Local News for Tuesday 10th October 2017

Big swim triumph for Colin
Stornoway open water swimmer Colin S Macleod has completed his latest, and toughest, sea challenge, coming ashore at Ullapool at 7.30pm on Sunday to the sound of pipes and cheers from supporters. Colin and Norman Todd from Ullapool swam from Achlochan by Achiltibuie to Ullapool – 14 miles of cold Highland seas including the length of Loch Broom – a swim that hasn't been done before in autumn cold seas. The swim was meant to highlight the potential for wild swimming and to support the Living Seas Project, which carries out beach cleans and conserves and promotes north west Highlands sealife. The duo, who admitted they had ‘never been so cold’, came ashore in the dark but were greeted by a good crowd on the beach at Ullapool. Colin later had to get aboard the freight crossing on the MV Loch Seaforth to be back in Stornoway in time for work at 9am yesterday. They’ve raised more than three times the amount they aimed for, with £2,865 given via JustGiving, all of which will be donated to highland 'Dolphin Snorkellers' – a project that teaches kids how to snorkel and takes them out into the sea to see marine life first-hand.

Kids’ flu vaccine call
Parents of two to five-year-olds year olds in the Western Isles are encouraged to join the fight against flu this winter, by ensuring their children get their flu vaccination. GP practices across the NHS Western Isles area will provide the free nasal flu vaccine with primary school children getting their vaccination at school in October. By reducing transmission of the virus, particularly to at-risk groups like the elderly, the child flu vaccination programme is expected to eventually prevent an estimated additional 200 deaths per year, and 1,100 hospitalisations from flu across Scotland. Dr Maggie Watts, flu immunisation coordinator for NHS Western Isles, said “It’s very important that children between the ages of two and five receive the nasal flu vaccine this winter. The vaccine is the best defence against flu and not only helps to help protect your children, but also helps to reduce the spread of the virus amongst others. Getting the vaccine itself only takes a few minutes; it’s painless and will provide protection for up to a year.”