Finalists revealed for Inspiring Aberdeenshire Awards 2021

A Fraserburgh man has been shortlisted for the Inspiring Aberdeenshire Lifetime Achievement award for his commitment and dedication to his local community.

Thursday, 27th May 2021, 7:57 am
Broadcaster and journalist Fiona Stalker and Provost Bill Howatson presented last year’s awards in a virtual ceremony, and this year’s awards will again take place online.

The Inspiring Aberdeenshire awards celebrate the achievements and successes of people who go the extra mile for their communities.

This year, a virtual awards ceremony is planned for August 26, with the event being streamed live.

John Anderson one of three people in the running for the Lifetime Achievement award.

John has had many roles in his life, from Boys Brigade Officer through to a member of International Rescue travelling the world to help in countries struck by natural disasters.

He was station officer at Fraserburgh Fire Station in which time he set up the Blue Light Festival which raises fund for various charities around the area, draws people to the town and gives them an insight into how the various emergency services work. He set up the Fraserburgh Resilience group through his involvement with the Community Council and has raised funds for and installed defibrillators throughout the town.

During the winter, if there is heavy snow, he organises volunteers to clear paths for pensioners, get shopping and help where it is needed. If there is a project needing volunteers, John will be there, planting trees being the latest one.

John and his lifetime of work are woven into the fabric of the Fraserburgh community, and he has enriched many lives over the years.

Two Buchan groups – The Buchan Giving Tree and Strengthening our Buchan Response – are also finalists.

The Buchan Giving Tree has been shortlisted as a finalist for the Community Spirit Award.

For 17 years Shona Watson and the Giving Tree team have helped socially-deprived families in the Buchan area. They began by providing toys at Christmas time for families who may have children who would not be getting a present from Santa. This was a year-round effort to gather gifts for all ages.

In recent years the Giving Tree has helped families at other times during the year. This can be help with school uniforms, toiletries, clothes and even shoes. In a normal year the group would hand over 2,000 items to local families, but the Covid pandemic has seen the demand almost double.

Strengthening our Buchan Response is a finalist in the Covid-19 Response Award category.

At the start of the 2020 lockdown, many communities rallied to pull together. In Buchan, groups came together under the banner 'Strengthening our Buchan Response’. Some of what they did included setting up Whatsapp groups for volunteers, organising social media campaigns, distributing information leaflets and organising regular Covid Newsletters.

They also helped secure funding for food supplies, arranged PPE and supported calls for assistance through the Grampian Coronavirus Assistance Hub.