Isles Views 19.09.08

Fundraiser tomorrow
FOLLOWING the success of a fundraising day in aid of the Parkinson’s Society a few years ago, and last year for the Mind Your Head charity, staff from Isleshavn Care Centre in Yell are planning a repeat performance tomorrow, this time in aid of Cancer Link Aberdeen and North (CLAN).

The plan is to combine a staff day out with a fund-raising effort. Many Shetland families, over time, have had connections with Clan and, in fact, fund-raising for the existing building was started many years ago by Andrew Jamieson from Cullivoe. In CLAN House many families have found support and comfort from being able to use the wonderful facilities and the additional therapies available.

The theme for the day is for the staff to get dressed in tartan to represent the various clans. They will gather at Isleshavn so that the service users have the first chance to see the get-ups they are sporting. They will board the bus at 4pm and head for the ferry. Collecting tins can be found in Isleshavn and on the bus.

Those tartan terrors are targeting various establishments in the North Mainland; they are seeking to empty as many pockets as possible in aid of this worthwhile cause. Meanwhile, back at Isleshavn the work, and the level of care, will be unaffected but staff have been more than willing to swap shifts to make it all possible.

The fundraisers are extremely grateful for all the help and co-operation so freely given and they wish to say a special thanks to Tommy Robertson of Ulsta who has supported the cause by providing a bus and a driver at a greatly reduced rate.

Fun run in Whalsay
The second annual Whalsay fun run/walk took place recently.

A strong field formed at the leisure centre to tackle the challenging 6.5 mile route with relentless hills and, on the day, a stiff southerly breeze.

Karl Simpson retained his title, completing the course in 39 minutes 13 seconds. He was closely followed by Arlene Bristow and Joe Coughlin.

Rosalyn Polson’s weekly jogging group has again proved to be a big success; this year all the regulars improved dramatically on their times from last year.

While the 6.5 mile runners battled on around the isle the 0.2 mile runners set off with Sophie Black dashing around in an impressive one minute 46 seconds. This route is ideal for any young runners, toddlers or pram pushers.

The middle distance participants set off around the Symbister route with a mixture of runners attacking the course and also walkers choosing to take in the scenic aspects of Whalsay at a more leisurely pace.

After the races participants and supporters were treated to Sunday teas in the leisure centre, and a bouncy castle. This was a well-deserved reward and £585.90 was raised for the Mind Your Head appeal. The charity helps raise awareness of mental health issues and highlights the benefits of exercise to improve people’s mental health.

Race organiser Ian Simpson said: “We are really pleased with how the day went and the effort that everyone put in to make the day a success. The marshals, bakers and helpers all made the day run smooth and we are looking forward to next year.”

Slimathon goes well
In January 2008 an idea was born to hold a “Slimathon”, run through the Yell Health Centre. Unst had held a very successful one the year before, and it was recognised that some folk in Yell, including surgery staff, needed a bit of a push to lose some weight.

At the end of January there was a gathering of like-minded people. All 53 people who registered (approximately five per cent of Yell’s population) were weighed, height and waist measurements taken, advice and leaflets given. Participants were invited to return weekly, fortnightly or monthly for weigh-ins over a seven-month period.

A mid-term meeting was held with outside speakers to give more advice on exercise and the desired weight loss. People were encouraged either to get sponsors for their weight loss, or donate money. At the end of August there was a final weigh-in with weight and waist measurements being repeated. In total 166kg was lost and 132.5cm from people’s waists. This is an average of 3.2kg (7lb) and 2.54cm (one inch).

A total of £905 was raised for the Yell Health Support Group. Hilary Franklin, who was in charge of the Slimathon, thanked the Aywick and Cullivoe shops and the Co-op for providing the fruit and vegetables as part of the healthy eating demonstration.

As a treat Hilary has managed to get some places for the cookery demonstration on 3rd October in Clickimin with Jean Christophe Novelli who is in Shetland for the food festival.

The theme of healthy eating and exercise is set to continue with the Counterweight programme, which will start at the end of September. Anyone interested in any of this should contact the surgery but more details will follow shortly.

Money for ward one
After Gordon Jamieson of Cullivoe died of cancer in April 2005 a number of things were done in his memory to raise funds for charity.

A tribute concert was held in the Cullivoe Hall and musical friends recorded a CD called The Moarfield Waltz. It was one of the best-known tunes that Gordon composed and it was in Moarfield that he was born. His wife Sandra is pleased that she has been able to pass on another £3,000 to ward one of the Gilbert Bain Hospital. This brings the total, raised in Gordon’s memory and given by Sandra to ward one, to an amazing £15,000.

Sandra says that the day room has had a substantial makeover and this money has gone a long way to providing this new look. A permanent memorial to Gordon will take the form of a small plaque on the wall of the day room.

Interest in hnefatafl
A month after the event Peter Kelly has had time to access the success of the hnefatafl championships held in Fetlar. The event attracted a lot of interest worldwide and he is pleased by the enquiries that have come in from faraway places.

Mr Kelly has done a half-hour interview with a radio station in Boston, USA, and they have been in touch since. He has also had enquiries from makers of sets who are asking for the rules for players in the States and Australia and elsewhere. Enquiries have come in from individuals and two organisers who want to come to Fetlar next year. Mr Kelly said he was grateful to The Shetland Times and the rest of the local media for the publicity and support.

Twenty on the 20th
It is now 20 years since the Yell Leisure Centre was opened and to celebrate the occasion there will be an open afternoon tomorrow between 3pm and 6pm. They are hoping that lots of people will come along to try the various activities on offer.

All activities will be free of charge and there will be someone on hand to help with anything that visitors have not tried before.

Manager David Gear said: “You could try the self defence martial art Choi Kwang Do between 4pm and 5pm or have a go at the bowls or badminton.”

Other activities will include the bouncy castle, swimming, table tennis and the fitness suite. Teas will be on sale in the community room with the proceeds going to local clubs.

The centre has enjoyed a great deal of support from the local community and from visitors to the isle. Over the last 20 years there have been approximately 691,500 admissions. David regards this as a remarkable number for an isle with a population of less than 1,000. He and his staff wish to thank everyone for their support and they look forward to a big turn out tomorrow.

More replies required
Some time ago Initiative at the Edge (North Isles) undertook a housing survey in the North Isles.

Development worker Michelle Morris says that they have had “quite a few replies” but she would like a lot more. She needs this to get a true picture of the housing needs, now and in the future, in the North Isles.

A proper assessment cannot be made unless the questionnaires are returned so Mrs Morris is appealing to folk to fill in the form and return it to: Initiative at the Edge North Isles Ltd, Sellafirth, Yell, ZE2 9BZ.

Lawrence Tulloch


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