The "Grill" - Meet Ailsa, Community Food Coordinator

Over the past few months our team has grown, with a number of new faces joining #TeamScran! We obviously think they are all awesome but we couldn't pass up the opportunity to "grill" them for your benefit!


This week we meet Ailsa Nicol, Scran’s Community Food Coordinator who is leading our Scran Van project alongside young people and volunteers!


What did you do before you joined Scran?

“I was an outdoor nursery teacher in West Lothian, and I still run my own social enterprise helping those with children access events through providing children’s areas.”


What is your job now?

“Every day is different which has its challenges but is also really exciting. I love working with young people and food. Watching groups and individuals grow and support each other is the best feeling and this job mixes all the things I love together.”

What attracted you to work for Scran?

“How dynamic it felt when I read the website. It felt as though it was making real change and supporting real people and not just another charity or social enterprise ticking boxes and claiming to make change. Having watched the school system fail so many I was super keen to be part of making something better happen for young people.”

What is your proudest accomplishment?

“It’s a toss-up between watching the community café get funding to grow and support the community and helping save an ancient woodland from being cut down for more road development. Yes, it involved living in a tree house and yes I would do it all again!”

Who’s your role model / who inspires you?

“My Granny. She always taught me that if a thing is worth doing then it’s worth doing well. She made sure I knew I could do anything just as well as the next person and better if I rolled up my sleeves and threw myself at it. She taught me to speak up if something is wrong and never be ashamed of taking up space.”

What’s your favorite scran?

“Oh, that is an impossible question. Right now, it’s my ultimate shepherd’s pie, mash made from my own recipe, followed by a homemade Bakewell tart.”

What’s your biggest fear?

“The young people I work with feeling let down by me. They work so hard to trust me, when it’s not always easy, and I want them to know I might mess up but I will always be there. If they went home thinking I let them down or I didn’t care I would be heart broken.”

Who was your favorite teacher in school and why?

“My art teacher Ms Keil. She was like a mother to me. The art department in general were amazing. She taught me so much about how adults could be if you found the right ones. She pushed us hard to learn every day. She taught me self-discipline and to find beauty in everything.”

If you could have dinner with 5 people, dead or alive, who would they be?

“Maya Angelou, Georgia O’Keeffe, Louis Armstrong, Nelson Madela, Alan Turing. I spent longer on this question than any other!”

What’s your favorite way to spend a day off?

“At a festival with all my pals so long as it’s not just one day. Or if its literally only one day, I love to cook or bake things I cannot usually eat but can if I substitute out ingredients. The feeling of bringing a cake out of the oven that shouldn’t work but does is amazing.”

What’s your favorite quote?

“ ‘Children need aired twice a day’. My friend Lindsay says it and whenever I am feeling stuck or overwhelmed it reminds me to go outside. It always helps.”


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