Posted Monday August 06, 2018 by Melissa Reilly

Hi everyone,

This week’s Development Manager Diary is coming to you a little bit later than usual as I was in a field for most of last week, but I’ll explain about that later!

On Monday 30th July we welcomed the ‘Beautiful Scotland’ judges to Lanark as part of their nationwide judging route. We had a great afternoon showcasing areas around Lanark that #LanarkinBloom, volunteers and partner organisations have worked so hard to transform and make look beautiful for locals and visitors alike. We then met up at Castlebank Horticultural Centre for some tea and cake, and to review the organisation’s progress and year-round activity. I was aware of the time, effort and dedication the volunteers had put in – but it was something else to see all of the photographs all in one place! Amazing. Fingers crossed for a good result at the awards ceremony on 6th September.

So, now onto that field! Wednesday 1st August marked the start of the Scottish Rural Network’s #RuralYouthAugust campaign which ties in nicely with the Rural Youth Project, launched at the start of this year in conjunction with the Year of Young People. The Rural Youth Project is “an initiative focused on rural youth, to better understand and support their needs, desires and challenges, making comparisons between Scotland, England, Wales and international countries. Incorporating qualitative and quantitative research, engagement and leadership events.​​​”

“This research-based project aims to develop feasible strategies to facilitate the involvement of young people in agricultural and rural activity by better understanding their current situation, aspirations, opportunities and challenges. 

We are engaging with 18- to 28-year-olds in, or brought up in, rural places throughout Scotland and the UK, as well as in Australia, Canada, Sweden and USA to draw comparisons and share learnings.

The Rural Youth Project has three key elements: an online survey, a series of vloggers from around the world and a Rural Youth Ideas Festival, all of which will contribute towards the research.”

On 1 – 3 August, I was lucky enough to be given the chance to attend the Ideas Festival in Kinross. I can honestly say it was the best networking and professional development event I have ever attended. It was fascinating to meet young people working and living in rural areas from around the world, and learning about similar challenges we face in our rural communities. The speakers, who were also young people attending the festival, were some of the most inspiring and engaging I have ever heard. I made lots of great connections and my head has been buzzing with ideas since getting back on Friday night so it’s time to head back to the office and start working on them!

The results of the Rural Youth Project online survey were released at the ideas festival, so I will share a link to them in my next diary or on social media when they are available.

I’d love to hear if you have any ideas to improve the town, projects you would like the Development Trust to consider or if you would like to get involved with existing projects in any way. You can also get in touch if you have local events or community initiatives you’d like the Development Trust to consider sharing on our social media pages. Please feel free to email me with any suggestions or ideas at

You can now click the link below to send the Development Trust a donation via Paypal to support the work of our projects and activities in Lanark. We are a charitable, non-profit body which carries out projects for the common good. Our aspiration is to develop and deliver priority community projects which have a social, environmental and economic impact. Any support would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks, Melissa

07958 387 378

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