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Innovative Insights at the Scottish Rural and Islands Parliament 2023

The Scottish Rural and Islands Parliament 2023, held recently in Fort William, marked a significant event for community leaders and advocates, including our own team from Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn (UOG). Jemma MacVicar, our Executive Manager, and Catherine Thomson, our promising Community Development Apprentice, represented UOG at this influential gathering.

This vibrant event brought together a diverse group of community leaders, policymakers, and dedicated individuals to delve into critical issues facing rural and island communities. It was a melting pot of ideas and solutions, with topics spanning from the National Islands Plan to the impact of Tourism and the pressing issues of Climate Change and Circular Economies.

The three-day event featured a dynamic program of workshops and study tours. These sessions were instrumental in sparking dialogue, sharing experiences, and fostering innovative solutions. The Galson Estate Trust area, stood as an example of what was discussed.

The parliament showcased exemplary community-led initiatives in tourism, recycling, green energy, and employment growth. For UOG, participating in such an event was invaluable. It provided insights into successful community strategies and offered a platform for UOG to extend advice and foster future collaborations with communities facing similar challenges.

A highlight of this year’s parliament was the inaugural Youth Parliament event. This segment empowered young islanders and rural Scots to voice their concerns and aspirations, ensuring their perspectives are included in shaping the future.

The event concluded with a significant interaction with Mairi Gougeon MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform, and Islands. A collective request was made for her to act as a spokesperson in the Scottish Parliament, echoing the learnings and commitments from this gathering.

We're particularly proud of supporting Catherine Thomson in attending alongside the Youth Local Action Group. This experience not only enriched her apprenticeship but also underscored UOG's commitment to nurturing the next generation of community leaders.

SRIP2023 Scottish Rural and Islands Parliament Galson Trust

SRIP2023 Scottish Rural and Islands Parliament Galson Trust


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