First recipients of ABZWorks Development Fund announced


THE FIRST 10 Aberdeen community-based organisations to receive funding totalling £75,000 from the ABZWorks Development Fund, to develop or further build the capacity of their employability projects, have been revealed by Aberdeen City Council’s Employability Service, today (Wednesday 28 February).

ABZWorks used No One Left Behind monies from the Scottish Government to extend its reach into communities and to those who are hardest to connect with, and gently move them onto and along the employment pipeline, while simultaneously building connections with smaller organisations and supporting their development opportunities.

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Applicants were required to demonstrate how their projects meet local need and reflect local circumstances, how they would support people far removed from the labour market, and how they would deliver these projects, including early engagement activities.

Aberdeen City Council Co-leader Councillor Christian Allard said:“Being able to access employment or progress into a better paid job can be a way out of poverty for many people living in Aberdeen.   

“The ABZWorks Development Fund will enable these 10 community-based organisations, which are already doing excellent work in our communities, to further develop their capacity, expertise, and reach, while also supporting more people to access employability programmes and work.” 

The 10 recipients of the ABZWorks Development Fund are:

  • Absafe: Interactive safety sessions on topics such as fire prevention and online safety, create a CV and workplace skills.  
  • Cairncry Community Centre: Confidence to cook classes with take home kitchen equipment and food provided for participants each week, while upskilling cooking skills enabling participants to gain an accredited food hygiene qualification.
  • Third Level Foundation: 12-week employability project in the Cornhill Community Centre.
  • Denis Law Legacy Trust: Support young people to gain confidence and skills.
  • Black and Scot: 12-week digital training designed to address employability challenges within the Black community. 
  • Ferryhill Men’s Shed: Finish the works needed to complete a Men’s Shed and expand the support they can provide to city residents.
  • Silver City Surfers: Digital skills drop-in sessions in priority areas.
  • The Bridge: Job clubs in Tillydrone and Torry. 
  • WeToo!: Two six-week-long upskilling courses for parents/carers of disabled children.
  • YMCA: one-to-one support and group-based activities for school leavers from Lochside Academy.

Gavin Begg, Youth & Community Worker, Aberdeen YMCA said: “At Aberdeen YMCA we are always looking for ways to empower young people. This grant will enable us to equip young school leavers with the tools needed to reach a healthy destination. It will also help us as an organisation to work alongside local business and foster a relationship that will benefit us in the future, as we look for opportunities to serve young peoples needs.”

Olushola Ajide, Project Coordinator, The Bridge, said “As we accept the award of ABZWorks Development Grant from Aberdeen City Council we can only imagine the great help and impact this will be to the targeted 100 individuals in Torry and Tillydrone and by implication their families that will be benefitting from this employability support.

“Once again, our City Council has risen to the occasion by looking out for the unemployed in the community. We are absolutely certain that the beneficiaries will be most enthused to receive this support, and on their behalf, we hereby express gratitude to the Council for making available such needed help.

“We also pledge to continue to offer help in the community as an active part of the third sector of the economy.”

These activities help to deliver actions set out in the Aberdeen Local Employability Partnership Delivery Plan and build capacity amongst third sector and community organisations to develop and deliver employability activities in local communities. 

There is a particular focus on Aberdeen’s priority areas: Kincorth, Ashgrove, Stockethill, Torry, George Street, Middlefield, Mastrick, Cummings Park, Northfield, Heathryfold, Seaton, Woodside, and Tillydrone. 

The grants issued also support Aberdeen’s Community Wealth Building Action Plan, which aims to redirect wealth back into the local economy, placing control and economic benefits into the hands of local people and communities.

Applications for the second round of development funding opened yesterday (Tuesday 27 February) and close on Tuesday 12 March 2024. For more information and to apply, go to

To find out more visit or email [email protected] or call the ABZWorks team on 01224 346100 (Monday to Friday 9am-5pm).

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