Local Blog

Begin 2023 by being prepared

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Emergency services across Grampian are coming together to encourage people to be prepared for the rest of the winter and beyond in 2023, with advice on how to make sure we can all stay safe, warm and well.

Have you got all the most important phone numbers you would like to have to hand in an emergency written down? Is there anything that would be helpful to have during a power cut or extreme weather? Do you know where to turn to if you are in need of a bit of extra support?

NHS Grampian’s Director of Infrastructure and Sustainability who has a lead role in civil contingency planning, Paul Allen explains: “Prevention is better than cure and this includes public preparedness for emergencies. Not only does planning offer some peace of mind, it can also help take pressure off services so they can help those most in need during difficult times. Helping our communities to stay well is a key part of our Plan for the Future and we recently launched a winter support booklet which has lots of helpful advice.

“If you’re not sure where to start, visit www.nhsgrampian.org/winter-support Even if it’s not for you, this can help you assist other more vulnerable people. The Ready Scotland website at www.ready.scot is a great reference tool too. It includes a template for an emergency checklist and how to prepare, what to do during an emergency and how to get involved in helping in your local neighbourhood.”

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has a Priority Services Register you can sign up for if you might need extra support in the event of a power cut. This is especially important if you rely on essential medical equipment and is easy to sign up for. They also have a free Power Track app for everyone to access local power cut information and updates.

Shona Horn, SSEN Distribution’s Customer Relationship Manager, said: “We invest millions of pounds every year to make sure that our network delivers a safe and reliable supply of electricity for all our customers – but even with this investment there are still occasions when the power goes off, and so we want to help our customers to be as resilient as possible at times like these, while our teams work hard to get supplies restored.

“Our Priority Services Register offers eligible customers free help and support when the power goes off. It started nearly eight years ago and now has over 785,000 customers signed up, but we know there may still be people out there who either don’t know about the service at all, or who aren’t aware that they may be eligible to sign up. We’re also encouraging our customers to consider a Home Emergency Plan, so that they have all the important phone numbers and people to contact in one handy location, ready to use should the need ever arise.”

Visit http://www.ssen.co.uk/psr for more information about SSEN’s Priority Services Register and to find out more about the app, go to: www.ssen.co.uk/powertrack

The health board’s winter support website (www.nhsgrampian.org/winter-support) covers everything from the numbers to call if you’re in need of emergency food, fuel or money, to healthy, affordable recipes to help everyone stay well. There’s even pointers on gas and fire safety, as well as all the key contacts for health services.

Ready Scotland’s (www.ready.scot) checklist includes the following important numbers:

Emergency services – 999

Non-Emergency police support – 101

NHS 24 – 111

Floodline Scotland – 0345 988 1188

Loss of power – 105

Gas emergencies – 0800 111 999

Scottish Water – 0800 077 8778

It also includes space for you to write down your own essential contacts, such as childcare, vet, plumber, insurance, work, doctor, dentist and utility provider contact details. The website also provides lots of helpful links to information and advice on things like dealing with travel disruption or coping with trauma, and how and where to link in with local groups who may be working together to support your community.

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Supporting Aberdeenshire in the Cost-of-Living Crisis and over the festive period

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Supporting Aberdeenshire in the Cost-of-Living Crisis and over the festive period

People are being encouraged to reach out for help over the festive period if they are struggling with the cost of living at this time of year. More and more organisations from across the Aberdeenshire Community Planning Partnership are publishing information about warm spaces, food banks or support on offer. It is recognised that an increase in the cost of living plus winter weather impacts are making life difficult for a lot of people across Aberdeenshire and beyond. Christmas is famously a time of year when many struggle, but it is also harder to admit to facing challenges. Those can be the mental health impacts of the festive season or the financial ones. Whilst no one agency can “fix” the issues being faced by communities, there is a concerted effort to make sure that people are aware of the support which is out there. The message is – you don’t need to suffer in silence.

Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action has a new interactive Warm Spaces map for Aberdeenshire on their website which can be found here. All sorts of venues are offering warm spaces to the public in Aberdeenshire such as local libraries, halls, council venues, community centres, and churches. AVA has captured all these spaces in one place and their interactive map shows you exactly where and when in your community these warm spaces are happening. The webpage also provides a form for those hosting a new warm space to let them know so they can add it to the map.

There is useful advice on the Fire Service website about staying safe during an emergency or in the winter months here.

From a health perspective, a new leaflet has been published by the NHS full of tips on staying well this winter which is available to read here.

Aberdeenshire Council has a long-established Cost-of-Living advice page on their website here, which signposts to support on offer and which includes support from the UK and Scottish Governments, charities and council services. You can find support and advice on housing arrears, fuel poverty, school meals, uniform allowances and more importantly for many, there is a list of food banks or community larders which can be accessed by anyone. You can also find a link to the Council resilience leaflet with tips on how to get ahead of a winter storm.

Christmas itself can be a difficult time, but there are many community services and voluntary organisations open to supporting people over the holidays. Find festive period information here and look out for charitable posts offering Christmas lunches and support across Facebook from AVA.

