Stornoway's local cheer and dance squad, North West Allstars, are fundraising for new mats for their weekly practices.

North West Allstars Cheer and Dance started up in 2009 with a small group of young people joining in pom dance and learning some basic cheerleading moves after school.

The squad has grown since then, and now includes a range of coaches delivering different styles of dance and cheer from ballet to hip hop, competing at regional and national competitions and performing locally and further afield.

Say the group: "Our dancers and athletes range from 5- 24 and we are about to start a new class for 3 - 5 year olds. As well as pushing our athletes and dancers to do their best and improve their skillswe try to ensure they have lots of fun and keep active and healthy and get involved in the community.

"The cheerleading teams all practice at Sandwick Hall, where there is a large enough space for full floor tumbling and a high enough ceiling for stunts. We are also able to store mats here which are essential for cheerleading. Our athletes lift and throw each other in the air, often higher than 12 feet. As our squad progresses so does our level of stunts, which means now more than ever we need to ensure the safety of our cheerleaders. We also carry out weekly tumbling practices which require mats for safety.

"Our current mats were kindly donated to us from the sports centre and previously were used by Isle of Lewis Gymnastics Club. The mats are getting really worn now. The surfaces are slippy in the places and there are tears along the edges. Our storage and constant dragging in and out means that the mats are often bent and can be dog eared causing a trip hazard.

"The type of mats generally used for cheerleading classes have progressed a lot since this type of school gym mat. We would like to purchase roll mats, which are easy to take out and put away and can easily be rolled up at the end of each practice. They are taped together to avoid slipping. These would make our practices safer and much easier. They would also help us prepare more effectively for competitions by preparing us realistically for the floor we will compete on."

They added: "We would really appreciate it if you could help with any amount towards reaching our target and buying new mats for our squad. We are looking for £3795.00 to buy 5 roll mats creating just over half a full sized cheer floor."

To donate to the group, click here