Deeside scheme brings festive cheer

Councillor Blackett with some of the volunteers
Councillor Blackett with some of the volunteers

A Deeside initiative has brought cheer to families in need over the festive season.

Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside Councillor Geva Blackett set up Pheasants for Presents which is now in its fourth year.

It operates in conjunction with local estates, members of the Scottish Gamekeepers Association and the Grampian Moorland Group.

The venture has been supported again by the Balmoral Estate with seasoned logs and fresh vegetables from the Queen’s garden.

The Moorland Group gave gamebirds such as pheasants and partridge, while Invercauld Estate donated a hind.

Last year Tesco joined forces with the volunteers and also took part this time by adding ‘goodie’ bags and help with deliveries.

Councillor Blackett said: “The support for this much-needed initiative grows each year – unfortunately so does the need.

“Poverty is largely hidden in Royal Deeside but sadly it not only exists but is on the increase as jobs are lost and salaries for those on the minimum wage makes life pretty tough when the weather is cold and presents have to be bought.”

Balmoral factor Richard Gledson said: “The estate is only too glad to help with this initiative each year and are delighted that it is so well received.”

Recipients were identified mainly through local schools.