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Catching up with our Members in Oban

As a warm-up for this year’s Toolbox Talks, David Harris, Chair of Glasgow & West of Scotland Branch and the SELECT team headed north to host a special event in Oban to meet Members and deliver a technical update on air source heat pumps

Talks were both interesting and well attended

The beautiful surroundings of Oban were the perfect spot for a recent extracurricular meeting of the Glasgow and West of Scotland Branch – and the subject matter certainly lived up to the scenery.

I’d wanted to arrange the special catch-up to accommodate contractors in the West who operate further afield than their fellow Branch Members.

As well as being a warm-up for the Toolbox Talks that started the following week, the event on 27 April was designed to show our commitment to the more rural corners of Scotland. I’m a strong believer in serving the needs of every Member on the map, so this was a good opportunity for us to enjoy face-to-face contact with contractors who we might not see as much as those in the Central Belt and big cities.

Judging by the response, Members were equally pleased to see us and they certainly made the most of the opportunity to ask questions and speak to SELECT representatives in person.

Flying the flag for the association were Director of Membership & Communications Iain Mason, Membership Representative Diane Hales and Events, Marketing and Communications Coordinator Linda Rolfe.

Also in attendance was Technical Adviser Robert McGoogan, who was responsible for delivering the main event of the day – a technical presentation on the electrical implications of heat pump installation. Air source heat pumps are becoming more commonplace in our working lives, so it’s important for electrical contractors to befamiliar with what’s required for their part of the installation.

Along with solar PV, battery storage and EV charge points, the technology is rapidly becoming the norm across Scotland, and we all need to keep up to speed with the latest advances so we can install them and design systems safely and competently.

Robert duly gave an overview of the technology involved and why it’s being introduced, and then talked Members through the technical aspects of installation. It was great to see Members so engaged with the topic and it certainly generated plenty of follow-up questions afterwards!

The presentation was followed by a technical quiz on EICR coding, with the fastest correct answers rewarded with maximum points. Ryan Russell of Member firm Argyll Homes For All Ltd came out on top, scooping a TIS calibration checkbox that was presented by Barry McKenzie.

“I’m a strong believer in serving the needs of every Member on the map, so this was a good opportunity for us to enjoy face-to-face contact with contractors”

Barry was joined at the event by representatives from fellow Associate Members Aico, DEHN UK and Hi-Spec, who each gave a short presentation on their products and services as well as exhibiting throughout the morning.

One real positive from the day was seeing all the leftover food donated to the local Hope Kitchen charity. Food From Argyll laid on a great spread and it was good to know that nothing was wasted and went to a good cause.

It was a great day and I would like to thank SELECT staff for attending to the arrangements that made the event possible. I hope we can host similar events around the regions in the future as it’s clear that Members appreciate SELECT going the extra mile – quite literally!


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