Isles FM News in associations with Hebrides News: Wednesday 22nd April 2020

WIND FARM AND COLLEGE STEP IN & PROVIDE PPE TO LOCAL NHS

Lews Castle College Staff and wind farm charity Point and Sandwick Trust, have come together to produce PPE (personal protective equipment) for local NHS doctors and nurses.

The facilities at the Innovation Centre, Lews Castle College, sponsored by the community wind farm Point and Sandwick Trust, was used to make new visors to help protect frontline NHS staff from contracting coronavirus

New visor headbands and disposable face shields were delivered to the Western Isles Health Board earlier this week. A further delivery of 100 face shields is pledged, with manufacture ongoing at Lews Castle College Innovation Centre.

 

MACNEIL WIDESPREAD COVID-19

Angus MacNeil, na h-Eileanan an Iar MP, suggests piloting widespread testing for Covid-19 in the Western Isles.

The MP has written to both the First Minister and the Health Secretary, to suggest the World Health Organisation approach, already used in Iceland and the Faroe Islands. This could mean testing between 5 and 10% of the Western Isles population

Commenting Mr MacNeil said:

”By testing more people, we would get a much better picture. Thankfully in the islands we have had few Covid-19 cases, although it is hard to be certain, that we have such few cases, given the lack of testing.

“It is of concern, that we have people in the islands who tested positive for Covid-19, yet their spouses and other members of their household, have not been tested”.

 

SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS CROFTERS’ COVID-19 CONCERNS

A Scottish Crofting Federation survey, has revealed the effect of Covid-19 restrictions, on island crofters

Crofters identified a range of issues: They were access to cash-flow, labour shortages, contractor shortages, crofting supplies scarcity and veterinary care

Yvonne White, chair of the Scottish Crofters representative body said:

“The statistics are stark, with over a third of the respondents, citing cash-flow as a major worry. Many crofters supply food and accommodation to the local market. Abattoirs have not been open, hotels and restaurants are closed and on-croft accommodation bookings are cancelled. This would normally be the time of year to start seeing money coming back in after the long winter, but it is not materialising.

“There needs to be a greater understanding by the government of the variety of crofting enterprises, as well as seasonality - we need to make enough money during the summer to last through the winter.”

Ms White continued:

“Many respondents said they feel the government advice is not clear enough – crofters could be carrying on with croft work, without posing any threat, but feel they cannot, due to the message going out that any movement is restricted.

 

COMHAIRLE EXPANDS LIVE COVID CEILIDHS PROGRAMME

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Covid Ceilidh Programme has proved popular and live cèilidhs will continue every Friday and Saturday evening with various local artists.

On Friday 24th April, Elsa Jean MacTaggart and Gary Lister, will be performing from 9pm

And on Saturday 25th April, Charlie Clark from local band, Astrid, will be entertaining from 9pm

NETTY THE NEW BOAT

Abigail Gillies from Sir E Scott Primary School Harris has been selected as the winner of a competition, to name The Scottish Salmon Company’s new workboat.

The vessel, newly named Netty, will be used to carry net washing machines, to salmon farms in East Loch Tarbert.

Ewen Maclean, SSC area manager, presented Abigail from Gaelic Medium 4, with a framed copy of her winning design, a gift voucher and £100 donation to Sir Edward Scott Primary School for future school trips.