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Generation Scotland

Generation Scotland

Generation Scotland is a volunteer led study. It aims to create more effective treatments, based on gene knowledge for the medical, social and economic benefit of Scotland and its people.

Cycling my way through lockdown

Ali enjoying a walk in Edinburgh. Smiling at camera with a hill behind

I’ve used lockdown to get to know Edinburgh again and appreciate what a green and beautiful city it is.

Hey, I’m Ali and I’m a Recruitment Coordinator for Generation Scotland.


I come from an arts background having worked at the National Theatre and the Royal Academy of Arts in London, but for me communicating and engaging with people is always at the heart of what I do.

At the beginning of 2020 I cycling through Vietnam, then walking and seeing family and friends in New Zealand (I’m half kiwi, but mainly sound 100% Scottish). I actually started my lockdown experience in Auckland with my cousins and ended my trip early to come home. Safe to say my life looks extremely different from before!

Knitted socks in yellow, brown, red and black stripy pattern

I’ve even taught myself how to knit socks!

With life going quite off plan it’s actually provided some really unexpected opportunities, like joining the Generation Scotland team and working on a rural focused project. This is an area of research which I’m really interested in due to coming from a farming family and spending lots of time up in Wester Ross. As well as working at Generation Scotland I work for Food for Good. We are providing fresh and nourishing meals to people who need them in Edinburgh during COVID. I’m seeing life through quite a different lens now and working in new areas which I am really enjoying.

It’s not all work though. Moving back to Edinburgh means I’m close to family and friends having been in London for the last 7 years.

I’ve especially loved exploring the old town with all the streets being empty, it’s a bit like being in a film set. As a keen road cyclist, I’ve felt so grateful for the freedom of my bike and doing lots of exploring. My big love is swimming and I managed a swim in a beautiful reservoir in Midlothian this week, my first in over 3 months. I’ve even taught myself how to knit socks!

Lockdown has definitely simplified things in a lot of ways and shown me what is really important to me.  That said, I’m really looking forward to some more freedom and being able to get up to the highlands, seeing more friends and desperate for swimming pools to open!


Bike in hedges next to a wall circling a field

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