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The Community Pioneers Podcast
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The Community Pioneers Podcast

Author: Chris Smith

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This podcast is all about the people working in and for their communities all over Scotland. Sharing stories, experiences and insights, you will hear authentic voices as they describe their journeys.
16 Episodes
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Colin Harris

Colin Harris

2021-06-0836:36

“Tatties Tae Tables” is  the idea of Colin Harris. The simple idea of linking up a surplus of potatoes to people who could use them during a pandemic  is charitable brilliance. In this podcast Colin explains how he put the various elements of this initiative together. From growing tatties himself and the family connections he was able to call on, this is a fascinating story. From Penicuik to Ardrossan and beyond, this network has grown through the efforts of many different community groups. It is definitely worth checking out the “Tatties Tae Tables” page  on Facebook and they do have a Gofundme page too.
Jason Schroeder

Jason Schroeder

2021-05-2447:27

Jason Schroeder is a man who “goes to bed with a dream and wakes up in the morning with a purpose”. As the CEO and founder of the Scottish Men's Sheds Association, he has had a positive influence over thousands of Scots. In this conversation, I want to leave that executive role behind and find out about the man. His journey from the early days in South Africa to rural Aberdeenshire is fascinating. Jason is a self reflective man. His insights about ‘rites of passage’ and what it means to be a man will resonate with many, I feel sure.By the end of our conversation, you may also want to check out the Scottish Men’s Sheds Association too.
“The town is in flux”, the major employer is shutting down and depopulation is a real issue. It’s against this background, Joan Lawrie and Marion O’Brien stopped by to tell me about Thurso Community Development Trust. The rapid progress from community consultation through to the establishing a community benefit society has been an exciting story. Joan and Marion have their own unique contributions in the telling of this story so far. And, of course, we talk about how the community has handled the challenges of the last year.
Donald Boyd

Donald Boyd

2021-05-0843:31

This podcast is a tale of the prodigal’s return. Born in Huntly, Donald Boyd is the General Manager at Huntly and District Development Trust. However, his journey to that role has taken him across Europe, the Middle East and beyond, including a stint in Guatemala. Trained as a surveyor, he has learnt to work in a variety of different environments and styles. In this podcast, he paases along some of his thoughts, observations and experiences from the journey so far and anticipates the challenges he sees ahead.For more information about Huntly and District Development Trust.
Colin Mackie

Colin Mackie

2021-04-1920:49

Colin Mackie is a clever man with many talents. His regular appearances on the internet Facebook sensation that is “Live from Oor Livingroom” demonstrate this. Over the last year and a bit, Colin and team have been streaming nightly ; quizzes, karaoke, history talks, presentations and general cheery content to their local community in the Gorbals and beyond. It is a staggering amount of sessions aimed at boosting everyone’s health and well being. An amazing achievement. You can join in the fun here.But that’s not all. Colin is also involved in “Friends of Southern Necropolis”. The Friends  strive to preserve and promote the many historical, educational and environmental assets of the Southern Necropolis in the Gorbals area of Glasgow. It’s a fantastic story and Colin is a great advocate for this ‘city of the dead’.A great warm chat and one sure to put a smile on your face.
Jacky Niven

Jacky Niven

2021-04-1933:38

 Jacky Niven works for one of Aberdeenshire's Local Rural Partnerships based in Kincardine and Mearns and also chairs Aberdeenshire Third Sector Strategy Group.In this conversation, Jacky shares her thoughts about effective communications, the role of excellent customer service, what recovery is going to look like and a range of other topics. Jacky’s background in graphics and retail has an interesting role in the way she sees the third sector. Jacky shares a lot of her experiences and insights from her work with dynamic communities. If you like Jacky’s approach; you can see more details on this presentation entitled ‘Building Foundations for Citizen Participation’ and the KDTV Channel.
Kevin Neary

Kevin Neary

2021-04-1256:58

Kevin Neary had a  background which includes first hand experience of violence, addiction and the criminal justice system, you  can read the details here.  However, through a series of lucky accidents and incidents, he is now in a better place. As the co-founder of Aid & Abet , Kevin is now an articulate voice actively involved in supporting people on their release from prison. When he came on the podcast, I wanted to understand the background to his story. It was a very thoughtful, humourous and surprising conversation. It's a long listen and 'Neary's theories ' are delivered with the passion which  comes from a considered life. More Kevin is regularly available on Twitter too.
Marion Hughes

