in the business world) and assess those who have achieved an outstanding contribution to the 3rd sector by making them a “chartered volunteer” recognised by having the words C.Vol after there name (in the same way I have been a C.Eng and a C.Phys in the professional world).

If the government are truly going look at a way of recognising the huge and valuable contribution of our volunteers then they could help fund this move…..a move that is sustainable. Some points, if I may:

– Need a system of measuring : whether its duration of service, or/and training received along the way
– Need to make sure that if a volunteer becomes a paid employee of the 3rd sector that his/her recognition is not lost, but is adjusted (i.e. recognition of past Chartered Volunteer). Maybe PC.Vol. after their name.

This type of recognition need a HQ and a small number of employees to make this work. In other wards it would require government funding!

So what would the government achieve?

A sustained volunteer workforce that feels honoured and recognised. These are the type of people who run our food banks, who provide befriending services to the socially isolated and vulnerable. These services – run in the main by volunteers – alleviates strain on various government systems (like welfare, benefits, etc), whilst dealing with the deprivation and isolation by creating community and sign-posting to other services to benefit the individuals (i.e. drug, alcohol, abuse services).

Would this work? I think so, but does anyone really want to listen?

Grenfell Tower

Community Posted on Sat, June 17, 2017 18:33:41

This week’s blog cannot conclude without mention of the horrific fire in the Grenfell Tower, West London. The press have dubbed this the “worst fire in modern British history” (Scottish Daily Express, 16.06.17). There is agony and anger in the aftershock as information comes to light to contributing factors. In times like this many will say, “Our thoughts and Prayers are with you” because there are few words that can possibly help. With many still missing and reports that those who perished could be as many as 100, I cannot add any words except the usual. My thoughts and prayers are with you – God help and bless you all!
(picture from the front page of the Scotsman 16.06.17)

Kaimhill Summer Fayre

Community Posted on Sat, June 17, 2017 18:15:06

So wonderful to have opportunity to be out in the community today at the Kaimhill Summer Fayre. Some really hard working people come together at the school to make this happen.

Today, I pulled on my TLC T-shirt and got stuck in with the other volunteers working on the stalls, slides and the now infamous stocks. With temperatures soaring well over 20 degrees I was delighted to once again be working the stocks, where pupils have the opportunity to wet-sponge teachers & parents.

Here we have Stephen and Thomas with one of the mums, Kelly, who has avoided the stocks for 3 years running…..but not this year!

16 TLC volunteers came for the day. An absolutely incredible effort by all to help make this event happen. I really appreciated being with you, and appreciate each one of you. Well done!

Broomhill End of Year show

Primary Schools Posted on Thu, June 15, 2017 20:42:35

What a pleasure to see the hard work pupils and teachers put into their end of year show pay-off. I have to say, the live music (drums, piano and singing) really made it a special evening. There were tears of sadness as the P7 pupils said good bye to go to High School.

Great production. Well done Broomhill Primary! Please let us come again.

Kaimhill Learning Centre

Community Posted on Thu, June 15, 2017 20:30:13

I was delighted to hear about the goings-on on the grounds of the fantastic and pretty modern Kaimhill School. Having helped out at a number of their Summer School Fayres, I often wondered if it was utilised in the evenings and weekends for other events (given the facilities also include a state of the art all weather football pitch).

Myself and my wife Amy joined Cllr Douglas Lumsden as the new faces around the table at the latest HALLA (Harlaw Area Lifelong Learning Association) committee meeting. As the various activities unfolded and the vision was imparted, we sat with an element of anticipation and excitement as to how this would unfold.

Garthdee appears to be on the edge of something quite extraordinary. Inchgarth Community Centre, just a couple of streets away is light years ahead of many community centres and were recently awarded – along with the Aberdeen’s Seafarers centre and Dennis Law Sport – the Queens Award for Voluntary Service. They also have plans to expand and extend their facility in the near future.

The Kaimhill school facility has the potential to compliment what is happening in Inchgarth CC, and no doubt some future conversation will be had to see what can be done. Lets not forget that we also have the Ruthrieston Community Centre, the Ski Centre, and Robert Gordon’s University as part of the Garthdee community.

The future looks bright. Watch this space!!

After the Storm: Westminster

Government Posted on Tue, June 13, 2017 16:11:04

And whilst Ive been at a local primary school Sportsday it seems like the media attention has turned to our Scottish representatives first 48hrs as MPs. From top-left (clockwise), Scottish Labour’s Magnificent 7 with Jeremy Corbin; SNPs Nicola Sturgeon with her team of 35; Scotland’s 4 Liberal Democrats with Willie Rennie; and the 13 Scottish Conservatives.

Our Scottish results were as follows:

Party Seats (change) 2017 vote share Share change 2017 votes Vote change
SNP 35 (-21) 36.9% -13.1 977,569 -476,867
Conservatives 13 (+12) 28.6% +13.7 757,949 +323,852
Labour 7 (+6) 27.1% +2.8 717,007 +9,860
Lib Dems 4 (+3) 7.5% -0.8 179,061 -40,614

(source BBC News :

Sports day

Primary Schools Posted on Tue, June 13, 2017 15:37:17

Time for Sports day. A time where parents appear, some for the first time, to cheer on their children. I am delighted to be at the Broomhill Sports day to see this young lady run (a feature we never expected to see earlier on in the year).

She came last in her first race but we were so delighted to see her running that we all cheered as she crossed the finish line.

So imagine the look on her face when she came 1st in her only other race. #UncontainableJoy.

Just a few months ago she was on crutches, regularly at the hospital with specialists and physios. The consultants had predicted that her knee problems may preclude her from any sport for the foreseeable future. So – on this journey of ups and downs – today is a Very Good Day!