RHET welcomes some new faces to the charity
As schools across Scotland return for a new academic year, Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET) is ever hopeful face-to-face visits can resume after the October break. During the last year, the RHET volunteers, coordinators and staff have been busy creating new teaching resources, running online events, offering digital farm visits, facilitating growing projects and welcoming some new people to the fold!
Back in May, RHET appointed a new chair, Alistair Marshall from Hardgrove, Dumfries, replacing George Lawrie who completed his busy 4 years in post, most notably for his hugely successful tractor tour of Scotland which raised £14k for the charity. George will continue to serve on the RHET Board whilst working for Scottish Agronomy as their Company Secretary and Managing Director.
Alistair has worked with RHET Dumfries and Galloway since 2005 and has been on the RHET Board for a few years, more recently chairing the RHET Forum, which has given him a real insight into the work of the education charity.
Alistair farms at Hardgrove near Dumfries where the main enterprise is milking cows supplying Grahams Dairies. He is married to Fiona and has a daughter Lauri who works in London and a son Fraser who is at University in Newcastle. Alistair recently retired as a RHASS Director and has just completed his role as Vice President of RHASS. He is also currently Vice Chairman of SACC Ltd. He enjoys cycling with a little help from an on-board motor and skiing with the family. “We hosted our first farm visit in 2005 and although there have been many changes to the farm and the kids since then we always enjoy showing the schools around and getting them involved in doing some milking, there is always a few comments that make us laugh! Educating the next generation about what we do is hugely important but great fun too”
RHET will soon be advertising for trustees to join the Board, keep an eye out for more details coming soon.
Elsewhere in the network…
RHET Project coordinators are located Scotland wide, each one covering a dedicated area, engaging with the local schools and farmers to provide the essential link to take the classroom to the countryside and more recently the countryside to the classroom.
The work of the education charity RHET has not only kept going during the last year, but is seeing some new faces join the Scotland wide coordinator network.
Firstly, working alongside the dedicated committee of volunteers in RHET Ayrshire & Arran is Wendy Lawrie who joined the network a few months ago and has been enjoying getting to grips with the role remotely and getting stuck in with the regular online group meeting, getting to know the rest of the wider team.
Wendy grew up on a dairy farm near Eaglesham, where she spent her childhood helping on the farm and later married a dairy farmer and moved to a farm in South Ayrshire.
“I have always been interested in all aspects of agriculture and studied agriculture at Auchincruive where I first heard about RHET. I have volunteered with RHET at Ayr show & Royal Highland Show and thoroughly enjoyed volunteering with children.” Adds Wendy, who has worked in a variety of agricultural related jobs including milk recording, artisan cheese making, animal feed specialist, relief milkings & lambings.
“I have three adult children all left home for university, so I am looking forward to now focusing on working with RHET to help educate children on all aspects of farming and where food comes from. I enjoy nature and long walks in the countryside with my collie dog. Looking forward to getting back out meeting people and organising farm visits and events.”
Wendy joins RHET at a time where digital experiences for pupils is growing, to make sure food and farming education is still available locally
More recently, Tracy Martin, from Lochfoot, joined as the RHET Dumfries and Galloway Project Coordinator.
Tracy grew up in Lochfoot, a small rural village and has always enjoyed being outdoors in the countryside which has certainly been passed onto her 2 young boys.
“For the past 10 years I have been teaching at Hardgate Primary, a small rural school with only 3 classes, which I love!” Said Tracy. “Since beginning my teaching career I have worked with RHET from the class-teacher side, on many occasions. I took part in growing projects; took classes out to farms and hosted farm visitors in class; organized a Farmer’s Market, volunteered with RHET at Dumfries Show and used many of RHET’s wonderful online resources. Although I love being in class teaching and working with the children, I have always said that being a RHET coordinator would be somewhat of a ‘dream job’, so when the D&G Coordinator post was advertised I couldn’t resist! I am so passionate about the work of RHET, what is stands for, and in all the ways in which the charity engages with young people”
If you or anyone you know could help share the work RHET does around food and farming education in Scotland, please keep an eye on the RHET social media pages where new events, resources and updates on all activities is posted.