Emma collageAbsafe has some important news to share! Our chief executive, Emma Bellu, is bidding a fond farewell after nearly 16 years with the organisation, and we welcome Kim Woolner as our new interim CEO.

Emma Bellu said, “It has been an honour to lead Absafe for these past 9 years and to make such a difference to the thousands of children who have visited The Safe. I am proud of what we have accomplished as a team, on behalf of local communities, as we have continued to develop our programmes and our impact. I am certain that Absafe will continue to flourish using innovation and technology to enhance safety education for the next generation.

It has been my great privilege to work with such a dedicated and skilled team of staff, volunteers, trustees and partners who give their time and share their passion, to create a safer future. I am exceedingly grateful for everything that has been given to create the success of Absafe. Our accomplishments would not have been achieved without a committed team coming together to work towards our vision.

So, as I am now moving on to new challenges, I’m delighted that Kim Woolner is taking over at the helm for the interim whilst the search for a new leader begins. As a proven, senior HR professional, with over 20 years’ generalist experience, and a passion for enabling behavioural change, I know Absafe is in very safe hands.”

Kim Woolner said, “I’m excited to be coming in and continuing the fantastic work of Absafe. The process of securing a new permanent CEO is an important one and great care will be taken in making our selection that will involve board, staff and volunteers in the process. As a previous member of the Board of Trustees for Absafe, I know first-hand what it takes to achieve success for the organisation, and I look forward to taking on the challenge and helping steer Absafe forward.

I look forward to meeting all the dedicated and lovely people that are part of the Absafe family whilst I take on the interim role.”

Kim officially starts on 6th August 2019.

Safety education charity Absafe is seeking runners to join their team for the BHGE 10k Running Festival on Sunday May 5th 2019.

Aiming to reduce the toll of accidental injury which sees three children and young people in the North East admitted to hospital on a daily basis , Absafe is raising funds to provide innovative interactive safety education to local children.

This is the first year that Absafe has taken part in the BHGE 10k and they are keen to make it a big success.

Emma Bellu, chief executive said “Each year Absafe teaches over 2,000 children vital life skills to make them safer at home, on the road and in the community. Fundraising makes such a difference as it means we can reach more children, showing them how to make decisions that can save their life.

We’re delighted to be taking part in this year’s BHGE 10K Running Festival for the first time. As the North East’s longest standing road race and one of the highlights of the running calendar, it’s a fantastic event to get involved in. We are asking runners to join us and help create a safer future.

Now’s the time to get involved: there’s plenty of time for training, with lighter nights and better weather coming our way, you can support a fantastic cause, get fitter and help us make sure children don’t have to learn safety by accident.”

With 30 spaces available, those interested in supporting Absafe are asked to raise a minimum of £75. To join Team Absafe contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01224 823157.

Don’t fancy running? Absafe are also looking for volunteers that can help with fundraising events like marshalling at the BHGE 10k run or volunteers that can help Absafe to teach children vital life skills. For more information visit here.

Absafe are celebrating a new partnership with oil and gas company Nexen, after receiving a donation to build a new alcohol safety set at The Safe, Absafe’s HQ in Bridge of Don, Aberdeen.

The crucial £19,189 funding provided by Nexen, will allow Absafe to build a new interactive workshop teaching school children about the dangers of alcohol. Alcohol is the most widely used addictive substance used by young teenagers. Young people's bodies and brains are more vulnerable to the effects of alcohol because they are still growing and developing. Drinking can cause short and long-term harm to health, as well as put young people in risky situations when drunk. 15% of all deaths in young people aged 16-24 are linked to alcohol and two thirds of young offenders were drunk at the time of their offence.

Absafe’s chief executive Emma Bellu said: “Research shows that the earlier a young person starts drinking alcohol, the more likely they are to drink in ways that can be harmful later in life. Scotland has a pro-alcohol society where it is readily available and heavily marketed. Young people see drinking as completely normal and expected behaviour.

Early intervention and education is therefore key to reducing harm and risk exposure. By working in partnership with Nexen to provide fun informative sessions, we will empower children with the resilience to say no to alcohol, ensuring they are informed of the risky situations that can arise with alcohol use, as well as the longer term harm to physical and mental health and wellbeing.”

