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HIE Support

Northton Heritage Trust

Seallum Visitor Centre against a bright blue sky

Planning for the future

Northton Heritage Trust is a Charity based in the Isle of Harris, specialising in researching Western Isles family history. The Trust operates Seallam! Visitor Centre which opened in 2000 and is currently managed by Stephen Mackinnon. The Centre has exhibitions about the history and people of the islands, a book shop, and offers teas and coffees. They currently have plans to expand the Visitor Centre as well as updating the website.

With a small team of valued employees with specialist skills, here we find out why Stephen recently took part in our Fair Work Support programme.

How many employees you have?
There are 4 employees overall. 2 full-time, 1 part-time, and 1 seasonal.

Why are the people who work with you so important to you and your business?
Each employee brings their own unique skills including genealogy and heritage, business management, build management, and e-commerce. The specialised nature of the people employed at Northton Heritage Trust means the effect of anyone moving on from the trust would have a large and negative effect.

What was your main motivation in taking part in the programme?
Mainly to plan for the future including being eligible for public funding.

In what ways was it useful to look at the fair work principles as part of the workshop?
It made me think of various aspects that I'd never really thought about in detail before. It also made me realise that we were already doing some things really well without realising.

What kinds of areas did your 1-2-1 session focus on?
Keeping track of legal and compliance paperwork, setting time aside to gather staff feedback, creating a job knowledge bank and providing for cross-training, and continuing to facilitate a casual and friendly work environment.

What do you make of your action plan?
Very happy with it. It is succinct and easy to understand.

For others maybe thinking of taking part – what would you say is most interesting/useful from your experience?
The opportunity to speak to Scott from AAB one-to-one was the most useful experience. He listened to what I had to say and was able to offer useful advice.

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