Social and community based organisations have a vital role to play in today’s society, helping to realise the potential within Scotland’s communities.
They also play an important part in Scotland’s economy and in creating a fairer, more inclusive nation.
Social and community based organisations are a key focus for ScotGrad, who are proud to support these organisations by helping to source talented graduates and students to carry out key projects. This can be seen particularly in the Highlands and Islands where ScotGrad Associates are making an important contribution through their work at a range of different community based organisations.
Joanna Wawrzyczek joined the Helmsdale & District Development Trust (HDDT) as a ScotGrad Associate in 2016. The Sutherland-based community regeneration organisation was set up four years ago to improve the resources and opportunities in the area, and Joanna’s role involved the management of a 3000 acre community land buyout from a willing seller – the Sutherland Estate. As part of the project, she liaised with the community, anchor organisations, the seller, consultants, funding bodies, and other stakeholders.
Joanna explained: “The ScotGrad placement was a great opportunity giving me the chance to expand my network of contacts both locally and within the wider planning industry through attending conferences. I’ve got to know people from all sorts of backgrounds and learned a lot about how to deal with community engagement including public consultation, relevant legislation, funding opportunities, as well as the commercial aspects.”
ScotGrad also offers Greisean-gnìomhachais Ghàidhlig (Gaelic placements) and Diane Bruce and Rowan Paterson both secured placements at Fèisean nan Gàidheal, a non-profit company which supports the development of community-based Gaelic arts tuition and festivals, playing an important role in preserving the language and its culture.
Diane, a Gaelic student at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI - the University of the Highlands and Islands, secured a 12-week summer placement to implement an event marketing strategy for Gaelic music events; the Blas Festival and Ceilidh Trail in 2016 and is back to assist the organisation in 2017.
Diane explained: “I was responsible for engaging with local communities to raise awareness of the Blas Festival and Ceilidh Trail events through online marketing channels.
“As a non-native speaker, my written and spoken Gaelic has come on leaps and bounds by working in a Gaelic-speaking office. It can often be hard to build-up and maintain relationships in Gaelic speaking communities and organisations as a learner, but I’ve managed to make some great contacts in my time at Fèisean nan Gàidheal that should stand me in good stead for the future.”
ScotGrad Associate, Kris Bryson, was part of the team at WildHearts in Glasgow, which has been recognised for their commitment to social enterprise.
Following a UK-wide vote, the company won the prestigious Independent on Sunday's Social Enterprise Award in recognition of their work in ‘Democratising Opportunity’ both at home and abroad.
WildHearts is focused on launching companies that deliver entrepreneurship and microfinance at home and abroad. WildHearts Office Customers and Micro-Tycos have helped WildHearts to create £2.4 million to deliver award-winning entrepreneurial training for free in UK schools and fight poverty through microfinance in 37 developing countries.
Graduate placements with ScotGrad are available throughout the year. If you’re interested in ScotGrad contact us or check out our employer case studies to find out more about how graduates have helped other organisations.