Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News: Friday 8th May 2020


Community Wind Farm charity, Point and Sandwick Trust, working in partnership with Lews Castle College UHI, have delivered further PPE (personal protective equipment) to NHS Western Isles. This week’s delivery includes the first batch of safety visors, for care home staff across the Western Isles.


Staff from the college and the wind farm charity, have been working together, to produce PPE for the islands’ frontline. The safety visors are made using facilities, at the windfarm-sponsored Innovation Centre at the college.

The safety visors come in two parts. The plastic headbands are manufactured at the college using a 3D printer and disposable clear plastic sheets are attached to clips, on the headbands to function as face shields.

The aim is for all care staff who need a visor, to have their own headband, which can be cleaned by washing in hot soapy water, and enough face sheets, which can be changed at regular intervals.



Comhairle nan Eilean Siar made history this week, with the first online Council committee meeting. Ambitions to live stream the meeting for the public, were thwarted by technology. A different communication system will be tested for the next council meeting.

Despite the prominence of COVID-19, with business and the delivery of services continuing. A wide range of subjects were discussed: education, transport, care and budgets. As well as reports on the Islands Deal, Islands Act and Crown Estate Funds.

Bernard Chisholm, Director of Education and Children’s Services, gave a very positive report on the work of the ongoing developments and challenges around education delivery.

Robert Emmott, Director of Assets, Finance and Resources, detailed the significant financial challenges facing the Comhairle, given the combination of lost income and increased costs in this period.



Comhairle nan Eilean Siar announced an increase in online activities. Particularly by vulnerable people through Sport and Health’s, Move More Project. Move More ,Western Isles is a project supporting physical activity opportunities for islanders with long term health conditions.

Tony Wade, Sports Facilities Services Manager said: “The COVID-19 crisis, is a particularly worrying time for people, who have been referred on to this programme. Sport and Health department are keeping in contact with as many clients as possible since the start of lockdown.

Online classes, 1:1 sessions and phone support has also been made available.
It is now widely recognised that keeping physically active helps boost your immune system which is particularly important right now . With this in mind, we endeavour to provide 2 classes a week online, which can be easily accessed by a wider audience from May 5th.

The Tuesday afternoon class is a seated mobility and strength class and the Thursday afternoon class is a little more ‘Up –Tempo’ and should suit people who may have enjoyed Aquafit or Move More circuit classes in the recent past.”



Local seamstresses have made more than 200 hospital gowns for NHS Western Isles, over the past few weeks. A number of disposable hats and masks have also been made.

NHS Western Isles would like to thank all those involved in making this Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to supplement our existing stocks.

The skilled seamstresses include Mary Lou Stilwell, Marjory Mackenzie, Morag Duncan, Nana Maclean, Anna Suslova, Larisa Spirina and Katie Macleod.

Chris Anne Campbell, who recently returned from retirement to NHS Western Isles to work on Resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic, said: “On behalf of NHS Western Isles I would like to sincerely thank, all these skilled local individuals, who have made us such important items of PPE, to add to our current stocks. NHS Western Isles has supplied the material for these gowns to ensure the gowns meet safety requirements and we are hugely grateful for your endeavour.”