Local News for Wednesday 4th October 2017

Fundraiser going ‘out on a high’
Bethesda’s long-time fundraising manager, DR Macdonald, says he is ‘going out on a high’ as he announced his retirement this week. DR is to leave the Bethesda Care Home and Hospice at the end of this month after 18 and a half years with the organisation. He described his feelings about retirement at the same time as taking delivery of a cheque for £30,000 from Point and Sandwick Trust, fulfilling their pledged £55,000 a year. The first part of the donation was given last November. DR said: “The further donation from them is a great encouragement to us in the ongoing work of caring for people from all over the island who benefit from the facilities that we have here. It's great to go out on a high. There's no good time to go because I've been here 18 and a half years and you just live and breathe the organisation. It's been a real privilege."

Carloway’s triple celebration
Carloway was in celebration mode last weekend, marking the 160 year history of primary school education in the village, celebrating their purchase of the school site, and setting out on the journey to develop the School site into a community resource. Guest of honour was Chrissie Ann MacArthur, who had taught at the school for 39 years, 24 of those as the Head Mistress. Barbecue food a baking, music from local artists including Christine Primrose, and an exhibition by Carloway Historical Society all contributed to the success of the event. Don Mackay, Chairman of Carloway Community Association said: “This was a really important celebration for our local community. Carloway Community now own the school site, and we will continue to work with local people in the period ahead to transform and develop it into a valuable community resource. We have plans for a community shop, a Cafe and bistro, business units, office space, and very relaxed surroundings for local people to meet, mingle, chat and eat. These are hugely important plans, because we will tackle social exclusion whilst regenerating a fragile local economy.”

Second chance as Runrig bills new date
Tickets will go on sale at 10am tomorrow for a new date to be performed by Scottish rock supergroup Runrig. The band announced yesterday that, due to what they called ‘amazing demand’ for tickets to see their farewell show The Last Dance, in Stirling’s City Park, an extra show is now scheduled for the same venue, on the day before the very last concert, Friday 17th August 2018. Tickets for the Saturday show sold out in record time after going on sale last Friday. Calum Macdonald of Runrig said: “We’ve been overwhelmed and humbled by the response and the love from our fans. We’re delighted to be able to add an additional concert and promise it will be a night to remember. It will be emotional; it will be fun; it will be entertaining; but amongst all, it will be a special evening saying farewell.” Stirling Council Leader, Councillor Scott Farmer, said: “I am both excited and proud to welcome Runrig fans from all over the world, to join us in Stirling, to celebrate the last ever live performance by Runrig in the magnificent setting of Stirling’s City Park, below Stirling Castle.”

Key priorities for islands
The Outer Hebrides Community Planning Partnership has published its key strategic priorities for the Western Isles for the next 10-20 years. They named retaining and attract people to the islands, sustainable economic growth and improved quality of live, wellbeing and health as they priorities going forward. Chairman of the OHCPP, Norman A MacDonald, said: "Involving people in the decisions that have an impact on their lives and empowering communities to help themselves is vital and whilst the LOIP is for the whole of the Islands, we have identified two areas - Benbecula and North Uist, and Stornoway West - where additional focused effort is required to improve outcomes. Whilst this is a new way of working, it is really building on the Outer Hebrides' traditional strengths of community, local engagement and partnership and is a commitment to empower our communities in delivering the services and aspirations that they deserve."