fb-pixel
header image
Our Story:

Our Patron, Presidents and Ambassadors

VSA is honoured to have the support of our patron, ambassadors and friends who all help us to shine an important light on the life-changing work that we do; ranging from helping raise awareness about who we are and our impact; to supporting our philanthropy aspirations and enabling us to change more children's lives and adults' lives.

One way we thank and acknowledge a person’s exceptional contribution is via the special recognition of awarding them an honorary role within VSA. This may be the result of: donating their time, expertise, skills or making a significant donation to VSA.

Thank you to each and every person.

HRH-Queen.PNG

Our Patron

We are immensely honoured to have the support of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the II.

Our friendship with the Royal Household dates back to 1870 when our founding Patron was Queen Victoria. We are humbled that every reigning monarch since has accepted patronage of Aberdeen Association of Social Service (VSA) signalling their deep love and affection for the people of Aberdeen, plus their strong connection to the region and Royal Deeside.

Over the years, Her Majesty has visited the association and sent many well wishes. We regularly keep Her Majesty informed of our work throughout the year.

Recently, Her Majesty sent a note to mark our 150th Anniversary and granted special permission for the association to hold our anniversary celebration on her private estate at Balmoral Castle. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic this special event will now take place on the 6th November 2021.

Over the years, we have been visited by royal representatives who have visited on behalf of Her Majesty and our visitors include Princess Anne and the Duke of Gloucester.

page divide

Presidents

Lord Provost of Aberdeen

Lord Provost of Aberdeen

President

The charity was founded in 1870 by Lord Provost Leslie and Lord Provost Nicol of Aberdeen City. The Honour of President of the Association has since been bestowed to every Lord Provost of the city in recognition of our founding roots.

"On behalf of the city of Aberdeen I am honoured to hold the position of President of the association. The charity does tremendous work in supporting and changing the lives of vulnerable children and adults" - Councillor Barney Crockett, Lord Provost

Fiona Kennedy OBE, DL

Fiona Kennedy OBE, DL

Honorary President

Fiona Kennedy is a Scottish singer, songwriter, broadcaster and producer of stage and television productions and a tireless volunteer and ambassador for a number of charities. Fiona was awarded an OBE in 2014 for her contribution to music and charitable work and is a Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire.

"VSA is very important to me, and I’m proud to be an Honorary President of this fantastic charity. The work that they do across our city and beyond is outstanding. They help so many people with dementia, Alzheimer’s, mental health issues, additional support needs and they have wonderfully caring staff and volunteers"

Martin Gilbert

Martin Gilbert

Honorary President

Martin founded Aberdeen Asset Management more than 36 years ago and was instrumental in pushing through its £11 billion merger with Standard Life in 2017. He became co-CEO and vice chairman of the merged Standard Life Aberdeen which has more than $500 billion of assets under management. He is one of the longest-serving asset management leaders in the City. He stood down from the board and left business entirely in September 2020.

Martin is chairman of the digital banking business Revolut and chairman of the fund manager Toscafund, as well as a non-executive director of Glencore and previous deputy chairman of Sky.

“I’m delighted and honoured to be an honorary president of such a fantastic local charity.

“The city of Aberdeen has been the base upon which we have been able to build a global brand and I can’t think of a better way to give something back to my home city than supporting the amazing work VSA does for the most vulnerable people in our society.

Lady Joan Catto, MBE, DL

Lady Joan Catto, MBE, DL

Vice President

After studying law at Aberdeen University, she became deputy procurator fiscal at the city’s juvenile court – where she saw first hand that the adversarial system was inappropriate for children, and that the more investigative approach now adopted by the Children’s Panel system was required.

Her views on social policy and on the family were influenced by her time at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Outside her legal practice, she was a member of the University of Aberdeen Court, serving as convener of the business committee.

Lady Joan held the position of Chair of the Board of Trustee at VSA for a number of years and also served as vice-chairwoman of Grampian Healthcare NHS Trust and as assessor to the dean of guild and is a Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire.

James Stevenson

James Stevenson

Vice President
Mathew Finnie

Mathew Finnie

Vice President

Mathew is a prominent local businessman who has supported VSA for a number of years helping us to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds. Mathew is a strong advocate for the work that VSA does in supporting vulnerable children and adults'.

“I was delighted and honoured to be approached by VSA to be recognised as one of their Vice Presidents. As one of Aberdeen’s oldest and most respected charities its cause I’ve championed for over 7 years now by assisting with the fund raising effort of the annual ball. VSA’s involvement in tending to the needs of many local folk who otherwise may struggle in their day to day lives has got to be worthwhile. In ‘Finnies the Jewellers’ we are pleased to have the opportunity to make a difference in our local community"

page divide

Get in touch

Back to top