Scotland reopens with a new purpose – pioneering change
Journey to Change projection at the Stirling Castle.
The pandemic has brought into sharp focus the environmental and social challenges society faces as we rebuild and recover. VisitScotland Business Events’ Journey to Change campaign, launched in March 2021, highlights the pivotal role the business tourism industry has in driving and facilitating change and best practice to the benefit of local, regional and global communities.
The campaign has placed a spotlight on several Scottish organisations that are innovating in their sphere and having tangible positive impacts on the world in which we live.
Trees for life
Over the past 28 years Trees for Life has been rewilding the Scottish Highlands. The charity's vision is of a revitalised wild, providing space for wildlife to flourish and communities to thrive. The organisation has implemented several Corporate Partnerships aimed at addressing CSR targets and engage businesses.
“We wanted businesses to have a really straightforward, tangible way to show their support and our Corporate Groves allow businesses to do just that. They can donate money and/or buy trees. To date, over 110,000 trees have been planted through this portal”, said Catherine Faulkner, Partnerships Manager at Trees for Life
“Our Corporate Groves programme enables businesses to donate money to Trees for Life to plant trees in the Scottish Highlands. Each business receives their own branded web page where they can track and add to their donations so staff, clients and other stakeholders can all be involved.
“We also have tangible, on-site experiences where our partners can literally get their hands dirty. With each of our corporate partnerships there is an opportunity to organise volunteering days or team building events to engage with our core work, including land management and tree planting.
“When our supporters visit us for team days there are so many immediate benefits - working in a natural environment has a profound impact on wellbeing and they are connecting with work that has real resonance on the global stage. Activities that create a genuine legacy, both for the charity and the participants, are key.”
The Marine Conservation Society
The Marine Conservation Society is a not-for-profit organisation working to protect the seas around the UK. The charity has been running for more than 30 years and works with fishermen and the food industry to find more sustainable ways of fishing, educate retailers and consumers to help them choose more sustainable seafood, as well as organising beach cleans with its team of volunteers.
The impact that litter has on seas and wildlife is devasting, with all creatures at risk of entanglement and ingestion. The Society and its volunteers want to ensure they are doing everything we can to clean up coastlines for the benefit of our people and wildlife.
Beach cleaning is an opportunity for volunteers and staff to give something back the coast, to get to know their local community, protect the marine environment and local wildlife for the next generation.
Organising a beach clean and survey with the Society is simple. Volunteers choose a 100 metre stretch of beach so they can accurately record each piece of litter cleaned. This is a fantastic and unique addition to an event or incentive programme, giving delegates a chance to give back to the local community. The Society has guidance and check lists on its website to make organising private beach cleanings as easy as possible.
Invisible Cities is a social enterprise which trains people affected by homelessness to become walking tour guides of their own city and offer alternative tours to tourists and locals.
The team behind Invisible Cities provides high quality training to empower guides to create, craft and deliver tours that are their own which highlight monuments, people and places that they have chosen themselves.
Trainees and guides receive one-to-one support focusing on developing transferable skills such as public speaking, confidence building and customer service. Aside from this they are also assisted with finding housing, food provision, access to further education, counselling and reuniting with family members.
Guides are encouraged to build on the skills they have learnt with Invisible Cities to help them build a career whether that is continuing their work with us or moving into another line of work.
On a typical tour of a city, groups are taken to places of historical interest or of significance. But also, importantly, the tours aim to showcase the ‘invisible’ sides of a city; not only the social elements but also the unknown history and knowledge behind it. Guides take customers on a tour that tells their own background stories and their personal experience of the city.
When attending a tour with Invisible Cities, a group is not only supporting one of the guides but also the whole organisation. This helps Invisible Cities to raise awareness of more issues and create more community events during which they give back to rough sleepers or other communities.
To discover more about Scotland’s Journey to Change visit: BusinessEvents.Scot