Thursday 9th September 2021


Today’s speaker was Ann Davidson, Manager of REAP (Rural Environment Action Project).  Their mission is to enable people to acquire the skills, funds and knowledge they need to live sustainably, locally.

They list their outcomes as:

People get the skills they need to take action on Climate Change

People move out of fuel poverty/ feel more in control of their energy bills

People are empowered with the knowledge and information they need

By administering grant funds, social & community life is enhanced throughout the area


REAP is a charity and social enterprise based in Keith with any profit gained going back into the local community. The organisation was founded in1997 and has been an independent local charity, embedded in the local community, since 2007. They have 9 part-time staff and are run by a volunteer Board of Directors.

REAP have 3 main strands – Community Food Growing, Energy Advice and Enterprise.


Community Growing focuses on making community growing spaces for everyone and Ann gave the example of the Maryhill Health Centre Therapeutic Garden. They work with local community groups such as Step by Step to access those in need. During Covid-19 they have been sending out growing packs and seeds to families, providing online information and Zoom courses and keeping community gardens growing. Some of the benefits of this are that they share the harvest with everyone and appreciate the obvious pleasure that young people gain from growing their own produce.


Free Energy Advice is provided to help clients to switch suppliers, provide emergency fuel payments (Fuel Bank Charity) and advice on saving energy. They also provide advice on reducing bills, accessing grants for improvements and insulation, and work with the Citizens Advice Bureau. They distribute grants from the Energy Champions Fund provided by the Adams Family and from BOWL (Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm Fund) to raise awareness about energy saving, accessing grants and providing training for energy champions through Moray College.


Enterprise – REAP successfully tendered for the contract to administer wind farm funds in the Keith area.

The Hill of Towie Fund covers the Keith, Drummuir and Mulben areas while the Edintore Fund covers 2 areas: I - Keith and 2 – all of Scotland.

REAP staff and volunteers are active in the local communities through their work with schools, community events and displays, sessions with DWP staff and clients and home visits.

Their future challenges are staff capacity, continual fund raising through new and innovative ideas, and promotion of work to potential funders, clients and public.

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back Elgin Rotary regularly invite speakers to our weekly meetings. Read about some of them here