The Foggie Gossip
January 2012 Edition      

BROWNIES & RAINBOWS

December saw the termination of another successful year with the 1st Aberchirder Rainbows.  Some of the Rainbows are pictured here in front of a collage of summer flowers they made early in the summer/autumn term.

The group had a busy term, enjoying arts and crafts, completing activities to gain the Changing the World Badge and preparing and eating delicious foods. They also played lots of games.

Rainbows are for 5-7 year old girls and meet weekly during term time.  For more information, contact Helen Fowlie on 01466 780210 or Gayle Beaton on 07786 650552.


Residents of Walker Court Sheltered Housing were recently provided with festive entertainment by Aberchirder Brownies and Rainbows.  The young children sang seasonal songs and recited poems much to the enjoyment of all present.
Residents entertained


 

SCHOOL CHRISTMAS PERFORMANCES - GALLERY

Aberchirder Primary School pupils entertained friends and family by putting on three different shows just before the Christmas break.
 
Classes P1 & P2 Performed 'We Three Kings'


Primary 1 Angels

 

Classes P3 - P7 Staged 'It's a Cracker'


 

The Nursery Performed 'Ralph the Reindeer'

 

 

Nursery Staff who took part, L-R:  Alison Reid (Teacher), Emma Banks (Student), Emma Topping (Nursery Nurse),
Caroline Farquhar (Nursery Nurse) and Diane Mitchell (Student).


 

FOGGIE FIRE SERVICE

On 29 October 2011, local fire stations took part in a National Car Wash day to raise money essentially for The Fire Fighters' Charity. Our Foggie crew, by washing cars and via donations, were able to gift £150.15 to that charity and to pass on £83.50 to both Aberchirder Medical Practice for equipment and to the Aberchirder branch of Deveron Home Start.
Car Wash Presentation
On 28 November 2011, presentations were made to Wendy Gray of Deveron Home Start and to Dr Gatenby of the local medical centre.

Visit from Playgroup

On 3 November 2011, the Fire Station played host to Aberchirder Playgroup. The parents and children gave special thanks to the fire-fighters who made the visit very enjoyable and so much fun for all.

Aberchirder Toddler group meets on a Friday mornings 9.30am – 11am (birth to pre-school age) enquires to Fiona Forrest 01466 780969
Aberchirder Playgroup Mon-Thurs 9.15am – 11.15am ages from 2years to pre-school
£4.25 per session - places are available - enquires Mary Turner 01466 781114


The group learn about safety gear.

Here Martin Allan explains procedures.

The children find out about the inside of the fire engine.

Even the toddlers get to use a fire hose.

Foggie Fireman Retires

The end of 2011 saw the retirement of Crew Manager Gordon Taylor from Grampian Fire & Rescue Service.  Gordon, of Taylor Drive, Abrechirder, served for over 26 years as a part-time fireman and had to retire due to other work commitments. A presentation was made to mark his many years service.
Gordon Taylor Retires
Gordon Taylor (right) is seen being presented with a commemorative axe by Station Watch Manager, Peter Scott.


 

LONDON MARATHON COMPETITOR

Former Foggie loon Kevin Seivwright has been accepted to run in this year's London Marathon.  Kevin was brought up in Aberchirder by his parents Bill and Myrtle, went to Banff Academy and still keeps in touch with many of his friends from this area. Kevin is well travelled and has stayed in, and visited, many parts of the world.  For the past eight years or so he has has lived in Watford, Hertfordshire and has just recently got engaged to his partner Rosie Strudwick.  In 2010, the couple spent a year travelling around Asia.

Kevin (right) is employed as a Buyer for construction company, Ridge Interiors Limited and has been with them since he moved to England. He is currently studying for a History degree with the Open University - more as a personal goal and interest than any career relevance. His fiancé Rosie who is from St Albans, is a primary School Teacher.

The pair met in Burkina Faso, West Africa, where they were both involved with a Christian Aid Group supporting the construction and continued support of the Bama School Project. They both continue to sponsor the education of a child.

When travelling, Kevin realised he wanted more than just a job and since returning home, he has spent time caring for an Autistic lad Daniel from Watford. At first it was practically a full time job however now it is more manageable with the occasional weekend where they can participate in activities such as rock climbing or going to a theme park. Daniel also attends a weekly club every Wednesday for the physically and mentally disabled. Kevin has become close friends with not only Daniel (who has just turned 22) but his family also. They recently all went to Corfu together to share the responsibility of Daniel and it turned out to be the best family holiday they have ever had.

Kevin Seivwright

The London Marathon takes place this year on Sunday 22nd April and as always, covers 42.195 km (26 miles and 385 yards).  Kevin has been training for this on and off since registering but his intensive program begins this month. The personal challenge always appealed to him and he is determined to prove to himself that he can do it.

Kevin & Daniel
Daniel with Kevin

Kevin wanted to run for a charity that meant something to him. Working with Daniel pointed him in an obvious direction and he was delighted when he was accepted to run on behalf of MENCAP (the voice of learning difficulty).

Not new to challenges to raise money for good causes, Kevin along with a few friends, completed the Three Peak Challenge in aid of four year old Luna Petagine who suffered cancer which attacks the central nervous system. You can read about Kevin's involvement here. We are sure that with his determination, he will do well in the London Marathon.

Although Kevin is hosting a fund raising event near his home in February, he has set up a sponsorship web page through which some of his friends from this area have already made contributions.

If you would like to sponsor Kevin, please visit http://www.justgiving.com/Kevin-Seivwright

SHELTERED HOUSING RESIDENTS UPSET

Residents of Walker Court Sheltered Housing in Aberchirder are upset about further reductions in the Warden service covering their homes.

When the complex was built in 1986, the Warden at the time resided in the house on the right of the picture above.  This house was built at the same time as the complex but was subsequently taken into the general Council Housing stock. For many years the elderly residents of Walker Court felt safe and secure in the knowledge that a Warden was on on duty for most of the day. That cover has gradually been eroded over the years and has now dramatically changed. A new system of mobile care cover has been introduced and thus the hours of cover in Walker Court are greatly reduced.

Residents and their families are angry about the way the changes have been introduced without proper consultation. Most of the residents are in their 80s and 90s and although they were told earlier of the proposed changes, many were not able to recall what what was said or did not fully appreciate the consequences. What has resulted is that instead of a Warden being on duty for 7.75 hours per weekday, this has been reduced to 3.5 hours during which a half hour lunch break will be taken.  Weekend cover is reduced from 4 hours on Saturdays and Sundays to only 1 hour each day.

What is more confusing and distressing is that a similar complex in Gardenstown (Gamrie Bay Court) is retaining a full-time Warden - the reason given that the roads can be bad in winter!  Those who have experience of Foggie in the winter will know how bad it can be in and around this area. It has also been stated that Gardenstown will retain a full time Warden after residents' concerns there had been addressed.

It would appear that once again, financial savings take priority over care and safety of our elderly and vulnerable population. People seek housing in sheltered accommodation for numerous reasons. Many are elderly, infirm, insecure or in need of a little help or company. Often the main reason is that they will be able to live in a safe and secure environment where help is always on hand if they need it. The rent they pay covers a full time Warden service and a major reduction in this service is simply not acceptable.

Local Councillor John Cox is taking the concerns onboard and has called for a meeting with residents, their families and Council officials to examine the issues and fears of those involved. Let us hope the outcome of such, results in Walker Court residents resting easy.



Ferniebrae at junction of South Street and Huntly Road 1954
(Picture courtesy of Gladys Christie)

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