Our first Rural Social Enterprise Session took place on the 2nd of February and prompted some interesting discussion. We were first joined by Diane Smith from SCOTO. SCOTO is a network of community tourism enterprises located throughout Scotland. Led by a team of dynamic individuals who each have extensive and varied experience in community tourism, SCOTO were establish fairly recently back in 2021.
SCOTO are currently hosting the SCOTO Roadshow 2023 from January to March. They are on tour to raise awareness of the scale and impact of community led tourism across Scotland. Diane Smith is the SCOTO Coordinator and came along (virtually) to our Rural SEN session to discuss SCOTO and the 2023 Roadshow. You can watch Diane’s full presentation below.
We were then joined by Thomas Fisher and Theona Morrison from CoDeL. CoDeL was set up on Uist in 2018, by Thomas Fisher, Theona Morrison and Gemma Steele to:
- Analyse micro-trends on islands and rural areas of Scotland to identify trends that are missed in data aggregated across larger areas.
- Contribute positively to community development based on a deeper understanding of what is actually happening in small communities.
- Create opportunities for younger people to influence and reshape their local communities.
During the Rural SEN session, Thomas & Theona advocated for the removal of distorted urban lenses in order to shine a light on lived experience in rural and island communities and CoDeL’s recent award winning blog post which delved into this topic. You can watch Thomas & Theona’s full presentation below.
The full notes from the session can be found here.