Six Aberdonians who have made a difference to the lives of others have been added to a mural celebrating the city’s everyday heroes.
From showing generosity towards Canadian soldiers in the Second World War to spearheading a campaign which changed the law, the six new additions to the mural on the city’s Flourmill Lane have changed lives in a multitude of ways.
Originally created during the 2018 Nuart Aberdeen festival, the project aimed to highlight people who have contributed to the life of the city.
The mural, relocated to Flourmill Lane last year, has now been extended after funding from Aberdeen City Council’s Creative Funding programme.
The new everyday heroes, chosen by a panel of judges from nominations put forward by the public, are: Barbara Russell, a landlady in Aberdeen during the Second World War; Justin Ritchie, a volunteer with Street Friends Helping the Homeless and Steve Rae, a Piper Alpha survivor and safety activist.
Also chosen were Mark Taylor, for his fundraising efforts, Michael Brown, who campaigned for Clare’s Law after the murder of his daughter and dance teacher Jemma McRae who died after her battle with cancer.
Lisa Campbell, great-granddaughter of Barbara Russell, said: “During Dunkirk, soldiers from all over the world who couldn’t get home were dropped anywhere in ports across the UK and the citizens of Aberdeen were asked to help them out.
“My great-grandmother took in over 300 soldiers, mostly from America and Canada and looked after them.
“It’s important we get the message out that Aberdeen is a place that welcomes anyone, especially in a bad situation.”
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Marlene and Alan McRae, parents of the late Jemma, said: “It’s unbelievable that Jemma is up there with the other 11 heroes. She would be so proud.
“Even more importantly for us as a family is that Academy Street Dance Studio will continue to run and that’s a legacy it its own.
“She always called the studio her extended family and that’s how it still is.”
Offshore safety expert Mr Rae said: “When I was informed that I was chosen I was in disbelief.
“As an Aberdonian born and bred it fills me with pride to be recognised as one of its everyday heroes.”
Clan fundraiser Mr Taylor said: “I am shocked and also honoured to have been chosen for this award and I would like to thank my family and friends that nominated me.”
Mr Brown said: “I’m delighted and humbled to be honoured by my city of birth and raising awareness of Clare’s Law is invaluable.”
And Mr Ritchie added: “It feels amazing to be recognised in this way – thanks so much to everyone that nominated me.”
Aberdeen Inspired community and environmental co-ordinator Angela Joss said: “While working on this project it became obvious to us that the everyday heroes had changed Aberdeen and the community around them.
“We have six examples of amazing Aberdonians and it makes me really proud to be one.”
Lord Provost of Aberdeen Barney Crockett praised the scheme and said each of those honoured was a “fabulous ambassador” for the city.
And Mike Melvin, ACVO co-ordinator who was on the judging panel, said: “All nominations were outstanding and very inspiring.”