Merry Christmas and thank you for a memorable year

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone at Aberdeen City Council as well as to your family, loved ones and friends.

Your dedication and commitment to Team Aberdeen is very much appreciated and has been at the heart of some fantastic achievements throughout 2019.

I’d like to offer an extra vote of thanks to the many colleagues who will be on duty over the festive period to ensure the smooth running of services and to maintain the care and support we provide to our customers. As a busy city authority, our work never stops and the efforts over the holiday periods deserve special praise.

It has been an exciting year for Aberdeen, with several big-ticket projects coming to fruition.

We opened the doors to the lovingly restored and expanded Aberdeen Art Gallery – if you haven’t been already, the weeks ahead will hopefully provide a chance to explore an amazing venue.

The Music Hall too is nearing its first full year after extensive refurbishment and of course P&J Live is a hive of activity after its summer opening, bringing a world class facility to the region and already attracting global acts and breaking records in the process.

These are truly remarkable achievements and great additions to the city and the region.

We’ve had wonderful events – including Nuart, The Tour Series and Great Aberdeen Run – and there are more to come in 2020 as Spectra returns and The Tour of Britain rolls into the north-east for the first time.

These are just some of the headline grabbing projects and we can all take great pride in the way these are helping to transform the city.

What we should take just as much pride in, if not more, is the work of colleagues every hour of every day that so often goes under the radar but is making a difference to the lives of those we serve.

From the care we provide to young people in our schools and through integrated children’s services, to the support we provide to individuals and families through our housing and homelessness teams, from the work with partners in Food and Fun to ensure children are being catered for in school holidays to the access to free sanitary products that has been rolled out throughout the city, from the hard work of our winter maintenance teams to the patience and advice our customer service staff provide on the frontline.

The list is long and growing – the impact on the lives of the people of Aberdeen on a daily basis is something that is difficult to quantify but is very real and deserves recognition. Every member of staff has a different role to play and, with the introduction of our new Guiding Principles, we have seen the Team ethos shining through this year.

I’d like to highlight another of those principles that’s particularly relevant at this time of year – Purpose, and the way we care about our city and our people.

Care for each other and all of those who fall under our wing, both at work and at home, is so important over the festive period.

We work closely with SAMH and the annual suicide prevention message is a timely reminder that this time of year is one of great contrasts. The advice below will resonate with us all in different ways, please do share as widely as you can. There is always help and support available for staff and those we serve, there should be no hesitation in reaching out.

Once again, my thanks go to those who will be on duty for the Council over the weeks ahead and to all for your endeavours over the past 12-months.

Whatever you are doing this festive season, best wishes to you and yours for Christmas and New Year.

Suicide Help - christmas message