Keeping connected: a message from our Chief to you

On Monday March 9 I started in my new role as the CEO of Keep Scotland Beautiful (KSB). My first job was to look at the implications of COVID-19, not the start to the role that I had first anticipated!

The safety of staff, of course, is my first priority and I am delighted that during my first week the team made a successful transition to ‘home working’, enabling them to maintain, like you, social distancing.   In these unusual times it would be easy to spend a lot of time considering all the things that we are not able to do (and you will see how much of our activity that we have had to postpone from our newsletters and website).  But I am very proud of the positivity that the KSB team has brought to the challenge – the focus has been on what we can do to maintain some of the amazing range of activities we support right across the Country.

We will, of course, take our guidance from the Scottish Government at this important time and will ensure that our work doesn’t put our staff, volunteers or the wider community at risk to this virus.

However, we have found that there is a lot we can still do to support you as you continue to play your part in improving our environment.  Whilst we are socially distancing and/or socially isolating at home please do keep an eye out for all of the exciting developments that we will be bringing forward over the coming weeks and months with the aim of offering support to our network.

I had expected to spend much more of my time (in my first couple of months) meeting the extraordinary range of people and organisations involved across our network making a difference to the environment at community level.  Whilst this will not be possible I will, at the very least enjoy learning more from my colleagues about the impact you have made.

We are all living and working very differently to what we have been accustomed to and I am sure that some of these changes will become more permanent as we discover better ways to live our lives and at the same time reduce our consumption and carbon footprint (It’s amazing how many people in our street have joined our online purchasing of toilet rolls from a sustainable supplier and milk delivered in glass bottles, rather than joining the queue in Supermarkets!). 

It is also extremely comforting to see the reaction from communities across the country, focussed normally on improving the places they live, or cutting carbon, turning to building support mechanisms for the most vulnerable and ensuring that everyone can stay connected.  I hope that the legacy from this current situation will be closer ties across our towns, cities and villages and a greater sense of what we can achieve to improve our environment by working together.

I hope you, and those around you, stay safe and healthy and I look forward to engaging with you once our amazing programme of activity resumes.

30 March 2020

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