Marion Hughes

2021-04-0544:00

Marion Hughes is a passionate advocate of 'Forest Schools'. She has an amazing story to tell about the role of woodland  in our children's development. She also explains how an Erasmus visit to Finland and a Castlemilk exchange played a role in her journey.As promised, you can see a lot more detail at the Auchinairn After School Care web site and their very active Facebook page.
Marie Ward

Marie Ward

2021-03-3142:33

It was fabulous to  get Marie on the podcast.As the CEO of Cranhill Development Trust, Marie has worked long and hard to support this community in a variety of innovative ways. Over the years, Cranhill, as a Glasgow inner city area, has faced its own challenges and the Development Trust has responded with a range of initiatives from food to education.  Marie gave some insights about methods of listening to the community, spotting opportunities, and engaging partners.  It’s a fascinating glimpse into this dynamic community and  Marie's own style of management and leadership.  If you are interested in the Cranhill Development Trust, check out their website and Facebook for more details.
Lorna and Mischa

Lorna and Mischa

2021-03-2325:53

This grandmother and granddaughter are a hutter double act. With her pension lump sum, Lorna bought some woodland. Helped by Mischa and family, they are all off to build huts.It’s a fascinating story as they share their aspirations and plans. Although the current lockdown has put plans on ‘pause’, they have been busy making plans, as you will hear. It is a story to make you smile and there's a lot to share for anyone contemplating their own 'hut' journey.As Lorna mentions, they have a YouTube channel, Mafia Wood, where you can follow their progress.
Willie Whitelaw

Willie Whitelaw

2021-03-1532:38

Willie Whitelaw is now a woodworker and purveyor of wood stores amongst other things. He also has had a long and varied career working, as a community worker,  with different groups from youth work to helping set up mens’ sheds. As ever, it was interesting to hear first hand about the different dynamics working with different groups. What works, what groups need for success and the qualities of a community worker are all topics that Willie has views about based on his experience. And it's all delivered with a wry sense of humour.
Gordon Cowtan

Gordon Cowtan

2021-03-1238:32

Fintry and  the Fintry Development Trust are well known within the wider community world as being one of the first to own a wind turbine. Gordon Cowtan was there at the very beginning; one of “the Fintry 4”. It was good to catch up with him and get his reflections on the early days and how things developed. We also talk about his background, lessons learnt, and what the future holds.
Alison Macleod

Alison Macleod

2021-03-1249:40

I have always been curious about what ‘community development’ looked like in remote rural areas.  I have met Alison on a number of times at different events over the years and found out more about  Applecross each time.Alison’s experience of raising a family in Applecross , finding work in Raasay and latterly coming back to Dumfries and Galloway was an interesting tale in the telling. On the way, we chat about how rural groups fix things, what the challenges are and the future of high streets; notably Midsteeple Quarter.
Kayt Howell

Kayt Howell

2021-03-1239:58

Kayt has been ‘doing good  stuff in Fintry’ for more than a dozen years from tackling fuel poverty to community orchards. She has had a number of roles within Fintry Development Trust and has been involved in  lots of different projects from energy advice to  a car club. FDT has always been more than just owning a wind turbine. In this podcast, she talks through her experience of a rural community that has a reputation of being innovative and more eco than most.
Abi Mordin

Abi Mordin

2021-03-0846:15

Abi Mordin is a passionate food activist. It was great to get her to sit down in the shed and take us on her  personal journey. Abi has championed community resilience through food networks in a number of different places with a variety of settings across Scotland. She has some story to tell. If you want more details of interesting food initiatives check these out.Glasgow Community Food NetworkPropagate - Rethinking local foodHidden Veg - an appetite for local food
The Explainer

The Explainer

2021-03-0701:24

This is the first brief podcast to introduce the Community Pioneers Podcast. In the coming weeks, there will be a number of interviews with a variety of people from the communities around Scotland. All will be telling their story in their way.Over a period of time, this podcast should grow to be a useful resource as different voices tell about their journey and their community. Stay tuned - there will be more. 
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