25 years at the heart of community development
There's a very nice line on rural development by academic Christropher Ray: "Development must refer to a process of change... a creative unfolding." This sums up quite nicely the at-times serendipitous nature of what we do at the Langholm Initiative. In fact, I liked it so much I put it on the front page of our website. "Creative unfolding" is very much at the heart of our development work which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary. We are in a time of political and economic uncertainty and as much as we might think it won't affect our day to day life, whatever the eventual action of the Government is, it will. We have learned from the past that times of economic trouble are often hardest on charities. Indeed, the Langholm Initiative was one of the few active community organisations to survive the fallout from the 2008 crash. But I'm not just lecturing in observations of economics: there is a point to all of this. 25 years in the charity sector is a landmark. To have adapted, survived and succeeded through many different local, regional and national crises is an important indicator of an organisation supporting local need. In that time, the Langholm Initiative has been at the forefront of development. We think of ourselves as 'proudly different', willing to take risks and try new things. In doing so, we've seen projects delivered for the benefit of our community across environment, economy, arts, heritage, climate change, tourism.... We have spent a long time under the radar. The unrelenting question would always be "What do Langholm Initiative actually do?". We weren't always great at sharing our successes or our lessons learned. I hope you'd all agree with me that that's starting to change. We are keeping the community up to speed with everything we do. (In fact, our AGM is next month - come along!). The Langholm Initiative is a family of Board, staff, volunteers and members. We work co-cooperatively and all the links in the chain are essential. Their successes are ours; and ours are theirs. Without each other, this serendipitous strategy we employ just wouldn't work. So 2019 is our landmark year. 25 years of creatively unfolding. And we have you all to thank for it. Here's to the next 25.