A Community Giving Back


Theres an urban (or should that be rural?) myth that there are more than 130 community groups on Islay – that’s one committee for every 26 people! Being part of the community is being part of island life.  We at team Botanist, Bruichladdich Distillery, are no exception.  

In a normal year, it’s our policy for teams to take a day away from the distillery to work on group projects (the picture above is from such a day of action in the community garden.) But throughout the year there are those who also crew lifeboats, coastguard stations and fire trucks – dashing from work whenever theres an emergency – and many more who help local clubs and sports teams, serve on committees, go shopping for neighbours or do a multitude of other good deeds. 

So what has making gin got to do with volunteering?  

As a B Corp company and a socially responsible employer we need to govern and manage the impact we have on the community. Mandating time for volunteering is certainly on the agenda – in the year before the pandemic 484 hours were devoted to voluntary work – but thats just the start.  

Head of HR Emma Crawford says: We always want to support people in giving back to the community – especially through the emergency services.”    

Julie and Emma, right, our HR team

During covid, the distillery was one of the first places to help – offering up our mini buses and electric cars, printing lanyards in our design office, and even facilitating the production of hand sanitiser – distributed free to every household and business on the island.  

Gill Chasemore, who has been involved in the third sector on Islay for two decades and helped set up the Islay Resilience and Support Group at the outbreak of Covid, said:  Bruichladdich have been fantastic, and Allan Logan (production manager) has been an absolute saint.”  

The slogan on those volunteers’ lanyards said it all – “Spreading Kindness” – pandemic or no pandemic, what greater aim is there? 

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