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Just Transition funding allows north-east children’s charity AberNecessities to buy electric delivery van

By Kyle Ritchie

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A north-east children’s charity is celebrating after being awarded almost £40,000 to enable it to buy a new electric delivery van.

AberNecessities, which is based in Dyce, is a recipient of the Just Transition Participatory Budgeting Fund (JTPBF), a Scottish Government initiative which aims to contribute towards Scotland’s plan of reaching net zero by 2045.

The charity provides basic essential items to disadvantaged families in Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen.

Following applications from professionals including health visitors and social workers, the charity delivers urgent and essential items including nappies, formula milk, clothing and equipment.

Currently AberNecessities leases petrol/diesel vans, which are driven by volunteer drivers. The fund will allow the organisation to own a fully electric vehicle, which it can charge from a new charging point at its headquarters, saving at least £700 per month on fuel costs and vehicle leasing.

AberNecessities volunteer drivers with one of the charity’s current vans.
AberNecessities volunteer drivers with one of the charity’s current vans.

Delivered by third sector organisations including ACVO TSI and Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action (AVA), the fund, now in its second year, gives residents the chance to shape Grampian’s journey to net zero by allowing them to choose where money is spent.

A public vote was held between September and October this year, with more than 19,000 votes cast.

In total, the JTPBF will distribute £1.5 million across 35 groups in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray.

AberNecessities founder Danielle Flecher-Horn said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be a recipient of the Just Transition Fund, as it will help offer us deliver support to local disadvantaged families for much less cost – thereby allowing us to support a greater number of children and families.

"As an organisation, we are advocates of sustainability and the new electric vehicle helps towards our own goal of reducing our impact on the environment.

“We would like to thank every single person who voted for AberNecessities – it is wonderful to know that we have received this award thanks to the local people.”

Maggie Hepburn, chief executive at ACVO TSI, said: “We were impressed by the enthusiasm shown by the general public to be involved in voting for projects and would like to thank them.

“I hope people can see that their votes have had real benefit for the third sector organisations who were successful.”

Rose Toney, community development officer at NESCAN Hub, said: “To see the Just Transition Participatory Budgeting Fund, not only continue, but expand its engagement across north-east Scotland in its second year has been really amazing.

“It has been such a rewarding experience working with community groups to develop their ideas, see them go out to public vote and win the money needed to make a real difference within their community.”

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