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What is The P&J 275 Community Fund?

The P&J 275 Community Fund was set up as part of The Press and Journal's 275th anniversary celebrations.

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The P&J 275 Community Fund supports the charities transforming our communities across the north and north-east of Scotland.

We called on our readers and asked them to nominate the charities which they felt would be most deserving of a minimum £10,000 donation, with The P&J planning to raise even more funding over the course of 2024.

More than 100 charities were nominated from across Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and the Highlands, Islands and Moray.

After a two-week public vote The Press and Journal announced its charity partners as chosen by readers.

Friends of Anchor, Save Bon Accord Baths (a project by Bon Accord Heritage), Munlochy Animal Aid and SurfABLE Scotland (a project by Friendly Access) would join The Press and Journal’s long-standing charity partner Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA), in being supported by the 275 Community Fund.

Each of the five charity partners will receive a minimum of £10,000 and the total amount raised by the 275 Community Fund throughout 2024 will be split equally between the charities at the end of the year.

Who are The P&J 275 Community Fund charities for 2024?

Munlochy Animal Aid

Munlochy Animal Aid is dedicated to caring for a wide range of animals. Providing shelter and veterinary care for animals in need, the charity on the Black Isle, also supports owners by caring for their pets temporarily due to hospitalisation, incarceration, homelessness, or other crises.

Founder Iona Nicol and her team have helped more than 500 animals in the past year and hopes to care for even more as a P&J charity partner.

The 275 Community Fund’s support will help to provide shelter and veterinary care to animals, which includes purchasing a large barn and a digger.

A kid being cared for at Munlochy Animal Aid’s shelter on the Black Isle.

Munlochy Animal Aid serves not only animals, but the local community and regularly welcomes individuals to visit and interact with the animals, providing a therapeutic experience.

The charity actively works to promote responsible and compassionate pet ownership by offering educational talks and raising awareness about its work with the community.

Iona and her team have continued to expand their facilities to accommodate 25 dogs and 40 to 50 cats and kittens, and paid £68,000 in vet fees in its last financial year to help sick pets and their worried owners.

Friends of Anchor

Friends of ANCHOR provides vital care and support to cancer and haematology patients in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Orkney and Shetland at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary’s Anchor unit.

The charity invests in medical equipment and pioneering research to push the boundaries in how we diagnose, treat and care for people, while a pledge to promote clinical excellence includes funded development programmes for NHS clinical staff to enhance knowledge and expertise.

Friends of Anchor support patients at Aberdeen’s ANCHOR ward. Pictured: Sir Jim Milne (Left) and Sarah-Jane Hogg (Right)

Every year, Friends of Anchor commits £100,000 towards multiple research projects, all of which take place within the University of Aberdeen.

The charity’s administration costs are fully covered by Aberdeen’s Balmoral Group, meaning every penny of every pound they receive goes towards funding research, equipment, and patient care.

Funding from The P&J’s 275 Community Fund will be used to bolster specialist services and further enhance the support they offer to patients and staff at The Anchor Centre.

Save Bon Accord Baths

Save Bon Accord Baths is a community-led project launched by Bon Accord Heritage, which aims to reclaim, repair and re-open Bon Accord Baths to the public.

One of the few pools of its type in the country, the category B-listed Art Deco baths sit on Aberdeen’s Justice Mill Lane.

While the project has made substantial progress since it began, there is still a long way to go before the pool can be refilled and opened back up to the public.

Save Bon Accord baths are committed to restoring and re-opening Bon Accord Baths to the public.

With the support of the 275 Community Fund the charity can make a start on several vital repairs to the building, helping to restore and prevent the swimming pool from further deterioration.

Restoration work on the site has already begun with the help of volunteers and local businesses on a pro-bono basis.

However, for more specialist restoration work the charity needs to consult specialist businesses which requires additional financial support.

SurfABLE Scotland

SurfABLE Scotland – a project by Friendly Access – took to the waves in 2017 with the intention of providing access to surf therapy for everyone aged five and above, regardless of disability and condition.

The charity offers full support for the neurodiverse and physical disability communities, including several pathways into surfing from recreational courses and one-to-one sessions, to coaching and competitive para surf support for people looking for further progression.

SurfABLE support neurodiverse and physically disabled surfers with a range of abilities.

Over the next seven years, the charity intend on driving forward their desire to build Scotland’s first dedicated surf therapy centre to provide dignity and support to everyone.

This includes providing services such as two changing place toilets, fully equipped with adult changing tables and hoists, to accommodate its users when changing in and out of wetsuits.

Support from the 275 Community Fund will help SurfABLE Scotland to bring their vision to life.

Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA)

Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance is an integral part of Scotland’s frontline emergency response network.

SCAA responds, on average, to two time-critical emergency call outs every single day.

Every single one of the life-supporting missions is made possible only by the generous support of the public, businesses, trusts and foundations, who recognise the essential role of a charity that has impacted on the lives of thousands in communities all across Scotland.

SCAA’s air ambulances undertake life-saving missions to some of Scotland’s most rural areas.

SCAA currently operates two helicopters, both EC135-T2is, and two rapid response vehicles – taking life-saving pre-hospital care to the scene of time-critical emergencies.

The team then transports patients to hospitals all over Scotland to receive the most appropriate medical care.

The fast response of SCAA and its ability to reach Scotland’s most remote and rural areas saves vital minutes when every second really does count.

The national charity receives no statutory government funding, so rely 100% on donations to fuel life-saving flights.