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P&J gala gets Royal seal of approval as thousands raised for local charities

The P&J 275 Charity Gala took place on Friday at P&J Live and raised funds for The P&J Live Community Fund.

Cheques were presented to all the recipients at the gala. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson
Cheques were presented to all the recipients at the gala. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

More than £37,000 was raised for five north and north-east causes as The Press and Journal celebrated its 275th milestone anniversary.

An inspirational evening, The P&J 275 Charity Gala – in association with Cala Homes – told the stories behind each of the five charities and their heartfelt causes.

A total of £37,925 will be added to The P&J’s 275 Community Fund after guests at The P&J 275 Charity Gala generously donated to the cause.

That money will support the Friends of Anchor, Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA), Munlochy Animal Aid, Save Bon Accord Baths and SurfABLE Scotland.

Television presented Isla Traquair hosted the event. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Scottish TV presenter and former P&J journalist Isla Traquair hosted the 275 Charity Gala on Friday which also marked The P&J’s significant 275th anniversary.

And it was revealed to guests of the charity gala that His Royal Majesty King Charles wrote to The Press and Journal’s editor Craig Walker to pass on his “warmest congratulations and good wishes” as The P&J celebrated its milestone at the charity gala.

King Charles wrote that he was pleased to learn of The P&J 275 Community Fund and the support it is offering to north and north-east charities.

Letter of address from King Charles congratulating The P&J on 275 years of serving the north and north-east.

The gala treated guests to a nostalgic look back at pivotal moments in our region’s history which The P&J were there for, with galleries of photographs and key front pages curated from the vast collection of P&J archives from 1748 to 2023.

Editor of The Press and Journal Craig Walker said it was a memorable evening at P&J Live and a fantastic way to not only celebrate The P&J telling the stories of the north and north-east for 275 years, but to raise funds for such incredible local charities.

Press & Journal Editor Craig Walker gives a speech at the awards. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

He said: “The P&J 275 Charity Gala was a fantastic night and a great way to mark our anniversary year and also highlight the brilliant work carried out by our five charity partners across the north and north-east.

“We were delighted to raise a lot of money for The P&J Community Fund, which will be donated to our charity partners, at what was the first of many fundraising events we have planned for this year.

“Thank you to everyone who joined us on Friday and gave so kindly to the cause. We are trying to raise as much money as possible for our charity partners and have got off to a great start.”

The P&J 275 Community Fund was launched as part of The P&J’s 275 celebrations last year. The fund aims to support the charities transforming our regions and more than 20,000 votes were cast by readers to decide who The P&J’s charity partners for 2024 would be.

Some took the chance for a dance at the gala. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

The P&J 275 Charity Gala was the first event held to raise funds for the 275 Community Fund. The P&J will continue to fundraise throughout this year and the total amount raised will be split equally between each of the five charities.

Host Isla said of the evening: “It was an honour to be part of such a fantastic event and hopefully the first of many. Not only because it marked the historical milestone for the paper but it also benefited five different charities.”

Fraser Carr, sales & marketing director for headline sponsor Cala Homes (North), said: “As headline sponsors of The P&J 275 Charity Gala we were incredibly proud to play a part in this fantastic event and the anniversary celebrations which I’m sure everyone will agree were an enormous success.

“The charities chosen by the people of the north-east are invaluable and inspiring and it was wonderful to see them being recognised at the Gala.”

All smiles at the P&J 275 Charity Gala at P&J Live. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

Each of the five charity partners were presented with cheques for £10,000 on Friday at the gala.

David Craig, chief executive for SCAA said: “We are extremely grateful to everyone who attended and supported The P&J 275 Charity Gala who should be in no doubt that they are helping to save lives now and for many more years to come.”

Bruce Strachan of Save Bon Accord Baths – a project by Bon Accord Heritage – stated he was “honoured” to be part of such a significant event, he said: “The team were honoured to be part of a glittering event in the Aberdeen social calendar.

“Raising awareness of our Save Bon Accord Baths project at the same time as raising money for the Community Fund was a great way to spend an evening and a fantastic opportunity to meet other people supporting the effort.”

The drinks were flowing during the evening. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Glyn Morris, chief executive of SurfABLE Scotland, said: “Our P&J 275 partnership could not have come at a better time for us and their passion and proactiveness in raising funds and support is massively evident.

“What a fantastic start to the year and we are very excited to be working closely with the P&J 275 Community Fund Team throughout the year on even more events.”

Sarah-Jane Hogg, Friends of ANCHOR chief executive, said: “What a way to kick off The Press & Journal’s 275th anniversary and a whole year of support for five local causes. There was a real air of celebration and it was wonderful to see the nominated charities’ work highlighted throughout the evening.

