#WeAreScotland: International families making vital contributions to Highland life


Stramash, with outdoor nurseries in Fort William, Oban and Elgin has highlighted the vital contribution which families who have moved here from outside the UK make to continued success of local services like its own.

“We have had children from every continent in our nursery “, explained Fort William team leader Cameron Sprague, who himself moved to Scotland from the United States. “Having families moving here from outside the UK means that we have more children and we can do more. It means that we can employ an extra staff member and offer more modern apprenticeships to local people.”

The three nurseries draw children from remote areas up to an hour away for its nursery, schools programmes and holiday clubs

“People coming from outside of the UK enable us to maintain the level and quality of local services that people here rely on”, added Cameron Sprague. “Across the Highlands, inward migration helps to ensure the long term future of local communities, both socially and economically.”

Stramash is working with the Scottish Government and other partners to support the #wearescotland campaign which aims to ensure that migrants to Scotland feel welcome.

Ten of the 72 children in the Fort William nursery are currently from outside the UK, and a range of countries from Chile to Hong Kong. Through fun days and other activities Stramash works to ensure that parents and children contribute to the local community.

Maree Todd, Minister for Children and Young People, said:

“Stramash is a prime example of how small, rural businesses provide not just a service to those who make Scotland their home, but often employment too. This in turn has a positive impact on the local community. We are set to almost double funded childcare from 600 to 1,140 hours by 2020, and it’s vital we continue to attract the best candidates to work with our children regardless of their nationality.”

Stramash Chief Executive Maggie Tierney said:

“Having both children and staff from outside the UK not only builds our capacity to do more, it also enriches the experience for all our children and young people.”

Robbie Drummond, Managing Director of Calmac and a Chair of Stramash said:

“By welcoming migrants to work with Stramash or use our services, we are helping to strengthen the rural economy.”

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