An Aberdeen school has launched a “spot the odd one out” initiative to raise funds and help support local businesses.
Skene Square School is running a competition in partnership with a number of businesses encouraging people to spot the odd one out in their window displays.
Shops will set up a special window display, featuring one item that looks out of place.
The project is hoped to help raise money for improving digital tech resources at the school, and also to get people out and about in Rosemount, visiting local shops and realising what the area has to offer.
Businesses from the area have told why they wanted to be part of the Christmas contest.
Faye Howard, manager, Wool For Ewe said: “It’s just really nice that the school have done this for the businesses because they can see how we’re all kind of suffering this year.
“They’re fundraising for the school, but they’re also done it to help out the small businesses and just people out and about, walking around Rosemount and seeing what it has to offer.
“There are a lot of bespoke shops in Rosemount and we do have a little bit of everything.
“It’s just getting people out and about, walking around Rosemount, seeing what shops are there and hopefully getting people to support small businesses and shop local and really just help Rosemount stay open.
“I think we’ve lost three shops so far.
“Having a small business always has challenges, regardless of everything that’s happened this year. For us personally we’ve essentially been shut since March which has not been great.
“People have stayed away because of Covid.
“We are struggling. A lot of people have been sitting at home furloughed from work and have not been going into town and not been working in town. They haven’t been nipping out in their lunch hours or after work. They haven’t been going out and doing that shopping so businesses and retail, in general, has been suffering.
“It’s also coffee shops as well, all aspects of retails and hospitality have been suffering because people simply haven’t been out and about, and the ease of online shopping is harmful towards small businesses as well.
“We rely on people coming to our shops, and by having the school putting on this competition it’s bringing people to the shops, particularly for children, who aren’t going to get to go and see Santa this year. Santa’s not going to be visiting, they’re not going to be having their Christmas parades this year, there’s not a big Christmas lights turn on.
“They’re so many things children are missing out on this year because of Covid, the school have put this on to try and get kids to go round visiting the Christmas windows in Rosemount and keep that Christmas feeling alive for them.
“But they’re also using it to say ‘look, this is here, this is what’s on our doorstep’. We do have a little bit of everything to offer for the festive season and gifting, so it’s nice to get that little bit of support.
“Aside from the fundraising it’s also something fun for the kids.”
Alan Watt, owner of Belvidere Gallery, said their links with the school and the chance to have a bit of fun were the reasons they got involved.
He said: “We’ve got quite strong links with the school because over the last 10 years we have sponsored three art competitions.
“It has been an unusual year but we wanted everyone to come together here. It is just a bit of fun and we hope people will enjoy spotting the strange item in our window.”
Janine Davies, fundraising manager at Archway, said it was important for their charity shop to get in on the festive fun.
She said: “We have our charity shop in Rosemount and it is such a fantastic community. We also wanted to do something fun to cheer everybody up.
“It is difficult for us to think of something odd to put in our window because we can do on a daily basis anyway.”
Vivienne Innes, headteacher of Skene Square School, is hopeful people from across Aberdeen come to Rosemount to take part in the competition.
She said: “This term our whole school topic is entitled ‘Our Creative World’ which has a focus on business and enterprising attitudes. Given the pandemic we wanted to show our support for #shoplocal and support the businesses within our school community whilst also support our own school’s fundraising efforts.
“Our depute headteacher, Mrs Clark worked with the Family Captains and Deputes, and they came up with the idea of encouraging people to visit Rosemount and see the array of businesses this area has to offer, and the Window Competition was suggested.
“We hope that people from across the city will wrap up warm and come and take part in the competition, which should be fun for all of the family. It is running for the next three weeks and each Tuesday the ‘odd one out’ items in the windows will change over and a new week’s competition will open. ”
Answers can be submitted via the google form and our pupils will select a random winner from the correct entries. Full details and a list of businesses taking part can be found on our school website www.skenesquare.aberdeen.sch.uk”