“2024 will be an extremely busy year for Friends of ANCHOR and Friday’s gala was a wonderful occasion to bring our team together for a rare and much appreciated evening with our staff and service teams all around the table.

“As we look ahead to the remainder of the year we’re delighted and grateful for the recognition from the readers of The P&J, and we’re looking forward to being part of the plans for 2024.”

Iona Nicol, Founder of Munlochy Animal Aid said: “We were so excited to be there and it was an amazing evening. It was such a cash boost for the charity.”

The P&J Run Fest – in association with Balmoral – will also raise funds for the 275 Community Fund and its charities on April 14 at P&J Live with a 10K, 5K and junior fun run.

Sir Jim Milne CBE of Balmoral – who also sponsored the 275 Charity Gala – said: “We are delighted to support the P&J 275 Charity Gala.

“The Gala and 275 Community Fund is a fantastic opportunity for us to give our support, encouraging our community, businesses, friends, and families to come together in a shared effort to make a positive impact on numerous deserving causes in our local community.”

It was a fancy affair at P&J 275 Charity Gala at P&J Live. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Ritchie Whyte, partner and head of corporate and business advisory at Aberdein Considine, said the Gala was a “fantastic” evening. He said: “Aberdein Considine was delighted to support the P&J 275 Charity Gala. It was a fantastic night in support of a number of worthy charities from our local communities.”

Kieran Taylor, managing director at Welsh & Taylor Wealth, added: “A fantastic evening was had by all at the Welsh & Taylor Wealth table. Wonderful to see so many in the room celebrate such a huge milestone for the P&J while helping worthy causes.”

Craig Hutcheon, managing director at Hutcheon Mearns said: “Hutcheon Mearns were delighted to support The P&J 275 Charity Gala – a great event and opportunity to shine a light on those doing incredible work across the north-east.”

A gymnast performs at the gala. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Guests were encouraged to take part in a silent auction with prizes ranging from an ‘Editor for the Day’ experience with The P&J and a year-long showdeck membership at P&J Live, to a track day with Scottish champion drift driver Steve “Baggsy” Biagioni.

Simon Cowie, managing director at Infinity Partnership, was “proud” to be involved with the 275 Community Fund, he said: “We are so proud to have been involved in such an inspirational event, with amazing charities showcased, celebrating the fantastic work in our local communities is so important to us.”

Graham Cowperthwaite, chief operating officer at Global Energy Group, said: “It was an honour to be part of The P&J 275 Charity Gala, which perfectly showcased the remarkable efforts of charities dedicated to transforming communities in the north and north-east of Scotland. The night was a testament to the positive impact that collective effort and goodwill can have on the region – a huge congratulations to all involved.”

Press & Journal Editor Craig Walker is interviewed at the P&J 275 Charity Gala at P&J Live. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Mike Macaulay, chairman of ANM Group, said: “At ANM Group we are proud to be supporting The P&J 275 Community Fund and it was fantastic to witness such an incredible amount being raised for the five local charities at the charity gala on Friday.”

Entertainment for the evening was provided by band Waterfront and Right Here Productions.

Elaine Donald, director at WM Donald said: “We were proud to be involved as one of the sponsors at the 275 Charity Gala. It was great to see so much money raised for very worthy causes.”

Some of the entertainment on offer at 275 Charity Gala at P&J Live, on February 2. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Marcus Kenny, head of sales at Brookson Legal, said: “As proud sponsors of The P&J 275 Charity Gala, we’re elated to contribute to an evening celebrating community spirit and honouring five deserving charity partners.”

Tracy Clark, managing director at ITC Hydraulics and Manufacturing said: “Great to see such worthy causes being supported at the P&J 275 Charity Gala. ITC are strong supporters of local charities, so this was a wonderful event to showcase just a handful of the outstanding charities in our area.”

Laura Stewart, group business development director at PD&MS Group said: “Not only was the night fantastic but sponsoring the event, which significantly supports our local charities and wider community, is something we’ve been incredibly proud to be part of.”

The gala was an exciting affair. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

Hollie Kelly, owner/director at Shapeshifters said: “It’s been brilliant to support so many different local charities through sponsoring The P&J 275 Community Fund. The event is something we will definitely continue to support and we can’t wait to see how the funds raised impact the great causes being supported.”

David Booth, regional managing partner at Azets said: “At Azets our purpose is to improve the lives of our colleagues, our clients and our communities in a sustainable way.

“Therefore, we were delighted to support the 275 Community Fund via this event which is benefiting charities that are vitally important to the our north and north-east communities.”


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