Getting ready to march in the Tartan Day Parade

This article, written by Katie Macleod, was first published in EVENTS newspaper (available at www.hebevents.com) on 03/05/2018

New York City’s annual Tartan Week celebrates the influence of Scots in America, with events ranging from theatre shows to poetry readings, culminating in a parade along Sixth Avenue in the heart of Manhattan. And this year, for the first time ever, a pipe band from the Outer Hebrides took to the stage – and the streets – as part of the celebrations.

The Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band made headlines in 2017 when they launched a crowdfunding campaign to support their dream of marching in the 20th anniversary Tartan Day Parade, and last month they made headlines again when their dream was realised with their arrival in New York City on April 4th.

This article, written by Katie Macleod, was first published in EVENTS newspaper (available at www.hebevents.com) on 03/05/2018

For young people in the Western Isles looking for their next career move – or the chance to return to the islands – a new wave of apprenticeships being launched this spring will offer more opportunities for progression.

Over the next few months, apprenticeships will be advertised in sectors such as child care, business administration, finance, automotives, harbour work, customer service, health and social care, and re-ablement. The latter two will be promoted and managed in collaboration with the NHS, under the Integrated Joint Board (IJB), which consists of representatives from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, IJB, and third party and independent sector providers of health and social care.

In recent weeks, new apprentices have also been recruited at Scottish Salmon and BASF Pharma, and advertised for at Harris Tweed Hebrides. Potential areas for future apprenticeships in the islands include the growing distillery and marina sectors, although these opportunities are still in the early stages of development.

This article, written by Katie Macleod, was first published in EVENTS newspaper (available at www.hebevents.com) on 03/05/2018

Data published in February 2018 and presented to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Education, Sport, and Children’s Services Committee on April 24th shows that young people in the Western Isles continue to perform better than their peers nationally across almost all educational measures.

This article, written by Katie Macleod, was first published in EVENTS newspaper (available at www.hebevents.com) on 11/01/2018

When Storm Caroline descended on the Outer Hebrides last month, closing schools, causing power cuts, and disrupting ferry journeys, it made national headlines. 

But thanks to systems put in place at the Education and Children’s Services Department at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, staff, teachers, and school pupils knew what to expect, and how to respond.

As a precautionary measure, all schools and nurseries in Lewis, Harris, and Uist were closed on Thursday 7th December, but staff – both at the Comhairle and in schools – were advised to make their way to work when they deemed it safe to do so.   


This article, written by Katie Macleod, was first published in EVENTS newspaper (available at www.hebevents.com) on 03/05/2018

Who Cares? Scotland is a national third sector advocacy and membership organisation that works with care-experienced and other young people in a range of different ways. In the last year in the Western Isles, the work of Who Cares? Scotland has been wide-ranging, from independent advocacy work to the organisation of fun events for young people throughout the islands.

“Nationwide, the focus of Who Cares? Scotland’s work is supporting children and young people with experience of being in care, whether at home, with foster-carers or relatives, or in residential homes,” explains Tom Boyd, the organisation’s Advocacy and Participation Manager for the north of Scotland.

“It’s also about supporting those who have left care and are making that often very challenging transition into early adulthood. In the Western Isles, Who Cares? Scotland’s service is broader still, with Alison Frizzell working alongside and supporting not only children and young people with experience of care, but also a broad range of other young people who might benefit from the service.”