A group of American expats have raised a staggering £12,500 for an Aberdeen charity.
Members of The Association of American Women of Aberdeen came together to raise funds for Friends of the Neonatal Unit after selecting it as their chosen charity for the year.
The charity works to support the neonatal unit at Aberdeen Maternity Hospital.
Sarah Ashley, president of The Association of American Women of Aberdeen, explained how the group came together.
She said: “It was started in 1985 by a handful of women gathered around a kitchen table.
“At that time Aberdeen was booming and the group grew very fast, there were around 100 members by the end of that year.
“We’ve kept it going since then and right now we’re at 112 members this year.
“It’s quite a transient group, we come and go quite often but it provides a bit of support for expats moving to the city.
“It’s great in the sense of community, but it has also has a huge charity aspect to it too. We work all year long to get as much money as we can for our chosen charity.
The group’s 112 members – which includes American expats as well as those from Korea, Norway, Malaysia, Brazil, Holland and Australia – vote in a charity each year.
This year, they decided to drum up support for Friends of the Neonatal Unit after a moving pitch from one of its members.
Sarah, from Cults, added: “One of the members nominated the charity because she had a child who was in the unit, and she said the charity made a huge difference for her and it made us all cry. We ended up voting it in.
“£12,500 is the biggest amount we have ever raised. It was a bit of a daunting task because we have been in lockdown for the past few months but we raised almost half of the total amount over the last two months.
“We hosted a hugely successful virtual race night at the end of April that brought in over £5,300 for the charity. We had participants from five countries and two continents join us online in support of Friends of the Neonatal Unit.
“The remaining funds were brought in through various social events we hosted including monthly raffles at our meetings and our highly holiday craft fair.”
The group were unable to present the charity with the cheque at their annual luncheon due to social distancing restrictions.
Sarah added: “Usually we have an end of year luncheon where the charity comes and we present them with a big cheque, but obviously we couldn’t do it that way.
“But they were delighted with the amount. They made up a big cheque and had some of their staff pose with it so we were able to share that with our members which was really nice.”