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City Council sets up support centre for those affected by Shetland helicopter tragedy
A support centre for people affected by the helicopter tragedy off Shetland last month has been established in Aberdeen.
The Balgownie Lodge Support Centre at the Aberdeen Innovation Park, Campus 3, Balgownie Drive, Bridge of Don, AB22 8GW is open seven days a week for at least three weeks.
Staff trained in relief centre and major incident support work are on hand to assist bereaved family members, survivors, friends and work colleagues of those involved in the incident, and anybody else directly affected by the tragedy.
The support centre has been set up by a multi-agency group comprising Aberdeen City Council's Social Care and Wellbeing service, Bon Accord Care Ltd (BAC), the City Council's emergency planning team, oil company Total and other offshore contractors, along with Police Scotland.
Balgownie Lodge is staffed by senior social work managers from the local authority and BAC, volunteers from the Salvation Army, the Royal Voluntary Service and the British Red Cross, and representatives from Total and from offshore contracting companies.
The centre is a private and tranquil venue at which people can receive emotional support and practical assistance and advice, and is free from unwanted intrusion.
Staff and volunteers are available daily, including weekends, from 9.30am6pm to talk with people who come along and offer a wide range of leaflets and information. The support team can offer bereavement support and can discuss accommodation needs, financial help and pastoral care. They can direct people to other agencies which can provide further support. The centre also provides an opportunity for those affected by the tragedy to meet up and talk to each other to share their experiences.
At least five staff and volunteers are on duty at all times and arrangements can be made for further support via an outreach service for those not able to attend the centre.
The centre has private meeting rooms, a community room for group meetings, a quiet room, a staffed children's play room and a dining area. Free refreshments are available, including tea and coffee, fruit juice, bottled water, biscuits, cakes, sandwiches and soup.
Aberdeen Lord Provost George Adam said: "The tragedy off Shetland was deeply shocking and has affected very many people, not just those directly associated with the energy industry but the people of Aberdeen, the wider North-east and indeed across the UK.
"Our thoughts are with the families of those who have lost loved-ones, with the survivors and their families, and with their friends and work colleagues too, who will all be trying to come to terms with what has happened.
"Aberdeen City Council acted swiftly to set up a dedicated centre to offer help and support to all those who are affected. I would urge anyone who feels the need to talk or who needs information to take advantage of the service we are offering in partnership with the other agencies and organisations which have worked so willingly with us."
The daytime telephone number for the centre is (01224) 900002. The City Council's social work service can be contacted out-of-hours on (01224) 693936.