Ray Riddoch, Nexen’s UK MD and Senior VP Europe said:

“The misuse of alcohol, especially in young people, can lead to a variety of problems. As well as having an adverse effect on personal health and wellbeing, it is also an issue that can impact safety in the workplace. We share Absafe’s belief that early intervention and education will, in the long term, create a healthier and safer society and we’re delighted to be able to sponsor their new alcohol safety education set.”

Executive Director of Step Change in Safety, and Chairman of the Absafe Board, Les Linklater said:

“By funding this new interactive workshop, Nexen will play a vital role in reducing the risk of harm to children in the North East from the dangers of alcohol. Absafe’s mission is to empower local children to make the right decisions in society and to be aware of the negative effects that drinking can have on their bodies and lives.”

Absafe encourages companies to work in partnership to support the charity in a number of ways: from sponsoring a set, a child or a smile; to allowing staff to volunteer, or joining the board to share a passion for safety and drive the organisation forward. Anyone interested should contact Absafe on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01224 823157.

Celebratory community weekend unveiled

Plans for how the North East will celebrate the opening of the most eagerly anticipated Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route/Balmedie to Tipperty (AWPR/B-T) project have been announced today by the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Keith Brown.

The focal point of the campaign will be a Community Weekend of family-orientated events and activities (8th and 9th of September 2018) which is planned to take place on the new AWPR in the River Dee valley on the boundary between Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire. It will be a ‘fete style’ event with attractions including a celebration of travel through the ages with vintage vehicles and future electric vehicle technology. There will also be unique opportunities for cyclists of a wide range of abilities to experience the road before strategic traffic begins using it in earnest and cyclists get to enjoy the benefits of less congested city roads.

This will be supported by the 'GoNorthEast' campaign which will underline the benefits of this transformational project and show how these will positively impact on people’s lives and the future of businesses, small and large across the North East.

More details on the event will be made available via media and social media in due course.
Cabinet Secretary, Keith Brown said: “The AWPR/B-T is a major artery that will breathe new life into the region. It is much more than a bypass, a term that simply doesn’t do justice to a scheme of this vast scale. It will enhance connectivity with the rest of Scotland, better connect local communities, improve productivity, quality of life and allow for better public transport and active travel opportunities in the city.

The AWPR/B-T will transform how people travel around the region, whether a driver, a user of public transport, a cyclist or a pedestrian. The GoNorthEast aims to communicate information on the route in the run-up to its opening and beyond.
Supported by the hashtags #GoConnect, #GoSafer, #GoGreener, the GoNorthEast campaign will highlight the key positive impacts of the route on the economy, on safety and on sustainable travel. Ambassadors for these key themes joined the Cabinet Secretary and Council Leaders today.

Russell Borthwick, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce, which has long-championed the route for the benefits it will bring to the economy, said:

“A fully operational AWPR will be a huge boost to our area. Forecasts suggest the economic benefit it will bring to the regional economy is in excess of £6bn over the next three decades as well as providing a platform for the creation of 14,000 new jobs. In addition to improving the quality of life for our residents - a major factor in economic development - faster journey times and improved North to South connectivity will increase business productivity and help us to secure the next tranche of investment we need to deliver our renaissance region vision. It is also a sign of positive change here with a number of other major marquee infrastructure and regeneration projects due for completion in the next two years.”

Emma Bellu, Chief Executive of local safety charity Absafe, praised the project's aim to reduce road accidents by around 80 per year saying: "Communities in the North East have long-awaited improvements to the local road network that can reduce the injury toll on our roads. Using the latest in safe road design, the AWPR/B-T will improve safety and reduce accidents by taking traffic away from unsuitable rural roads and urban areas. This will make journeys safer and less stressful for drivers, and give streets back to their communities. This project can quite literally save lives, reduce injuries and improve wellbeing, and we welcome the celebration in the run up to the official opening."

Derick Murray, Director of Nestrans, the region’s transport partnership, believes that the AWPR is a major contributor towards a more sustainable transport strategy for the North-east. He said: “Nestrans has been a long-term promoter of the AWPR, particularly the role it will play in freeing up Anderson Drive and the city centre to enable smoother, faster and more reliable bus services and access to Park and Choose sites. From an environmental standpoint, nose to tail traffic creates much more pollution, whereas free-flowing traffic generates lower carbon emissions, improving our air quality in and around the city.”