We had planned a big celebration with cake, balloons, some bubbles and lots of the wonderful new connections and friends who have supported us in our first year in the Highlands but Coronavirus, the lockdown and social distancing put pay to that. So, whilst the party is postponed, we are still keen to mark the occasion.
In our blog in October we told the story of our first six months and how, building on decades of working with many different Highland-based clients and businesses, our Highland Home began. Although carefully thought through – we did our research, spoke to lots of people, scouted a lot – we did arrive with some central belt ideas and preconceptions. Some of these were well-founded and whilst many were not, we have been delighted to discover just how closely many of our own core values match those of businesses here. Values like trust, diligence, passion and balance, flow through the work that many do across the region.
Monday was the anniversary of my move to Inverness and, in reflective mood (plenty of time for that now in lockdown isolation) I posted on social media some of my highlights of the places and people who have made the past year so successful and memorable for me. I just want to say thank you to all those who have made this possible and played their part in welcoming me and GLM to Inverness and who have encouraged us to become part of this thriving Highland community. You can read what I wrote here.
Over the past year, we have met over two-hundred people, attended about seventy events, doubled the size of our Highland base and we’ve planned a big birthday party. We’ve travelled over 20,000 miles, visited many interesting sites bristling with potential, carried out surveys, seen more of the beautiful Highlands than we ever thought possible and eaten a lot of delicious food along the way. We’ve spent time with team members, made new friends and I’ve become Chair of a new networking group and got involved as a director of another. It has been a wild year.
Our vision for the GLM Highland Office is to bring our brand of building surveying and architecture to the Highlands to help people unlock the huge potential in their buildings and land; to help create sustainable homes and businesses; to work with people to maintain, repair, convert and repurpose their buildings in a truly sustainable way; and to create the opportunity for sharp, talented people to stay in the Highlands and develop their career with us.
To that end, we were delighted to welcome Eilidh Walker to Team GLM in January. Eilidh, from Stornoway, is a Chartered Building Surveyor and has made an immediate impact undertaking site inspections and monitoring site works from Elgin to the Isle of Mull. Now locked down in her croft just north of Stornoway, she is able to focus a little more on lambing than would usually be the case, but she, like the rest of us, is raring to get back to the day job so, if you haven’t met her, why not drop her an e-mail and arrange a coffee when this whole pandemic thing is over. She’d love to hear from you.
Reflecting on the year just past GLM’s Managing Director, Ian McKee, said ‘the response to the opening of our Highland office has been incredibly supportive and inspiring. The sense of community and genuine willingness to share ideas and collaborate is everything we’d hoped for and more and we are excited to be part of this vibrant business community. We hope in the years to come we can build a strong, dynamic team who can contribute to the Highland economy and help unlock more of its wonderful potential in a positive and sustainable way’
Finally, I just want to re-emphasise my own gratitude for such a warm welcome to the Highlands – for meeting us, spending time with us and allowing us to be part of your business journey. We’re here to help with your building, your land or your lease so please do get in touch. If we can assist you in any way or if you just want to meet for a coffee, send me an email, I’d be delighted to hear from you
The party may be delayed and the champagne on ice, but when we are freed from our lockdown and able to embrace and cavort once again, boy will we party! Meantime, stay home, stay safe and stay tuned to GLM’s social media where we hope to keep you informed and inspired. Take care and all the best from the GLM Team.