Views from the Scord 28.11.08

Hame fae Hame nursery

AFTER five long years of planning and preparation the new Hame fae Hame nursery opened in Scalloway this week.

The opening ceremony was held last Saturday, with actress Sandra Voe performing the ribbon cutting ceremony after a speech by local councillor Iris Hawkins.

Sandra, who grew up in Scalloway, had flown up from London especially for the event on a flight provided free by Flybe for the occasion.

The nursery is part of the recent re-development of Anderson’s Buildings on the Main Street by Hjaltland Housing and is run by long-serving childcare professionals Kaye Sandison and Linda Young.

In this new venture they have combined their existing child-minding businesses to provide a complete service in child and nursery care. The new premises are spacious, bright and equipped to the highest standard with a variety of activity areas to occupy and stimulate the children who attend.

The name is particularly apt in reflecting the aspirations of the owners to provide a comfortable and homely environment to which children are happy to come and perhaps, at times, even reluctant to leave.

In keeping with this homely ideology, children will be able to assist in activities such as baking bannocks – the kitchen area has been made with especially low level worktops so that even the youngest of bairns can get stuck into dough making or other safe and simple food preparation at their own level.

The main layout and design was done by Hjaltland with input from Kaye and Linda and the final fitting evolved over time with Hjaltland co-operating fully with the owners to provide the best fixtures for the business.

Kaye said: “Hjaltland have been really first class. Anything we’ve asked for we’ve got. They have made alterations to suit our needs without hesitation.”

The building is entered via the distinctive archway on the building facade, which leads to small courtyard suitable for outdoor play. There is a direct path from here to the Fraser Park and the superb new playground equipment there. They also have plans with Alec Henry, from the school, to establish planters in the courtyard to allow bairns the opportunity to grow, cook and eat their own produce, all in one place.

The spacious main area is fitted with child-friendly toilets and an additional back room that can be used for various purposes, or just a quiet space for a child away from the others, if necessary.

Kaye and Linda have adopted a holistic approach to child care with plans afoot to use the premises for a whole range of child-orientated functions including workshops in post-natal care, weaning diets, play therapy and baby massage, visits of the health visitor and SIC nightclasses in child development.

The premises will also be available for birthday parties or just about any other beneficial and child-oriented activity that potential users can come up with for it.

Besides Kaye and Linda there are additional staff employed by the business to cope with child numbers and they have a trainee serving a modern apprenticeship already in place. The current number of children they are looking after is 12, but that will increase gradually to 19 as they become settled in the new location.

Kaye and Linda are both very enthusiastic about the possibilities of Hame fae Hame and further take pride in being part of the social regeneration of Scalloway as a whole, especially enabling working parents to keep their children within the village throughout nursery, playgroup and later school.

Kaye said: “This has put bairns right back in the centre of the village.”

Linda reflected on the five-year endeavour that led them to the grand opening day. “This has been a really good challenge and it’s really worthwhile now that it is here we can see it,” she said.

The business was set up with financial assistance from LEADER funding and the SIC’s economic development unit. The new business formally began on Wednesday, with children already minded by Kaye and Linda continuing with them from their individual child minding businesses. For more information visit

Harbour news

Scalloway Harbour has seen a quiet week in general. Fish landings were fairly low at only 523 boxes for the week to Friday. The majority of this came from the Radiant Star, with the Guardian Angell, Fairway and Fertile also landing.

The Ronja Settler was busy as ever, perhaps more so than usual in the run up to Christmas. The Anglian Sovereign called in on Monday and regular freight coaster Fame came in on Tuesday with 110 tonnes of fish feed for the Scalloway store.

The Aith lifeboat spent a brief couple of hours on the Malakoff and Moore slipway for routine inspection and maintenance. The Banff-registered Jenna Maree and Buckie-registered Ocean Sovereign spent a while alongside for shelter before returning to sea on oil standby work west of Shetland.

The sizable Kirkwall-registered stern trawler Russa Taign also called in briefly over the weekend. Her visit was thought to be crew-related as she did not land and departed again fairly soon after arrival.

Minibus arrives

Celebrations were held in Burra on Saturday for the official arrival of the new Burra and Trondra community minibus.

After outstanding fund-raising efforts that began in May of last year and a couple of technical hiccups along the way the gleaming new minibus is available for hire for any local groups, clubs or organisations.

This is the fifth such community minibus owned and run by a voluntary committee, chaired by Bobby Hunter with Joyce Adamson as treasurer, since its inception in 1987. The previous bus was bought in 1999 and served the community well until its age caught up with it in 2007.

