Former students from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) have been joining staff to take action against the impact of coronavirus.
This has ranged from recording virtual classes and messages of support on social media to providing local deliveries to customers and food banks.
After schools were closed, Cath Seeds, Programme Leader for Countryside Management in SRUC’s South and West Faculty, put a message on her social media channels offering support for people home-schooling their children.
She is also creating virtual field trips for her own students who can’t join in person due to the Government’s restrictions on movement.
She said: ‘With schools closing and no face-to-face contact at SRUC, I thought I needed to reach out and offer some support. I posted on social media that I would be happy to help anyone home-schooling with ideas for classes in the subjects I teach.
‘In terms of the classes I teach here at SRUC, I decided to get creative and see if I could make a virtual field trip – I am excited to see how this will turn out.
‘To everyone – it is definitely a tough time but together we can work through it. Stay safe and happy.’
Family-run business Roan’s Dairy, which is operated by two couples who are all former SRUC students, has stepped up its home delivery service to help vulnerable people who are struggling to buy the basics in local supermarkets.
Tracey Roan, who runs the business with her husband Steven, his brother Stuart and wife Aylett, said: “We have seen a massive increase in enquiries to our doorstep delivery service and our team of drivers and office staff are working hard to make sure we get milk, cream, eggs, yoghurts and fresh orange juice to the most vulnerable and elderly.
‘We are starting to see the impact coronavirus is having on rural businesses here in Dumfries and Galloway, with tourism and hospitality businesses having to shut right before the start of the season, so we are doing our best to keep it as ‘business as normal’ here at Roan’s Dairy – it’s not just down to getting milk on the doorsteps but also looking after our staff and safeguarding their jobs.’
Fife-based business The Buffalo Farm, run by former SRUC student Steve Mitchell, has also put in new measures to support people who are self-isolating, including offering home deliveries.
‘There’s absolutely no need to panic-buy anything,” he said. “We have enough for everyone at this stage and are working on measures to ensure we can cope with any increase in demand. Also, to try to make things as easy as possible for our local customers, we have expanded our online range to include a selection of essential products including milk, bread, vegetables and eggs, available for local delivery in Fife.’
With events being cancelled all over the country for the foreseeable future, SRUC’s events manager Gemma Noble and senior graphic designer Andrew Dunsire decided to donate items with a sell-by date, including biscuits and coffee, as well as other essential items such as soap and toilet rolls, to a local food bank.
Gemma said: ‘With all of our events over the next few months cancelled, Andrew and I went through our stock of food, soap and toilet rolls bought for these events and donated them to a local food bank.
‘We’d encourage everyone to do what they can and just remember to be kind, stay positive and look after each other.’
For more positive stories from the SRUC community, visit https://www.facebook.com/sruc.ac.uk.