Pride in the achievements of our talented colleagues

To start the week on a really positive note, congratulations to colleagues from across our clusters for a run of success in April.

In Integrated Children’s and Family Services, Dyce Academy teacher John Naples-Campbell has been nominated in the Inspiration category of the Proud Scotland awards and has our best wishes as the final looms. To be shortlisted is a fantastic achievement, following on from John’s place in the top 10 educators in the country in the prestigious Times Educational Supplement Scotland annual listings for 2018.

He has rightly being recognised for his role in ensuring education is driving equality and empowering the LGBT+ community, with John’s passion shining through.

We have another final to look forward to In Operations and Protective Services, where Daniel Shand will be flying the Aberdeen City Council flag at the APSEs as a nominee in the Rising Star category. We’ll find out if Daniel, well known for his work on the Council Gardener  video blog and with a growing following, takes gold in May but he’s already guaranteed a silver award. A big congratulations to Daniel, who’s in the midst of an innovative project to teach primary pupils in Aberdeen the importance of growing fruit and vegetables.

With the help of a friendly bear Craster and his friend Bella the Honey Bee, Danny’s doing great work in our schools.

Craster and friends have been brought to life thanks to Daniel’s enthusiasm and the efforts of the External Communications team, with Laura McAra, Norman Adams and Paula Fullerton working on the animations and and Karen Allan continuing to promote the blog and expand its reach.

An educational pack is available for interested schools, containing everything you need to grow radishes, peas, carrots and onions and full instructions in the form of a series of short animations. You can get involved by emailing Daniel at and the animations can be viewed here.

Our Finance cluster is already award-winning – and they’ve hit an important milestone that may have gone unnoticed but deserves to be held up in lights.

The annual accounts have been closed down for 2018/19 and external auditors tell us we’re the first local authority across the whole of the UK to do so. It’s a fantastic achievement and testament to the systems, processes and sheer hard work for everyone in the team. As a self-confessed accounts anorak, I may no excuses for celebrating the achievement!

On the subject of teams and achievements, I must veer away from Aberdeen City Council briefly to draw attention to the exertions of our Scottish Fire and Rescue Service colleagues who have been responding to significant forest fires in the region. The efforts over a number of days at Knockando were impressive and vital in protecting people and place – a difficult job done in the usual efficient manner.

All very different updates to bring on a Monday morning, but there’s a common thread running through them all – pride.

We should all take great pride in the achievements not only of the workmates we work closely with, but of our public sector colleagues who share our goals for the places and people we serve.

The new guiding principles have pride at their heart and it’s a topic I’ll be touching on regularly in the weeks and months ahead through the blog.

In the meantime, congratulations once again for everyone involved in the successes mentioned above – great team efforts sit behind them all.