The minibus has been used by the Burra Playgroup three days a week and regularly by a long list of other organisations ranging from toddlers’ groups to SWRIs, including many local sport clubs.

The committee saw an influx of new members dedicated to the cause of replacing the old bus, as confirmed by the association secretary Linda Jackson. She said over the past year they have fully realised how much they needed the new one while not having the old one, such was the integral role of the bus in daily life in the area.

“The whole community has been amazing, we have been overwhelmed by the support. I’m awful excited for us to finally get the bus and see it running.”

The biggest single source of funding to pay for the new minibus came from the “Awards for All” consortium, supported by the Big Lottery Fund, Scottish Arts Council, Heritage Lottery Fund and sportscotland.

The maximum fund achievable from them is £10,000 and that is what the minibus association received, undaunted after their first application was turned down for technical reasons. On second attempt they were successful and more than matched that total from a variety of fund-raising events and local sources, with the Burra and Trondra Community Council devoting much of its budget to the association.

The SIC Community Safety Partnership and Scalloway Community Council also provided substantial sums, but the real heroes must be the minibus association committee and other voluntary groups that gave their time and effort to raising the remainder.

Kim Tait, vice chairman of the association said: “I’d like to thank everyone who helped us by donating time and money as it’s all them that made this happen.”

The bus provides seating for 16 and is fitted with a disabled ramp for greater accessibility. Bookings are invited from any local groups, drivers must be over 25 and under 70 and more information can be obtained from Linda Jackson on (01595) 859207.

Burra teas

The recently-reformed TSB Junior Football Club is holding Sunday teas this Sunday in the Hamnavoe Hall from 2pm to 4pm. The event will give the club a chance to recognise the performances and achievements of players over the past season from junior players, from under eight to under-16s. An award ceremony will be held at 3pm with a variety of awards to be presented.

Scalloway teas and Santa

The Scalloway Public Hall is holding Sunday teas and a car boot sale this Sunday from 2pm to 4pm.

During the afternoon Santa Claus will be present in his grotto, assisted by his little helpers, and funds raised from visiting him will go toward the Scalloway Toddlers’ Christmas party.

Anti-bullying balloons

To mark the end of Anti-bullying Week, pupils from Scalloway Junior High School held a balloon launch last Friday.

The event was timed to coincide with another at Bushloe High School in Wigston, Leicestershire, by teacher Sue Brigg, who came to Scalloway from there. The hope was to spread the anti-bullying message via the balloons and publicity from different parts of the UK simultaneously.

In keeping with that Bushloe has also linked up with Brockington College in Leicester and another school in Germany, which also released balloons at the same time, resulting in a truly international effort to spread the message. The event was publicised in the Leicester Mercury daily paper and even attracted coverage from the local BBC news.

Leicester is the most ethnically diverse city in the UK and Sue formed the idea of creating links from Scalloway to Bushloe before she even arrived here.

Her hope is that the links will provide greater cultural awareness in both directions and that this may be the first of ongoing events together.

The Scalloway launch took place in a bone-chilling northerly wind that whisked the balloons out of sight in moments, bound for southerly, and probably warmer, climes.

Community Council

The November sitting of the Scalloway Community Council was held on Monday night.

From the variety of routine and regular topics the meeting featured a discussion raised by Councillor Iris Hawkins in appreciation of the series of new ventures or facilities that have come to fruition in the village this year, prompted by the opening of the new nursery and completion of the playpark equipment in the Fraser Park.

Other advances in infrastructure include the new flats in Anderson’s Buildings and usage of Norway House for gym facilities. The group agreed that this could all be seen as positive regeneration in the village.

Another topic met favourably was that of the proposal to allocate an area of allotments for interested parties in the village, with the Scalloway school being one of several parties that has expressed a genuine interest in such a proposal.

Other business included receipt of correspondence from the SIC agreeing to cut verges in the Tingwall valley three times a year to provide safer pedestrian usage of verges and acknowledgement of the new safety mirror placed at Westshore. The recent Blueprint for Education meeting was also discussed in an informative manner.

The community council will next meet in December to distribute seasonal hampers to senior citizens in the area.

Thomas Fraser winner

The prize draw held after the Thomas Fraser Memorial Festival was won by Michael Mackay of Upper Sound, Lerwick. His prize, sponsored by NorthLink, is a return trip for two, with car and cabin, to Aberdeen. Michael was the holder of a “lucky programme” sold during the three-day festival to commemorate the life and music of Thomas Fraser. The selection was made by Brian Ross, director of the forthcoming Thomas Fraser documentary, on the Sunday following the festival and the lucky number published in The Shetland Times.


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