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Beechbrae Mentor Profiles

Beechbrae was born out of a dream to live more sustainably and tread lightly on the resources we have. We are a young social enterprise and charity based in a young woodland (Beechbrae Wood) in Blackridge, West Lothian. We are using this as a base to teach, learn & engage with our natural environment and for our local community to gain skills and knowledge in practical woodland management and sustainability.

Beechbrae Mentor: Ally Graham

 

Hello I’m Ally, the Project Manager at Beechbrae. I founded Beechbrae in 2013 and now guide a small team working to do our part to make our world a better place. I really love plants and trees, woodlands are a magical space for me. I am passionate about health and wellbeing, I like solving problems and have the perspective that everything is connected and in order to understand something we need to see it in the context of the whole. I am passionate about hands on & practical learning and education. I am also a dreamer and work hard to see those dreams realized. 

I have developed and delivered 3 successful CCF projects over the last 5 years and we are currently in the middle of our 4th project expanding out impact and reach. I have been involved in many projects at Beechbrae of various sizes and have worked from idea to completion with every step along the way (funding, budgeting, delivery, management, evaluation, community engagement and reporting).

I completed a B.A. and later an MSc from Edinburgh University and recently completed a MSc Gastronomy at Queen Margaret University. I’ve undertaken significant training in woodland management and orchard care, am a qualified beekeeper and fully qualified ground based chainsaw operator (small, medium- large & windblown trees). Prior to Beechbrae, I spent a year providing practical training and support working as a woodland manager in an employability partnership project in North Lanarkshire. I am also trained to lead and deliver Branching Out programmes as a Branching Out Ranger with the Forestry Commission.

Area of Experience:

Food growing; food waste; carbon literacy; climate change engagement (children,adults and elderly); dealing with anti social behaviour/vandalism

Skills:

Community engagement; funding applications; consultation; project management; finances; social media; facilitation

Types of support offered:

Support to develop project ideas/applications; support to develop/run project activities; trouble-shooting advice for projects underway; support to build organisational capacity

Mentoring offered through:

One-one advice; running workshops; a tailored support package; off the peg resources/training sessions.

 

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