Rural virtual learning exchanges

We are excited to announce the launch of rural virtual learning exchanges, taking place this October, supported by Inspiralba and the Scottish Community Alliance. In place of traditional learning exchanges, there is still a need for rural social enterprises to be able to share learning and solutions to the challenges posed by Covid.


Stakeholders from Scotland’s Rural SEN have signed up to host these virtual learning exchanges, which will consist of a brief virtual tour, and presentation of the organisation’s challenges and solutions – followed by a Q+A, and general discussion, with a focus on audience participation and peer learning.


Click on the event info below to sign up via Eventbrite. Further session details and how to join on Zoom will be sent to you, closer to the time. Please feel free to circulate among your networks. Thanks, and we look forward to your participation!


Tuesday 13th October, 13:30 – 15:00
In this virtual learning exchange we will hear from Bùth Bharraigh’s Development Manager, Sarah MacLean – who will take us through the past few months in Castlebay, and describe how they have had to alter their services to meet changing community needs. Aside from adapting daily operations, a challenge for Bùth Bharraigh has been maintaining regular contact and links with socially isolated and vulnerable volunteers.



Monday 19th October, 13:00 – 14:30
In the second exchange of the series, we hear from Debi Weir, the founder of R-evolution, a social enterprise based in Speyside, who aim to break the cycle of child poverty. R-evolution offer training and development to businesses, using 100% of their profit to work one-to-one with families, helping them to step out of poverty.

R-evolution received start-up funding from Firstport in early 2020, but with a planned launch date of March, Debi and her team quickly had to pivot when Covid-19 hit, and make the move to online delivery of services.

In this virtual learning exchange, (second of three in the series), Debi will describe how they pivoted around the constraints of Covid-19 restrictions, and managed to continue the launch of a business while completely restructuring how they would deliver it!


Wednesday 28th October, 14:00-15:30
In the final event in this series, we will hear from Julie Young, Development Manager of ACT, and Sara Maclean, ACT Senior Project Officer – who run a number of projects in areas including conservation, tourism, and access to the outdoors. During lockdown, their operations had to change, but two current projects managed to emerge in spite of lockdown: MAKI Pups, an outdoor nursery, and ACT Now, a programme designed to help communities adopt strategies to tackle climate change.