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What’s your background?

My name is Calum Couston and I hold a Geography degree from the University of Glasgow.

What is your placement and what have you enjoyed the most?

I am delivering a 12 month placement project for Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust, which is due to finish in early 2016. My project entails supporting various community development projects, including a community broadband project.

The support and training I have received so far has been invaluable, from the City & Guilds qualification to the IAB qualification. Both are areas I never thought I would enter to, but are great as far as personal development is concerned.

What new skills/knowledge have you developed during your placement?

Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust have given me opportunity to lead on projects, developing a community hydro scheme and a Community Broadband project. Having a geography degree provided a good base knowledge during the hydro project development stages.

Leading on the projects has given me invaluable experience on how to develop a project, engage with the public and stakeholders. It has also allowed me to expand my knowledge in these two areas.

The placement has also helped me develop my funding bid writing skills, which is an aspect of community development that is key. I have learned a great deal about the community sector and the challenges that face fragile communities, it is certainly an area where I would like to work in the future.

Overall I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Trust and I am very thankful for the time they have invested in supporting my development.