The Rural Youth Project have strengthened their team with the appointment of two new freelance staff members, supported by LEADER Programme 2014-2020: The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas.
In an environment where only 13 per cent of young people feel as if they have a say in their community*, the two appointments will tie in with the Project’s existing work focused on inspiring and developing the next generation of young rural leaders. They will support the various activities created by the Rural Youth Project to develop the leadership, business and enterprise skills of rural young people, whilst encouraging positive activism so they can play their part in making rural places attractive and viable for young people to build their lives and their futures.
Alana Black has been appointed Project and Communications Coordinator and will be responsible for the day-to-day delivery of the project – including the recent logo re-brand and new website re-development – in consultation with the Rural Youth Project Directors and Steering Committee.
Before relocating to Aberdeenshire, Alana worked for five years in developing and executing political election and re-election campaigns across Australia and in 2018 Alana was named an Australian Broadcasting Corporation Heywire Trailblazer for a project she created on farming succession. Dreaming of green grass after years of drought, Alana decided to swap her RM Williams boots for wellies and moved to Scotland to focus on agricultural policy and communications as a freelance consultant.
“I grew up in a small village in central western New South Wales that has a population of 50 people and a pub – that’s it. Growing up in Rydal means I have an intimate knowledge of the challenges that rural young people face,” said Alana. “I’m excited to be part of a project that I’ve seen, first-hand, inspire and empower young people to step-up and make change in their community.”
Joining Alana is Helen Cameron a farmer’s daughter from Huntly who has been appointed as Admin and Bookkeeper Officer. With a background in book-keeping, farm accounts and banking, Helen – who went on to marry a farmer – goes between wrangling her own steadily increasing sheep flock and her two boys aged twelve and nine. Passionate about her local community, Helen is thrilled to join a project dedicated to making rural areas a better place to live.
“I want to see rural communities, like Huntly, thrive so that my two boys have every opportunity to succeed regardless of their postcode,” said Helen. “The Rural Youth Project will provide rural communities with important strategies to retain and support young people and I’m pleased to join the team and be a part of that change.”
Jane Craigie, Co-Founder and Director of the Rural Youth Project, felt it was important to appoint team-members that understood the ethos of the Rural Youth Project.
“I’m thrilled that Alana and Helen have joined our team,” said Ms Craigie. “Alana’s political experience in managing grassroots campaigns will greatly complement existing work and Helen’s background in administration will ensure that the Rural Youth Project provides as many opportunities as possible for rural young people to develop enterprise and leadership skills.”
The two roles are on a one-year freelance contract, funded by LEADER Programme 2014-2020: The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas until October 2020.