Rural Voices: Making a difference in my community
I’m Janet and I live and work in Gairloch, Wester Ross, which is in the North-West Highlands of Scotland.
My favourite thing about living in Gairloch is that there is plenty of space, fresh air and lots of great scenery. In my spare time, I like to go sailing, walking and do some gardening. Gairloch is on the coast and surrounded by mountains, so it’s ideal for this.
I work for the Gairloch and Loch Ewe Action Forum. It’s an independent, community owned Development Trust and Social Enterprise. I love making a difference in my community, knowing I’m creating opportunities for people that wouldn’t have existed if it wasn’t for my work. The most difficult part of my work is dealing with local politics, individual egos and power struggles. It takes the joy out of community work.
The biggest change in my day to day life, since lockdown measures began, is that I don’t travel any more. I used to spend hours each month travelling to and from work and meetings. Now I do it all from home. In the last 7 months I haven’t travelled further than 20 miles. I’ve loved that. I’m still enjoying lockdown. I love being able to stay local and not having to travel. However, I do miss seeing my friends and family who live far away. I’m also starting to think I might like a haircut soon!
Janet is a member of our rural advisory group. The group contributed to the design of our survey RuralCovidLife to ensure it was relevant to rural communities across Scotland.