Abbeyfield Lodge marks tenth birthday

Staff with the bright-coloured buddy benches.
Staff with the bright-coloured buddy benches.

Abbeyfield Lodge Children’s unit in Fraserburgh celebrated its tenth birthday last month.

The unit was opened in the recession of 2008 and a difficult initial period saw it try to prove there was a need for another children’s home in Aberdeenshire, with the council already having three of its own homes in the area.

Knowledge of previous young people being moved further away from their families proved their was a need for such a unit with an official opening being held on July 26, 2008.

After being open for just a year, the unit won the Royal Bank of Scotland New Business Award in 2009.

All directors (Lesley Carle, Christine Nibloe and Alyesha Tocher) are qualified with residential and children and families social work experience.

Abbeyfield Lodge currently employes 17 staff and has provided a placement for more than 60 young people, some short-term others for a few years.

Over the years staff have worked with young people teaching them many life skills along the way and taking them on experiences which have enhanced their lives and built precious memories for them.

Staff at Abbeyfield take the lead from residents in what they do as well as taking on board what they want to do for fun day events.

They have gone on many outings, trips and holidays as well as having fun days which all young people take part in along with staff.

The work of the staff can be challenging but also very rewarding when young people move on. However, many ex-residents still keep in touch.

Abbeyfield Lodge tries to instill values in its young people including caring for others.

And with this in mind it has undertaken many charity/giving projects throughout theyears.

The most recent of these was a ‘buddy bench’ project which was suggested by staff member Anne-Marie.

By the end of the summer this will see six, brightly decorated benches going into primary schools across Fraserburgh.

These will be decorated by staff and young people and distributed when the schools return in the autumn.

Other donations have gone to Ellon Boys Football Club to enable travel abroad, Trooin Sands, towards holidays for terminally ill children, Buchanhaven Heritage Society in Peterhead, Northsound Give a Kid a Bed appeal and many others.

A spokesperson said: “We are proud to say that we have a dedicated team who will help young people in the future.”