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New Education & Engagement Officer to help people Access, Connect and Take-Part in the North West Highlands Geopark

Community led charity North West Highlands Geopark Ltd welcomes Andrew Whyte to the team to deliver their ACT Geopark project.

Earlier this year the organisation secured £61,162 from the SSE Renewables Sustainable Development Fund, £9960 from The National Lottery Community Fund, £3000 from the David Doig Foundation and £1500 from the Essential Foundation to support an Education and Engagement Officer and Educational Activities.

During the summer the Charity announced a further £174,243 made possible by money raised by National Lottery players through The National Lottery Heritage Fund.  This will allow delivery of a three-year programme designed to support an exciting heritage programme, “ACT Geopark”, in West Sutherland and northern Wester Ross.

The programme will give more people the opportunity to Access, Connect and Take-Part in the UNESCO Global Geopark through art, storytelling, and citizen science and the Education and Engagement Officer will play a key part in this.

The new Officer, Andrew Whyte, began work on the 14th of November and will work closely with schools, supporting the curriculum and embedding local examples into history, art, geography, and science teaching.  He will also develop an out of school ‘Young Geologists Club’, engaging and upskilling young people in their world-class landscape. Outside of schools, Andrew will work with communities on citizen science projects, including community climate action planning and data collection.

North West Highlands Geopark Ltd is the Charity that manages UNESCO status for the North West Highlands. Directors and staff are rooted in the local community. They are a group of local people who are involved in the Charity because they care passionately about the area and want to see it thrive—economically, socially, culturally, and environmentally. The North West Highlands Geopark is one of only two UNESCO Global Geoparks in Scotland. The landscapes, underpinned by an incredible variety of rock types, hold the memory of the earth and the future of people.  The rocks tell us how the planet works and help us understand our place within it.

Commenting on the programme, Geopark Chair Dr Iain Young said: “It’s fantastic to have someone so well-qualified and passionate joining the team. I am sure Andrew will make a huge contribution to the delivery of what is an exciting programme of events and initiatives right across the Geopark”.

Geopark Manager, Dr Laura Hamlet said: “I am so pleased to welcome Andrew to our team. His enthusiasm for the role and passion for the Geopark and the people who live in it are clear and his knowledge and background in Earth Science will be of huge benefit to the area.”

Education and Engagement Officer, Andrew Whyte said: “I’m overjoyed to be joining the Geopark team! It’s never been more important for us to be connected to our natural world and to empower people to love and protect it. Helping the Geopark with this aim, whilst also providing new opportunities for young people in rural communities, is both a privilege and a dream come true.”

AGM2020

Annual General Meeting 2019/20

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the North West Highlands Geopark Ltd will take place at 13:00 on Saturday 17th of October.

This will be held virtually by Zoom video conference.

Outline Agenda

AGM business
Updates from the Team
Trustee/Director elections
‘Geoconservation on the World Stage’
– a talk from Professor Mike Benton, Bristol University.
Full agenda and papers to follow shortly


Do you live in the North West Highlands Geopark?

Check here

If you live in the Geopark or have a strong connection to the area, you can apply to become a member.
Membership is free and will allow you to vote at the AGM. The North West Highlands Geopark’s vision is for the region to become “a thriving and sustainable rural economy capitalising on the assets and people of the Geopark in partnership with local government, relevant agencies and local businesses”.

The North West Highlands Geopark Ltd is a Charity, and all Charities need sound governance.  Our Charity particularly needs the support and interest of the communities it serves, so if you believe in the value of the Geopark, then please come and stand with us as a member.

As a member of the North West Highlands Geopark Ltd, you will be showing potential funders that you value the Geopark and the work of the Charity. You will also be able to nominate and elect people to serve as directors, or even serve yourself if this is where your interests lie.

Become a member

Members who are unable to attend can nominate a fellow member to vote on their behalf.

Proxy nominations must be received by email to:

admin@legacy.nwhgeopark.com

Get a proxy form

In accordance with company Articles 40 to 43, proxy instructions must be submitted no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting. Any instructions received 12pm on Thursday 15th October will be invalid. Members can only appoint another member to be their proxy.

