Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News: Friday 1st May 2020

BUSINESSES GET CASH SUPPORT THROUGH CRISIS

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP, Alasdair Allan, has welcomed new figures showing that 423 businesses, in the Western Isles have received Scottish Government grants, to support firms through the coronavirus crisis.

 

A total of £4.79 million has been awarded in the Western Isles, through a Scottish Government scheme, to support small businesses and the retail, hospitality and leisure sector.

Alasdair Allan commented: “This is a very difficult time for businesses. This Scottish Government funding, is designed to support firms, to ensure our economy is on the best possible footing, when we get through the COVID-19 pandemic.


TEST, TRACE, ISOLATE IS KEY TO LIFTING LOCKDOWN

Angus MacNeil MP, has been advocating widespread testing in the islands. To provide a clearer understanding on the spread of Covid-19. Mr MacNeil is calling for testing, tracing and isolating to start in the islands now, this could allow the islands to come out of lockdown internally, whilst still keeping restrictions on those coming into the area.



Commenting Angus MacNeil MP said:“ Without greater knowledge about the spread of this virus, we will have to remain in lockdown. The islands now have, the capability to do the testing locally. Priority must be the health and well-being of our population and by starting to test, trace and isolate in the islands now, we could establish how this virus is spreading. This would allow us to monitor the virus closely and lead to removing the islands from lockdown safely. Businesses are suffering and if islanders were able to return to some kind of normality, this would be a great boost to our economy.

 

UK CIVIL AIR PATROL SUPPORT THE DISTRIBUTION OF COVID TESTING

The United Kingdom Civil Air Patrol (UKCAP), an air support charity, that uses volunteer pilots and crews, has this week undertaken an operation related to routine COVID-19 testing activity, on behalf of NHS Western Isles.

The flight, which was undertaken on Tuesday, by a twin engine aircraft, with an experienced pilot, involved the distribution of COVID-19 testing materials, between Stornoway, Benbecula and Barra.

Discussions are ongoing as to what additional support, UKCAP could offer NHS Western Isles. These include UKCAP potentially basing aircraft in Stornoway, on a rotational basis to deliver support as required.

 

NEW WEBSITE TO HELP GAELIC MEDIUM EDUCATION HOME-LEARNING

Storlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig have launched a new website for parents, as they support learning at home with children, in Gaelic Medium Education.
Storlann the Gaelic educational resources organisation, has created a mini site, www.gaelic.education. To make it easier for parents to navigate the different learning resources for various stages of school.

Stòrlann chief executive Donald W Morrison said “The organisation is keen to rise to the challenges presented by the new homeschooling context. By providing a resource, to add to the teacher and parent partnerships, that are working diligently to maintain a positive learning environment, for Gaelic Medium pupils.

 

ISLAND RUNNER COMPLETES MARATHON LUNAINN FOR THE LEANNE FUND

Chris Whittington a regular runner and island resident recently set a challenge to run the London Marathon, Due to current event restrictions, the substitute Marathon Lunainn in Point, became his goal

Marathon Lunainn, was completed in a Church car park near his home in Point last week.
Chris ran 26.2 miles / 218 laps of the car park in just over 3 hours 47 minutes, breaking his personal best and raising more than £1,800 for The Leanne Fund.


Chris provided live video updates on his Facebook page while running and got many cheers and even musical performances from the community, making it an extra special event.

Chris said “ I’m overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity, I decided to fundraise for the Leanne Fund because it is a local charity, that does great work and directly supports so many people within our close-knit community - particularly during the pandemic. Thanks to my supporters everywhere.