Kaitlin Dryburgh – 12 May 2022
Hello everybody, my name is Kaitlin Dryburgh, and I am happy to announce that I am the new Policy and Communications Co-ordinator. I am delighted to be joining the passionate Common Weal team and am excited to contribute to the great work they are already doing.
Although I currently live in Edinburgh and have for around 6 years, I originally hail from Aberdeenshire. I grew up in a town built around the oil and gas industry situated in the North East of Scotland, both of these factors shaping my view of communities and where Scotland and the North East is economically and geographically positioned in the world. Additionally, I’ve spent time living and working in London, although I loved it for a short time this was a bit of culture shock and in the end was definitely not the life for me.
I’ve always been conscious of what’s happening around me and have wanted to change things for the better. My first taste of campaigning, if you can call it that at such an early stage, was in a primary school competition putting forward an idea for an eco-vegetable garden at our school. I distinctly remember winning and being absolutely over the moon because I won a “Make Poverty History” rubber bracelet. From then on, I became interested in sustainability and when older became involved in trying to improve the sustainability of both my High School and University. However, I have always been passionate about women’s rights and have actively campaigned on various issues.
The 2014 referendum was perhaps a turning point for myself, and maybe several others my age who were for the first time able to vote. This was the first time I seriously thought about what I wanted for my country and how I thought it should be governed. During this time I became involved in debates at school and really enjoyed diving into the specific issues and policy that were shaping the independence referendum. Although the result was not what I and many others wanted, this was a period in time that solidified my interest in policy that has continued to this day.
However, as I made my way through High School, and it came time to choose how I should go forward I decided to study Marketing Management at university. I can’t say that I 100% regret this decision as I did enjoy this course and in almost every capacity marketing is very useful, unfortunately I knew that I could not spend my life helping to sell things I probably didn’t care about, while being a part of the current consumerism problem. The pandemic, although a very difficult time for everyone, provided the opportunity for me to revaluate and re-focus. So, during this time I went back to university and studied Public Policy, this was a great decision and allowed me to really investigate the issues I was concerned about. One of those being drugs policy, which turned out to be the focus of my dissertation and is a policy area I will continue to research and write about while at Common Weal.
Having now lived through a pandemic, like many I am aware of the ever-growing cracks in our society and the inequalities that will continue to expand if something isn’t done. Although sometimes feeling helpless when faced with what can feel like an un-changing system, I am delighted to be an integral part of Common Weal who I know hold the answer to many of the concerns that all of us have.
Outside of my work at Common Weal I continue to teach swimming, this is something I have done for almost a decade now and enjoy so much. I truly believe that every child should have access to sporting experiences and in particular accessible swimming lessons that don’t cost a small fortune. If I’m not teaching swimming in my spare time, I’m probably swimming myself. Other than that, I love cooking, going to the cinema and rummaging through second hand record shops looking for an amazing find.
Always happy to discuss anything policy related, if you ever need to get in contact my email is firstname.lastname@example.org