REAP is entering an exciting new phase in 2022. Ann Davidson has left after serving for 20 years, initially as a volunteer, developing and promoting “The Green Diary”, then as an employee and latterly as Project Manager. There have been many changes to the organisation over the years and Ann has been invaluable in steering REAP through difficult times. REAP is a much more stable and effective organisation compared to when she joined, clearly indicating the standard and level of commitment she brought to the many roles she undertook.
Ann decided to move on and take up a new challenge with TSi Moray which enables her to spend more time with her family. In addition, she will be able to devote more energy into her personal passions such as gardening, hill walking, and her yoga classes with all that offering these weekly entails. An all-round, well balanced lady as those of you who know her will agree.
Throughout the years, and particularly over the last 12 years as project manager, Ann has worked tirelessly for REAP, her easy-going manner and efficiency has helped her make many new friends. Colleagues speak warmly about her management skills, she is a good listener and always has time for people. Board members also are extremely grateful for her thorough and detailed reporting skills as well as the amazing high success rate Ann developed in accessing external funding for REAP and all its innovative work.
Ann was instrumental in helping Keith Allotment Association get started, her experience in bidding for funding was invaluable. KCR also benefitted from her experience, she also contributed to some radio broadcasts with the REAP gardeners. In addition, Ann and REAP ran many workshops and demonstrations of composting, raised bed gardening, seed saving and pruning, and was instrumental in setting up a community garden area in the Den Crescent housing estate of Keith. Elgin now has very productive areas at the Maryhill Health Centre (a Therapeutic Garden project) and the Cooper Park Community Garden all thanks to the hard work and innovation led by Ann through REAP.
The past 2 years have been very challenging for everyone, Covid has changed many aspects of everyday life, families have been isolated, businesses have suffered financial losses and of course many have lost friends or family members to the virus. It looks like it may be a long time before we can safely say we have defeated the pandemic.
Meantime, everyone and everything has had to change, compromise and adapt. REAP is no exception, working practices have now changed with many staff working from home and many consultations have taken place over the phone instead of face to face. REAP managed to work right through the lockdowns and integrated the government regulations to maintain safety while still offering a service. Many thanks and “hats off” to all the staff who made such an achievement possible, they rallied round and coped admirably with all the challenges.
As we now move forward into 2022, we have installed a new IT system to manage future developments. We are advertising for new and additional staff and volunteers (keep your eyes on the website) to continue the work and be a part of the amazing team of staff, volunteers and board members. Funding bids are being prepared and hopefully 2022 will close with REAP having moved into a new phase of serving Moray, along with old and new partners, with the same enthusiasm, commitment and quality that REAP is well known for.
Meantime, REAP is still committed to offering the same services as before:
• Energy advice
• Helping organisations with grant applications and funding from the Windfarm Funds
• Being at the forefront of tackling climate change
• Promoting and developing Gardening for All
We err on the side of “Growing more Flowers” rather than focusing on “Pulling out the weeds” knowing we need both. Balancing of these two aspects has been well tried and tested, REAP with its many years of experience in the field has become a master gardener.
A new Project Manager will be instrumental in carrying on from Ann’s leadership, helping REAP continue meet its aims while finding new opportunities that facilitates survival as well as community based growth opportunities.
Onwards and upwards!