It's hard to believe that it's been eight years since we first had the idea for Celebrate Aberdeen.

Back then the intention was simply to organise a charity parade down Union Street as a means of bringing the third sector together, to help show how diverse and important it is to our city.

But it's grown into so much more. The parade is still very much at the heart of what we do, but we now have a busy August weekend that also includes three Union Street mile running races and around 60 musical and dance performances across various city centre locations.

Celebrate Aberdeen has also acted as a catalyst for the private sector to come together to help shine a light on our third sector on a scale that is not only unique to the city, but possibly the whole of Scotland and beyond.

Thanks to the wonderful support of our local business community along with that of Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeen Inspired, Aberdeen Harbour Board and Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre – thousands of representatives from hundreds of charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups have come together, year on year, in a fantastic and humbling display of camaraderie.

In 2018 a second event was added to the calendar, namely the Celebrate Aberdeen Third Sector Awards, which saw more than 470 guests attend a wonderful event at the AECC, with a range of awards given for the likes of ‘Large Charity of the Year’, ‘Small Charity of the Year’ ‘Volunteer of the Year’ and ‘Event of the Year’.

Again, the awards happened thanks to the support of the private sector and in particular our main sponsor, Nexen.

But who organises it all? Well that’s where it all becomes really special. Celebrate Aberdeen is run by a small team of volunteers who come together to manage the events, run the associated PR and social media campaigns, sell sponsorship, sign up charities, undertake website updates and look after all print requirements.

Planning for the year begins in January and the volunteers work for months to make sure that every detail is accounted for and that the third sector organisations taking part get the opportunity to step into the limelight.

So many people work tirelessly for the benefit of others, whether that’s, for example, caring for people with cancer, mental health issues or complex additional support needs, or animals which need rescuing or looking after. We feel it’s important they are thanked.

So what do we need to do to make 2019 be as successful as previous years?

We need the support of the business community once more to ensure that both events can take place.

Celebrate Aberdeen Limited is a not-for-profit organisation and relies completely on outside financial support to make everything happen.

When we say completely, we mean ENTIRELY!

We have ambitious plans to continue to raise the profile of Aberdeen’s third sector and give the people who work within it the recognition they deserve and would love it if we could count on your support. Let’s Celebrate Aberdeen together and give thanks to some of the most amazing people around!

Arfc Volunteer