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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Opportunity for Strathdearn Residents to Shape Future of Community

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A Highland community is appealing for residents to step forward to have a say on the future of the area.

Strathdearn Community Developments (SCD) is seeking new directors for its board, to make strategic decisions that will benefit the health, wellbeing and infrastructure of the community.

SCD is a charitable organisation responsible for distribution of funds and management of community projects across the Strathdearn area.

One recent initiative has seen around 70-80 per cent of Strathdearn equipped with FTTP broadband, vastly improving the area’s connectivity.

The initial project in Moy was Openreach’s first community partnership, and was such a success that it has been used as a blueprint for the rest of the UK – and has been built upon across Strathdearn through access to grants and funds, as well as labour from the community. SCD intends to upgrade access for the remaining properties in the near future.

With big ambitions for the area, the company’s board of directors is made up of local residents who are passionate about seeing Strathdearn prosper, and volunteer their time for the benefit of the whole community.

SCD chair George Macleod, who has served on the board for three years, said:

“Volunteering as a director for SCD is hugely rewarding, not only for the community but also on a personal level.

“It allows residents with a passion and vision for Strathdearn to make a positive impact on the community, providing the resources and amenities needed now and in the future.”

Over the last couple of years, SCD has also built a new Strathdearn Community Hub, shop and cafe; made strides into providing affordable housing; introduced initiatives to improve health and wellbeing including an e-bike scheme; and managed a path regeneration project.

Mr Macleod continued:

“Everything SCD does is driven by the community, for the community.

“Every project undertaken stems from a 10-year Community Action Plan that was drawn up from ideas submitted by residents, so we are always working towards the shared goals of all who live here.

“For example, improved broadband was number three on a list of priorities for the community.

“I would strongly encourage anyone sitting on the fence about becoming a director to apply.

“Whether you bring with you business experience or a social mindset – or both! – you don’t often get the chance to make such a positive contribution to the community you call home.”

With the company’s current board of volunteer directors standing down due to other commitments, a minimum of three directors is required for the company to continue to operate and provide access to funding and guidance for the Strathdearn community.

Should more than six individuals apply, a vote will be held.

Alongside local residents, the board can choose to recruit up to two directors from outside of the Strathdearn area to bring additional skills and expertise into the region – and applications for these roles are also welcome.

Nineteen-year-old outgoing director Libby-Jo Dempster added:

“I am genuinely excited to see where the next board of directors takes Strathdearn over the coming years, and the projects they will implement for the good of the area.

“This is an incredible opportunity for those who would like to make a real difference, and to give back to a community that has given each and every resident so much.

“Anyone who is passionate about Strathdearn is able to make a valuable contribution, no matter their age, background or experience.”

New directors will be elected at SCD’s AGM in mid November.

Interested parties should live in IV13, be full members of SCD (which is free to join), and complete an application form and short personal statement no later than November 7.

All documents and information are available from company secretary Elaine Macleod on elainemacleod@strathdearn.org.

For more information about Strathdearn Community Developments Company, please click here

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