Glachbeg Croft, Inverness
A glorious sunny day and Glachbeg was the perfect setting to share information about our new Gaining Ground project. We welcomed 30 participants who travelled from the Highlands and Moray to take part in our packed agenda. Lucy welcomed all and opened the event, she introduced Dr David Heaney who has joined the team and will be carrying out 5 case studies looking at social crofting models currently in use.
After a delicious networking lunch, participants heard from a number of speakers involved in social crofting, and had the chance to ask questions.
The speakers were:
- Caroline Matheson - history of Care Farming Scotland (now part of Social Farms and Gardens)
- Karen Davidson - Social Farms and Gardens, Scotland
- Becs Barkers - Community Contacts, Self Directed Support
- Chris Ritchie - Moray Wellbeing Hub
- Katie Webster - Breezy Croft
This was a great opportunity to hear from those who have been involved in care farming or social crofting, as well as from organisations who can offer support and practical help. The issue of timing was highlighted as important, and there was a feeling that now is good time to be looking at exploring 'green care' as the concept is now better understood.
Whilst sharing her inspiring experience of providing services, Katie Webster from Breezy Croft in Caithness said:
it was important to remember that not everyone that lives in a rural area has access to nature. For example, some people living in Wick or Thurso may only get out to the doctor's surgery and the supermarket.
It was clear from discussions that there is a lot of interest in social crofting and the life-changing benefits it brings to both people using the services provided and to crofters themselves.
There was also practical discussion about some of the challenges, including funding for service users.
Narrative: Thanks to Norette from Scottish Rural Network