Aberlour celebrates its 140th anniversary

The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the reception to mark Aberlour's 140th anniversary.  Pic Peter Devlin
The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the reception to mark Aberlour's 140th anniversary. Pic Peter Devlin

Scotland’s children’s charity Aberlour has celebrated its 140th anniversary by having a special reception with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The organisation, which is the largest solely Scottish children’s charity, welcomed more than 250 supporters, funders and those who use the charity’s services, to the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh last week.

The First Minister spoke about Aberlour’s work before a programme of entertainment got underway, including a performance by a children’s choir and showing of short films by a BAFTA winning filmmaker.

SallyAnn Kelly, Aberlour chief executive, said: “We were honoured to welcome the First Minister to our celebrations this week, to share our special milestone with us,

“Aberlour has been delivering high quality care and support to the most vulnerable children and young people in Scotland since 1875, and we will continue to strive to achieve our vision, which is to transform the lives of the children and families we work with, and through this, contribute to building a fairer, more equal society.”

Opening remarks from Valerie Surgenor, Aberlour chairman, gave an account of the charity’s rich history, which originated as an orphanage in the Speyside village of the same name.

Next, the First Minister paid tribute to the outstanding contribution Aberlour has made to caring for children. She also thanked Aberlour for its expertise and engagement with the Scottish Government over changes to the Children & Young People (Scotland) Bill 2014, which saw the age of care being raised to 21, with a further opportunity to receive support until 26.

A highlight of the evening was a lively musical performance from a 30-strong choir of children made up of those who were born in Scotland, as well as those who have made it their home - including African, Romany, Polish, Czech, Iraqi and Afghani children.

The youngsters, who had never performed in front of an audience before, sang a self –penned song called One Scotland, about sharing their country with one another.

The audience were also treated to a series of short films, shot by BAFTA winning documentary maker Garry Fraser, who grew up in care and spent some of that time in Aberlour Sycamore Service.