Social Enterprise Academy in Gaelic

Social Enterprise Academy in Gaelic

When the Academy set up an office Inverness five years ago it was to engage with social entrepreneurs and community leaders in the highlands and Islands on their own terms. This meant having a team of local tutors, who had themselves developed social enterprises in response to the area’s needs, resources and challenges. It meant tailoring programmes to suit local cultures – where and when programmes were delivered, taking our programmes to the islands and offering ‘twylight delivery’ in crofting communities. Most recently this has meant offering Academy learning in Gaelic, the language which defines a nation.

Twelve months ago the Academy set out to recruit Gaelic speakers who might be willing and able to train as Academy tutors. Highlands & islands programme Manager David Bryan said, “we didn’t know who might volunteer or whether they would have the necessary combination of values and experience. The outcome has surpassed all our expectations; having gone through an eight month training and development programme, Maggie Cunningham and Anne Martin are not only our first Gaelic medium tutors but also enormously skilled and gifted facilitators in their own right.” Maggie spent 10 years working in senior management positions in the BBC. She now chairs MG Alba and works as Chief Exec of Columba 1400 and well as chairing her local sailing club in Plockton and working as an executive coach across Scotland. Anne is well known for her career in Gaelic music. She has run an outdoor activities business in Skye for many years and has a background in youth and community development. Both have a wealth of leadership experiences to draw upon, and a natural empathy with the people of the Gaidhealtachd.

Anne and Maggie will facilitate the Academy’s first Gaelic medium Leadership programme in South Uist, beginning on April 25th & 26th. The 6-day leadership award is accredited with the Institute of Leadership and Management. It is offered at no cost with support from HIE, ESF and the Scottish Government. The learning materials are provided in Gaelic and English, so participants need only have conversational rather than written Gaelic. As usual the programme is open to everyone, no matter what their current leadership position or aspiration. More details from