University distributes £7,000 to local community groups

Funding community skills classes, out of school activity sessions for young people and educational play equipment for parent and toddler groups are just some of the projects to benefit from the University of Aberdeen's 2021/22 Local Community Fund.

Four projects have been fully funded and a further 15 have been awarded monies for activities involving and supporting communities across Tillydrone, Old Aberdeen, Seaton, Woodside, Stockethill, Ashgrove, George Street, Froghall, Powis and Sunnybank as a result of the fund which was launched in August.

Local groups were invited to apply for funding of up to £1,000 to help fund community projects and support communities in their recovery from the pandemic.

The aim of the fund is to assist local groups with the delivery of projects that address issues including mental health and wellbeing, skills development, food and fuel poverty, increasing resilience and using community spaces to increase physical activity. 

The projects to be fully funded by the University Local Community Fund were:

  • Fersands and Fountain Community Project - Parent and Toddler Group
  • Printfield Community Project - Little Learners
  • STAR (Seaton Taking Action for Regeneration) Community Flat - Cookery Class Resources
  • Tillydrone Community Flat - Community Event

Professor Peter Edwards, Vice-Principal Regional Engagement & Regional Recovery at the University of Aberdeen, said: “We are delighted to be distributing these funds to such a fantastic range of local projects and initiatives.

“Being an institution that is ‘open to all’ means many things but one key aspect is being an active part of the communities on our doorstep by building partnerships with individuals, communities and organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors.

“As a Civic University we are fully committed to making a difference in terms of positive social change and look forward to working more closely with these, and other groups in the community going forward.”

The partially funded projects were:

  • Aberdeen City First responders
  • Aberdeen Foyer - Foyer Futures Youth Club
  • Aberdeen North foodbank, King’s Community Foundation
  • Alcohol and Drugs Action
  • Barnardo’s Aberdeen Young Carers
  • Children 1st - Aberdeen Outdoor Oasis
  • Children 1st - Family Wellbeing Activities
  • Cornhill Community Association
  • Friends of Jacob’s Ladder and Riverside Walkway
  • Friends of Westburn and Victoria Park
  • Royal Northern Countryside Initiative - Farm to Fork
  • Russell Anderson Foundation
  • St Stephens Parish Church Get Connected
  • Sunnybank Community Centre
  • The Living Well Project

Mark Lovie, Project Coordinator, Fersands & Fountain Community Project said: “The grant from Aberdeen University will really help the Parent & Toddler group at Woodside. Over the last year parents and young children have been really isolated and this new group has already brought families together and helped children to socialise. In a community where incomes are low and mental health and well-being statistics are high this service can be a great support to many people. The grant will allow volunteers to choose new equipment and keep the group running for a while. Big thanks to all at Aberdeen University Community Fund.”

A spokesperson for the Printfield Community Project, said: “I would like to thank Aberdeen University for the award given towards our new educational play equipment and toys.”

Graeme Burnett, CEO of the Russell Anderson Foundation, said: "The Russell Anderson Foundation wish to express our gratitude for the donation from the University's Local Community Fund. Thanks to your contribution, our charity will be in a position to support additional children and their families.”

Peter Stephen, Chair of Friends of Victoria and Westburn Park said: "The Friends of Victoria and Westburn Park (FVWP) are delighted to receive a small university local community funding grant to support the development of a storytelling circle in Victoria Park. We hope to enhance our community outdoor space with a storytelling circle for families, pupils, and nursery groups to use to read books and share tales. This storytelling circle will be developed with the support of local wood carving artists, using Aberdeen-sourced wood with the result being a wooden storytelling thrown surrounded by small benches for the public to use. We are looking forward to using the University of Aberdeen local community funds to support part of this project and hope that this great community space will be usable in 2022, which has fittingly been designated Scotland's Year of Stories!" -

Gillian Urquhart, S.T.A.R. Flat, Seaton, Administrator, said: “The S.T.A.R. Community Flat are delighted to be supported once again by the Aberdeen University Students and the Local Community Fund. The money you gave us has allowed us to continue providing resources and free Community Classes to the local folk of Seaton. The classes are not only great for learning new skills but more importantly allow participants a safe environment where they have some company which offsets the loneliness and isolation that is felt by many due to the ongoing Covid restrictions. The classes really are such a lifeline. Many thanks. Everyone at the S.T.A.R. Community Flat."

Gary Dawson of Friends of Jacob’s ladder and Riverside Walkway said: “The Friends of Jacob's Ladder and Riverside Walkway group are really excited to be supported by Aberdeen University with the grant given to us for our 'Stopping the Rot at Jacob's Ladder Project. We have recently cleared storm debris from the stairs which took some time and effort and look forward to doing this more easily with equipment paid for from the grant.”

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