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Company volunteers in sensory garden in memory of colleague

ASI garden volunteers 003

A team of volunteers helped get a charity garden in Aberdeen ready for the summer, as a personal tribute to a friend and colleague.

Colleagues from Aberdeen Standard Investments spent Friday 17th May 2019 in the sensory garden at CLAN House in Aberdeen, which was funded by the company along with Technip FMC in 2018. The sensory garden was named in memory of Aberdeen Standard Investments employee Suzanne McKechnie Skinner, who passed away in 2015.

The volunteers spent the day weeding the beds and clearing the seating and paving areas at the garden, which was planned to provide an area of peace and contemplation as well as a social and active area for wellbeing group activities. A number of the volunteers were close friends of Suzanne McKechnie Skinner, so the day was especially poignant, as CLAN had provided emotional and practical support to Ms McKechnie Skinner and her family.

The garden features a large variety of flowers and plants to stimulate the senses and is maintained on a weekly basis by CLAN volunteers. The area is used daily by people attending the CLAN House drop-in centre and those staying at CLAN Haven whilst undergoing treatment for cancer.

Margaret Ward from Aberdeen Standard Investments said: “As friends of Suzanne’s we are pleased to come back and help out – for us it is much more than giving something back.”

CLAN CEO Dr Colette Backwell commented: “We are extremely grateful to Aberdeen Standard Investments and the team for helping with the upkeep of the garden. Since it was first created, the garden has blossomed and is now a beautiful area for clients, staff and volunteers to enjoy. As well as a relaxing and attractive area, it offers an important space for outdoor activities which have been very popular. Spending time outside, as the Duchess of Cambridge explained at the Chelsea Flower Show, is extremely beneficial to our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.”

Claire Drummond, head of charitable giving for Aberdeen Standard Investments Charitable Foundation, said: “Colleagues and friends of Suzanne established the garden and we are pleased to be back now for the second time to help maintain this necessary space in Aberdeen.

“Aberdeen Standard Investments encourages colleagues to volunteer with local organisations, and this collaboration is extremely important to the company, as well as Suzanne’s colleagues and friends.

“It is clear from the comments we received from clients and visitors to CLAN House that the garden is a key part of the services provided by the charity as it provides a real oasis for people experiencing challenging times. CLAN garden volunteer Moira and her team do a fantastic job keeping on top of the extensive planting, and we are delighted to help to prepare the garden for summer activities.”

CLAN Cancer Support is an independent charity which provides comfort, support and information, free of charge, for anyone, of any age, affected by any type of cancer. CLAN aims to support people to reduce anxiety, stress and to increase their ability to cope with the effects of a serious illness. CLAN supports those who have a cancer diagnosis, as well as their friends and family members.

Based in Aberdeen, the charity covers the whole of north-east Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland.

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