Local News for Wednesday 7th June 2017

‘Unforgettable’ experience of OneLove
An Isles FM volunteer has spoken of the ‘unforgettable’ experience of being a security worker at Sunday evening’s OneLove concert in Manchester. Fergus Marshall, of Callanish, volunteers at Isles FM during his holidays, and was a regular member of the support team when he was a pupil at the Nicolson Institute. On Sunday he was working at Old Trafford as a security officer, a part-time job he has while continuing maritime studies in Glasgow. The concert was organised by US artist Ariana Grande in memory of the 22 people who died, and others who were injured, when a bomb was detonated at the Manchester arena two weeks ago. 14-year-old Eilidh Macleod of Barra lost her life, and her friend Laura Macintyre remains seriously ill in hospital, after the atrocity. Fergus told Isles FM after the concert: “Whenever there's a tragedy in this country I love how we can all come together as one. People were so co-operative, young and old, towards security with many of them coming and shaking my hand, hugging me and thanking me for keeping them safe. I will forever remember the day that the whole country came together as one.”

General Election – Polling Day tomorrow
Polls open at 7am tomorrow for the casting of votes in the UK Parliamentary General Election. Postal votes can also be submitted, either to the Election Office at the Comhairle, or at any polling station, up to the close of poll at 10pm tomorrow. After polls close the count will take place in the Lewis Sports Centre from 10pm on Thursday, with results for the Western Isles constituency expected to be announced around 1.45am on Friday. Live updates will be provided bilingually through Comhairle nan Eilean Siar's Facebook and Twitter pages and Facebook live will be used to give live video of the announcement. You can find a link to the page on the Isles FM Facebook page.
Buggy buddies together
A new buggy walking group aimed at parents and carers of babies and toddlers has been hailed a success. Twelve parents and 14 babies joined the new Buggy Buddies group on its first outing on Monday. The group will meet every Monday at 10.30am and is organised by the NHS Western Isles’ Health Visiting team. Elaine MacMillan, Trainee Health Visitor, said she was delighted at the initial turnout and expected new members to join over the next few weeks. Elaine explained, “Buggy Buddies is free, open to all parents and carers and you simply show up.  The group is a great way for baby to get fresh air within our beautiful Castle Grounds, whilst parents and carers have an opportunity for some gentle exercise. Health Visiting staff are also available for parents and carers should they wish to seek advice without a formal home visit.” For further information contact the Health Visitors team on (01851) 709842 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
More to ReStore in South Uist
A new carbon neutral HQ has been opened by South Uist learning centre, Cothrom, for its furniture recycling and training project. Highlands and Islands Enterprise gave a grant of over £127k for the project, which was also supported byThe Big Lottery, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, LandAid, Western Isles Development Trust, Stòras Uibhist and the Scottish Government Regeneration Fund. Cothrom means opportunity in Gaelic, and the project gives lots of opportunities to adults supported by a full time Gaelic nursery.The project focuses on recycling furniture, textiles and white goods, gardening and landscaping services, and making and selling recycled timber items such as wooden benches, bookcases and hen houses to order. ReStore also works with Blythswood Care co-ordinating the local textile bank collections. Leaving the project after 19 years at the helm is Barbara Macdonald, who will be sent off with a street party on 27th June run by the Adult Learners Forum, celebrating 25 years of learning since Cothrom opened its doors in 1992.
Cycle challenge coming up
The closing date for the Hebridean Cycle Challenge is getting close, with entry forms due to be returned by Saturday. The event this year is on Saturday June 17th, and will raise money for the Andrew Macleod Memorial Fund and Cardiac Risk in the Young – to support cardiac screening of young people locally in the islands. This year the challenge is being run in two parts – a 17-mile charity cycle from Lochside Arena to Carloway Community Centre via Bennadrove Road and Pentland Road, and a five-mile charity Walk from Tolsta Chaolais to Carloway Community Hall. This is a new off road walk designed by Carloway Estate that will be led by trained guides from the estate. The Hebridean Cycle Challenge is an event run by Lewis and Harris Youth Clubs Association in coordination with Carloway Estate Trust.  More details and entry forms are available from www.hebrideancyclechallenge.co.uk