SPEED UP BUSINESS SUPPORT
Many businesses across the Highlands and Islands, are still waiting to access the Government’s business support. The latest figures for the Western Isles, are one of the worst in Scotland, with 31.1% businesses waiting for support.
Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron commented
“Businesses are now months into this crisis and far too many of them, in this region, are still waiting for the support they need to survive. Small and medium-sized enterprises will be vital to our recovery, from any economic downturn. But if a significant portion across the Highlands and Islands, don’t get funding on time, it will be difficult for them to survive and save jobs.
Read more: Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News: Friday 15th May 2020
TECHNOLOGY FOR THOSE IN NEED IN LOCKDOWN
The EU-funded mPower team, at NHS Western Isles, has adapted its working practices, to continue helping the housebound during the coronavirus outbreak.
mPower uses digital support to enable elderly people, in remote areas to live safely and independently in their own homes, by introducing them to various health and wellbeing assistance.
Sue Long, mPower, leads the four-person team covering the whole of the Western Isles, helping the elderly and those who have long-term health conditions and chronic illnesses, to create wellbeing plans, in a bid to improve their day to day lives.
Sue Long commented:
“One of the main things we've been focusing on over the past couple of months is keeping people connected. All care homes across the Western Isles have been supplied with iPads by the NHS, so we've been helping residents use this technology to keep in touch with their families
“We have trained the Care Home Managers how to allow the family meetings to happen. The ‘daily ceilidh’ for residents in Bernera and Uig, is another great example It’s an online coffee morning that takes place every day, where people can come together and chat to others.
“Videoconferencing technology is also being used to remotely connect people with health professionals, so they don’t have to be seen by a doctor in person. This is hugely helpful for people who live in remote communities across the Western Isles.”
Read more: Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News: Thursday 14th May 2020
COMHAIRLE NAN EILEAN IS URGING PEOPLE TO OBEY SCOTTISH LOCKDOWN LAWS
Comhairle nan Eilean is urging people to obey Scottish lockdown laws and not travel to beauty spots in the islands. It follows concerns over mixed and confusing messages after Boris Johnston announced a relaxation of the lockdown south of the border.
Stay at home remains the policy for the other UK nations, including Scotland.
The Guardian newspaper came into the firing line after publishing a photo of Loch Roag in Lewis with the caption: “People will be able to drive to beauty spots from Wednesday” - an option which only applies in England.”
The newspaper has since acknowledged it was wrong to suggest the location was one of the places people could visit.
“Scotland, unlike England, has not lifted restrictions on such non-essential travel,” clarified the paper.
Nicola Sturgeon highlighted Scots should not be “distracted by messages from other parts of the UK.”
A comhairle spokesperson said: “We would remind everyone that in Scotland it is not permissible to drive to beauty spots.
“There are also restrictions on travelling to the islands and we must see these maintained for the continued health of our population.”
Cal Mac also pointed out said: “After the weekend's announcement we would like to remind our customers to stay at home and save lives. Please do not travel unless it is essential.”
“Ferries should only be used for essential supplies or business by those that live on the islands.”
Read more: Isles FM News in association with Hebrides News: Wednesday 13th May 2020