John joins trainee trustee programme

John Armour. 
John Armour. 

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A Campbeltown man who forged a career in agriculture is one of two people getting invovled in a new trainee trustee programme.

John Armour, 29, who was raised on his family’s dairy farm, High Knockrioch near Stewarton, has been accepted to take part in a new initiative run by RSABI, a charity that provides emotional, practical and financial support to people in Scotland’s farming and crofting communities.

During the 12-month programme, John and fellow trainee Eilidh Walker will shadow the charity’s trustees and participate in board, committee and staff meetings, all virtually while restrictions are in place.

They will also receive support and mentoring from the charity’s senior staff and chairman David Leggat.

Growing up, John was active in Campbeltown Young Farmers Club. On leaving school, he studied International Politics at the University of Stirling where he became president of the snow sports club and an editor of the student newspaper – leadership experiences he really enjoyed.

He then worked as a policy manager at NFU Scotland from 2014 to 2021, focusing on supply chain, dairy and livestock policies. His role involved identifying solutions to many of the challenges faced by farmers and crofters in Scotland.

John now lives in Edinburgh and is a senior policy advisor for the Scottish Government. He is ‘delighted’ to be taking part in the trainee trustee programme.

‘RSABI is such an important charity, supporting people in Scottish agriculture,’ he said. ‘I’m excited about the opportunity to learn from the talented people at the organisation, both from the experienced professional staff and the knowledgeable board of trustees.

‘Coming from a farming background and having worked for NFU Scotland, I am familiar with the important work of RSABI and am looking forward to contributing to such a good cause.’

John was recently a trustee of the Ellen Kerr Awards Scheme, which provides funding to young farmers clubs in the west of Scotland.

This experience, he said, inspired him to sign up for RSABI’s trainee trustee programme as it gave him an understanding of the importance of charitable funding in helping rural communities thrive.

As this is the first RSABI trainee trustee programme, it is not guaranteed trainees will become full trustees, but John hopes to follow-up the programme with a voluntary trusteeship, either at RSABI or elsewhere.

He added: ‘I’m hoping to improve my understanding of how professional charities are run and increase my knowledge so I can give more back to communities like the farming community of Kintyre.’