Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust
Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust was created in 2011 to ensure that long-term, sustainable benefits would be achieved throughout the community and the Kyle of Sutherland. The Trust appointed Calum Couston, a Geography graduate of University of Glasgow, to deliver a 12 month graduate placement.
Helen Houston, a Community Development Consultant at Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust, talks about Calum's placement which entails supporting various community development projects, including a community broadband project.
What’s your organisation’s background?
The Trust was created in 2011 to ensure that long-term, sustainable benefits would be achieved throughout the community and the Kyle of Sutherland. To work with and support community organisations to maximise the facilities and services which can be provided for the community. To seek inward invest to this fragile area in order to provide sustainable economic opportunities. To maximise opportunities using the natural environment.
Why take on a graduate?
The Trust needed additional capacity to allow potential projects to come off the drawing board and thus go live. Calum's placement entails supporting various community development projects.
The Trust has provided Calum with opportunities to gain a City & Guilds Energy Adviser qualification, IAB Level 2 in Bookkeeping; First Aid at Work qualification. He has also attended many other training courses and conferences thus expanding his general knowledge about social enterprises and business in general.
What project has the graduate been involved with?
Calum along with a director has been leading on the hydro project and is also now leading on our community broadband project. Calum has been able to fulfil the remit as anticipated by the Trust. Calum has also been involved in enhancing business processes and marketing communications.
What’s been the most powerful benefit of employing the graduates?
Being able to recruit a recent graduate such as Calum has been key to the Trust’s progress on many fronts, both with projects and engagement with the community. With Calum taking the lead on the projects, the Development Manager has been given the opportunity to work on new ideas and engage more widely with agencies both locally and nationally.
What knowledge and skills have the graduates brought to your organisation?
Calum brought considerable new IT skills to the Trust which enabled the substantial increase in community engagement and helped to increase Trust membership from 64 to 241. Having a geography degree provided a good base knowledge during the hydro project development stages. Calum’s analytical young mind has brought structure to the sometimes “creative” thinking of the Development Manager!!
All and all, having a ScotGrad Associate has been a rewarding experience for the Trust and we hope it has also been the same for the ScotGrads we have had the pleasure of hosting.