If you need help finding a proxy, we can introduce you to other members, just get in touch!


Annual accounts can be accessed here for your perusal. These will be reviewed at the AGM and once accepted, sent to OSCR, the Scottish Charity Regulator.


Would you like to support the Geopark Charity?

As a charity, we rely on the generosity of those who share our cause to continue our operations.

In a normal year, we organise events and activities of all kinds, with the emphasis on fun and discovery—walks to wild places, family events, tours on land and sea, and opportunities to get involved with local community celebrations of how special the Geopark is.

If you believe in the value of the Geopark, please consider contributing to the work and future well-being of the Geopark by becoming a Friend.

Become a Friend


 

Recruiting a Treasurer

Can you help?

We are seeking a treasurer to help us meet our financial responsibilities.  Our treasurer does not need to be based in the Geopark, so please do get in touch if you can support us with these skills and have around ten hours per month to volunteer.

About us

Read about our cause and the rest of the team here, or find out more about the Geopark hereTo learn more about why you might like to volunteer your time to the Geopark, check here.

The role

The North West Highlands Geopark is a community company limited by guarantee and a Scottish registered charity . There is a subsidiary trading company, NWHG Trading Ltd, also attached to the charity. The Treasurer will sit on the Board of both Companies. The Treasurer will have two levels of responsibility: as a member of the Board, and additionally, as Treasurer.

The Board of Trustees are responsible for the overall governance and strategic direction of the charity, North West Highlands Geopark Ltd, and the subsidiary trading Company, NWHG Trading Ltd, developing the organisation’s aims, objectives and goals in accordance with the governing document, legal and regulatory guidelines.

Main Responsibilities of Trustees:

  • To ensure that the charity and its representatives function within the legal and regulatory framework of the sector and in line with the organisations’ governing document, continually striving for best practice in governance
  • To uphold the fiduciary duty invested in the position, undertaking such duties in a way that adds to public confidence and trust in the charity
  • To determine the overall direction and development of the charity through good governance and a clear strategy.

Main responsibilities of Treasurer:

  • Oversee the financial affairs of the organisation and ensure they are legal, constitutional and in keeping with generally accepted accounting practice.
  • Ensure proper records are kept and that effective financial procedures are in place.
  • Monitor and report on the financial health of the organisation.
    Oversee the production of necessary financial reports/returns, accounts and audits.

Specifically

  • Liaise with relevant staff, trustees, working groups and/or volunteers to ensure the financial viability of the organisation.
  • Make fellow trustees aware of their financial obligations and take a lead in interpreting financial data to them.
  • Regularly report the financial position at Board meetings (balance sheet, cash flow, and fundraising performance).
  • Oversee the production of an annual budget.
  • Oversee the Administrator ensuring posting and bookkeeping is kept up-to-date.
  • Oversee regular reconciliations by the administrator.
  • Appraising the financial viability of plans, proposals and feasibility studies.
  • Lead on appointing and liaising with auditors/an independent examiner.

Qualities

  • Knowledge and experience of current and fundraising finance practice relevant to voluntary and community organisations, particularly regarding restricted and unrestricted funds, and Gift Aid.
  • Knowledge of bookkeeping and financial management (as necessary).
  • Good financial analysis skills.
  • Ability to communicate clearly.

Applications welcomed from suitably qualified professionals. It is anticipated that the role requires a commitment for approximately 10 hours per month. This is a voluntary position.

Please contact admin@legacy.nwhgeopark.com for an application form or any further questions.

Virtual Rock Stop

The Rock Stop will remain closed until the 30th of April 2020.

This is due to the Covid-19 situation. We will constantly review our decision in the coming weeks.

In the mean time, why not try our virtual pop-up shop and support some great local craft producers?

Funding Success – our new project for 2019

A Stronger UNESCO Global Geopark thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund

Scotland’s first UNESCO Global Geopark in the North West Highlands has received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £50,400 for an exciting heritage project, to Strengthen its management and future resilience.

Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project is very business focused and will ensure our management team has the right skills to become a more entrepreneurial entity, raising its own core funding.  In the current economic climate all charities must meet the challenges of core funding head on and the North West Highlands Geopark is no exception. Thanks to Lottery players, we now have the opportunity to upskill our staff and volunteers and become a stronger organisation better able to manage the astounding geological heritage of the North West Highlands. We will be seeking new volunteers to enhance our already enthusiastic team and offering training to develop skills locally. In addition, we are actively recruiting a transformation officer to support the delivery of the project. 

The North West Highlands was awarded UNESCO Global Geopark status in 2015 following ten years of hard work by its communities. This was in recognition of the region’s unique three billion year geological story and its international contribution to science and culture, but also the willingness of the community to look after its heritage and do what they can to manage it appropriately. The UNESCO accolade comes with no additional regulations for land owners but neither does it bring automatic funding to the management team which is why this project is so important to the future safeguarding of this internationally important heritage.

Commenting on the award, Geopark Chair, Michael Simpson said: “We’re delighted that we’ve received this support thanks to National Lottery players. The Geopark team are passionate about the value of our heritage, its contribution to the identity of the region and the opportunities it gives for education, tourism and scientific research. As a UNESCO site we believe in the values of sustainable development, which we define as development that meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This project will allow us to focus on forming new inclusive partnerships, transforming our skillsets and becoming a good example of how to manage a region collectively for the benefit of future generations.” Geopark Coordinator Dr Laura Hamlet added “I am thrilled that we have practical support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to ensure the future resilience of our Geopark. We’d encourage everyone to keep up to date with announcements in the press, our website and social media channels as we will be looking for volunteers and promoting new activities and training opportunities. In the meantime please consider joining our “Friends of the Geopark” scheme to make a regular donation to support our work.”

Ríona McMorrow, Acting Head of The National Lottery Heritage Fund Scotland, said: “Resilient Heritage allows the heritage sector to build financial independence and resilience in a changing economic landscape of reduced public funding. It provides a tailored package of support that responds to the individual needs of organisations such as North West Highlands Geopark so, thanks to National Lottery players, they can not only survive in these challenging financial times, but thrive.”

We’re Hiring!

 

We’re hiring!

**Transformation Officer **

The North West Highlands UNESCO Global Geopark is currently seeking a hard-working individual to support the Geopark Coordinator.

Duties will include providing business support, carrying out research and analysis to build organisational capacity and helping to recruit volunteers. The successful applicant will have good organisational skills and social media literacy as they will be required to book and coordinate training courses for volunteers and handle the Geopark’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds. For a job description or if you have any queries, please contact Laura Hamlet:

laura@legacy.nwhgeopark.com

Person Specification:

Business experience or recent business qualification.

Excellent organisational skills.

Computer literacy including social media and website content management (wordpress).

Knowledge of UNESCO Global Geoparks purpose and structure desireable.

Living within the North West Highlands Geopark boundary will be preferred but not essential.

If you wish to apply, please send a CV and covering letter by the 8th of March 2019.

This position is fixed term for 12 months at 8 hours per week and is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. More hours might be available if further funding is secured. Salary is £18,720 pro rata and will be paid monthly.  Home working is anticipated.

North West Highlands come to Edinburgh

We are very excited to be participating in a workshop in Edinburgh on Saturday 27 October. The event will include short presentations from Laura Hamlet and Pete Harrison from the North West Highlands Geopark and scientific overview from Rob Butler and Clare Bond (University of Aberdeen). There will be stalls from other organisations, loads of resources to browse and plenty of opportunity for informal discussion.

The Southside Community Centre is just a short walk from Waverly Train Station – we’d love to meet you if you’re closer to Edinburgh than Kinlochbervie and would like to know more about Geoparks!

Find out more here.

Rock Stop open for Easter

The Rock Stop will open again on Thursday 29 March until and including Saturday 7 April.  Thereafter it will be open Tuesdays – Saturdays.  Opening hours will be 10.30am – 4pm. See you there!

Summer Newsletter out now

Crowdfunder Success!

2017 Lecture Series

Wind of Change for Coigach

Wind, the Discrete Sculptor of the Landscapes of North-West Scotland – A Geological Mystery  by Dr Julien Moreau

Read more here

Exciting new job opportunity with the Geopark!

Microsoft Word - Exciting New Job Opportunity.docx