The Council free Live Life Essentials membership offers access to more than 50 sports venues and libraries operated by Live Life Aberdeenshire, whereby people can access showers, WiFi and device charging for free, among other benefits including some exercise sessions. Council libraries are also working with partner groups to give out knitted blankets to households as part of the ‘Cosy Bosie’ project.

Cllr Anne Stirling is the chair of the Aberdeenshire Community Planning Partnership. She said “This has to be tackled right across Aberdeenshire with a collective response if we are to stand any chance of providing meaningful help to people. With any crisis like this we need to work together and make sure people know what to do if they are struggling. There is no stigma to asking for help, that is why we are working together to make support available.”

Aileen Longino, AVA Development Officer, said: “AVA could see warm spaces springing up in communities all across Aberdeenshire as a result of the Cost-of-Living crisis so we created a comprehensive map for users to see them all in one place. Aberdeenshire is great at springing into action in a crisis, and these spaces help communities come together, and support those struggling to heat their homes. Warm spaces are comfortable welcoming spaces where folk can relax and keep warm for a few hours. Whilst we want to encourage people to use their local warm space if they need it, please make sure it is safe to do so given the current wintery conditions on roads and pavements. If your house is cosy stay at home! Our interactive map captures all these warm spaces in one place, whether they’re in village halls, libraries or community spaces – each one ensuring folk of a warm welcome, when they need it. If you host a Warm Space that isn’t on the map, please let us know”.

Jillian Evans, Head of Health Intelligence with NHS Grampian, said: “Our guide isn’t just limited to the traditional health messages we want to share; it also reflects the current challenging times we find ourselves in and recognises that can have a major impact on people’s health as well. Prevention is always better than cure and we want to ensure everyone in Grampian has easy access to the information they need to stay well. Over 24 pages, the booklet – entitled ‘Keep Warm, Safe, and Well this Winter’ – covers everything from healthy eating to dealing with the cSupporting Aberdeenshire in the Cost-of-Living Crisisand over the festive period

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Kincardine and MearnsCommunity Planning E-Bulletin

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Edition #29

This bulletin focuses on what is happening locally, and provides useful information and guidance.

This month, find out about Clan Volunteering Open Day and community news local to you. To access click on this link.

Kincardine and MearnsCommunity Planning E-Bulletin

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Edition #28

This bulletin focuses on what is happening locally, and provides useful information and guidance.

This month, find out about The Whole Family Wellbeing Fund and community news local to you. To access click on this link.

Kincardine and MearnsCommunity Planning E-Bulletin

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Edition #27

Lots of great information and stories in the bulletin this month. Click on the link below to watch Johnshaven “Stories From Our Home” video, find out which projects received public backing in the Stonehaven Participatory Budgeting vote and lots more about what’s going on in K & M.


Kincardine and MearnsCommunity Planning E-Bulletin

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Edition #26

This bulletin focuses on what is happening locally, and provides useful information and guidance.

If you have information which you think we should include in a future bulletin, please e-mail or forward to kincardineandmearns@aberdeenshire.gov.uk

Who has inspired you in your community? Inspiring Aberdeenshire 2022 open for nominations!

It has been a year like (almost) no other, and communities all over Aberdeenshire are being asked to nominate their heroes for the 2022 Inspiring Aberdeenshire awards.

To find out more and nominate visit


2022 has been designated Scotland’s Year of Stories. This will be a year in which stories inspired by, created, or written in Scotland will be showcased and celebrated.

To find out more about these stories and what else is going on in K & M click here to access the full bulletin.

Kincardine and MearnsCommunity Planning E-Bulletin Edition#25

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This bulletin focuses on what is happening locally, and provides useful information and guidance.

Cast your vote 7-21 February 2022

Live Life Aberdeenshire (LLA), the sports and cultural service of Aberdeenshire Council, has committed to spending £1.8m of its capital budget on projects in Stonehaven, identified by and receiving the greatest support from the local community.  Public vote is open now!
Find out more and vote at https://engage.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/lla-stonehavenpb

To view E Bulletin #25, click here.

Kincardine and Mearns Community Planning E-Bulletin

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Edition #24

This bulletin focuses on what is happening locally, and provides useful information and guidance.

Hot topics this month include news about the Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund, and the chance to be heard in the consultation on Youth Centre Provision in K&M.

To read more click on the link


Kincardine and MearnsCommunity Planning E-Bulletin

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Edition #23

This bulletin focuses on what is happening locally, and provides useful information and guidance.

Find out more about New Fire and Smoke Alarm Guidance
All homes are required to have interlinked fire alarms by February 2022. See the Guidance section for more detail.

Residents continue to work together to support our communities in this time of need with help like mutual aid groups or volunteer transport/deliveries. 

If you are on Facebook, the pages below are a good way to stay informed about what is happening in your community as well as to keep in touch with neighbours and fellow residents

To access the full bulletin, click on the link.