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Volunteer Spotlight: Alasdair

Updated: Nov 2, 2023

My involvement started almost at the very beginning. I started out with a group called SISI-the Scottish Invasive Species Initiative-clearing the riverbank of invasive species. Giant Hogweed, Japanese knotweed and Himalayan Balsam. I popped up here to the workshop one day to see if they needed a hand. And I’ve been here ever since.

Today we’re making some benches for one of the care homes in Nairn and replacing benches which had been there previously. We’ve got seven to do for there, and another two for somewhere else. The initial ones are the most difficult, because you’ve got to plan how you’re going to fit them together, make a template and then cut the material, figure out where the screws and everything are going to go. Every bench is individual, every piece of plastic is individual. So, some problem solving is required. I enjoy that. And everything works out OK in the end. At the moment I’m at the workshop two days, from 10am to 4pm or 5pm, depending on what we’re doing and how everyone else is fixed.

Because of my involvement with SISI I got Green Hive interested in that as well, and now Caroline Woods has taken control of that area. And now Green Hive has taken more of an initiative around this, we really need more volunteers to come and help us. It’s not always a pleasant task, but it is very rewarding when you look back and you can see what you’ve cleared. Year on year we have made a lot of progress. But we could always use more people to help us.

In the workshop we’re expecting a new sheet press, which is on its way, and once we get that there’ll be lots of other opportunities for making new products. And we need more creative thought, and more creative volunteers. I enjoy something about the making of a product.I think that that’s something that’s missing from lots of people’s lives. When you come to Green Hive you’re creating something. “I made a bench, I made a clock.” Well, ‘we’ really, because you can’t do it all on your own. When you go to clear the riverbank or the beach, you’ve done that as a group. Or when you make fabrics or bags you’ve made them for other people. I think that is mentally very satisfying. I think a lot of other people would benefit from that. Nobody needs to have skills to come here to work. Andy and Andrew are here to support you with the safety aspects. But we could do with some more people to help us work on these projects.

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