Residents in North Yell will be receiving a pack of necessities thanks to the money its development council has generated with renewable energy.
North Yell Development Council (NYDC) is delivering the package, including essentials such as hand sanitiser, to nearly 100 households.
The development council has sent out a letter to residents to “highlight some of the support we may be able to offer our local community during this worrying time”.
Funds from the community windfarm project it established in 2017 have been used to help residents.
“All the group were very keen to do something,” said NYDC secretary Andrew Nisbet. “We are in the fortunate position that we do have funds coming back from the windfarm, and were in a position to be able to do something.”
There had been quite a bit of discussion about the best way to help folk, according to Mr Nisbet, eventually deciding to send out a “pack out to everybody” with a few essential items.
Alongside distributing items to each household, NYDC is also giving residents a voucher, which can be used at R. S. Henderson’s shop for other items which they might need during the crisis.
Mr Nisbet said that even though they obviously could not foresee this crisis happening, they had fought hard for the windfarm in North Yell because of the benefits it would bring the community, which were now being realised.
A lot of small businesses in the area had been “quite badly affected” by the pandemic, Mr Nisbet said. They included aquaculture – as the hotel and restaurant market for shellfish disappeared overnight due to lockdown – and tourist-related industries, with boats scheduled to take folk out on trips this month not able to anymore, and uncertainty around the whole summer season.
In what is an enterprising community, there are a number of small and medium-sized businesses in North Yell.
R.S. Henderson’s shop was well stocked, according to Mr Nisbet, and had been delivering to the community.
“We are really not short of anything,” he said.
Mr Nisbet counted himself lucky to be somewhere, in North Yell and the isles in general, where he can go for a walk in rural surroundings where he is unlikely to meet a lot of people.
NYDC has told business owners to get in touch if they need further assistance during the “very worrying time”.
“We are very conscious that the impact of this pandemic could have implications for our community and local people for years to come but are confident that by working together and supporting each other we can find the best way through it,” the letter reads, which was signed by Mark Lawson, chairman of NYDC.