OVER a thousand people are expected to descend upon the Aberdeen Christmas Village today for the annual Festive Fun Day.
In the biggest uptake yet, a wide range of community groups, north-east charities, schools and people with additional needs have been invited by organisers Aberdeen Inspired to enjoy some Christmas magic in the festive heart of the city centre.
The heartwarming Festive Fun Day, which is supported by Codona’s and Aberdeen City Council, is now in its fifth year and is unique to the city. The inclusive event allows groups who may find it difficult to access the attraction normally to visit it in a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere and enjoy free rides and ice skating, as well as entertainment and light refreshments.
Children from more than twenty local primary and secondary schools Additional Support Needs bases are getting into the festive spirit this morning, while this year older citizens have also been invited to enjoy a ‘Cuppie and Fine Piece’, with festive cakes and pies kindly provided by NESCOL catering students. Donations of water and snacks for children were given from CFINE, while SHMU provided a disco and DJs over the course of the day.
Later in the day, more than thirty community groups including Befriend A Child, NESS Youth Club, St Machar Parent Support, Aberdeen Lads Club and Alcohol and Drug Action among others will take part, alongside Syrian refugee families who have been invited through Action for Children.
Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said: “We had an incredible response this year from organisations, schools and the third sector keen to be involved in the Festive Fun Day, which we are proud to host.
“Each year we invite pupils from all additional supports needs bases within the Aberdeen City Council area, as well as groups and individuals who are suggested to us by local councillors and also from charitable or social inclusion groups who are based within the BID. Today we are looking forward to seeing the biggest uptake yet enjoy all the attractions in the Aberdeen Christmas Village in a relaxed way.
“This community element is really important to us as a BID and we would like to thank everyone involved who has donated either their time or refreshments, to help make it a truly memorable experience for all our guests.”
The Lord Provost of Aberdeen, Barney Crockett, said: “The city is full of festive cheer and the Festive Fun Day is a very important date on the Christmas events calendar. It is fantastic to see so many children having fun and joining the celebrations.”
Tracey Duncan, of the St Machar Parent Support, said: “Due to the generosity of the Aberdeen Inspired Team St Machar Parent Support Project families will be able to access the festive fun event held at the Aberdeen Christmas Village.
“This kind donation will allow our families to enjoy the Christmas Village especially the children who otherwise would not experience this Festive event.
“To our families, this is a very special treat especially the children who have been experiencing difficulty at this time of year due to loss etc. This will make wonderful memories for all the children and hopefully start off their Festive Holidays on a positive note.”
Jean Gordon, Head of Operations at Befriend a Child, added: “Befriend a Child are delighted that they have been invited along to the Aberdeen Christmas Village. The children and volunteers are really excited and grateful for allowing them this opportunity, which is one that the children may not otherwise have had.”
The Aberdeen Christmas Village is open until Tuesday 31 December 2019. For more information please visit www.aberdeeninspired.com/christmasvillage