Local News for Tuesday 24th July 2018

This year’s Hebridean Celtic Festival looks set to become the most successful in its 23-year history after selling out all four nights.
Audiences from across the world enjoyed a wide range of acts in the Castle green venue, including headliners Deacon Blue, The Fratellis, Eddi Reader, Skipinnish and Roddy Woomble. HebCelt’s previous most successful year was in 2016 when Runrig appeared during a nationwide tour in support of their 14th - and last – studio album, The Story. An independent survey of the 2016 festival showed attendances reached 17,830 and it generated more than £2.2 million for the islands’ economy and helped safeguard 40 tourism-related jobs.

This year is on course to match or even overtake the 2016 attendance and income records. More than half the festival audience comes from outside the islands, and from as far away as Australia, Canada and the US as well as across Europe, demonstrating its important role in attracting people to visit the Hebrides.

Highlands & Islands Regional MSP and Shadow Health Minister, David Stewart, is delighted that NHS Western Isles have approved the dispensing of the diabetes glucose monitoring system – Freestyle libre, which allows diabetics to monitor their glucose levels in a much more discreet, free and easy manner with little inconvenience whatsoever. Mr Stewart said: “I asked the Government Minister, Aileen Campbell MSP, back in June within the Scottish Parliament, which NHS Boards in Scotland offered this advanced system and I was advised that seven Boards did, but none of those were in the Highlands & Islands”.
“I am delighted that NHS Western Isles is one of those taking the lead within the Highlands & Islands and now I would like to see all the other Boards do likewise.

A group of hardy competitors took on The Golden Eagle Challenge on July 14th raising over £5,000 for The Leanne Fund. The first ever duathlon organised by the charity took competitors on a 10.6 mile run and a 19.7 mile cycle around a scenic and in parts off road course in North Harris.

A tough course coupled with some adverse weather meant competitors were up against the elements but all rose to the challenge and crossed the finish line.
First male was Andrew Reeve
First female was Christina Mackenzie
First team – Mark Maciver and Murdo Alex Mackenzie

All funds raised through the event will go towards supporting those affected by Cystic Fibrosis and their families across the Highlands and Islands and Grampian.
Chrisetta Mitchell, Development Manager of the Leanne Fund said: “We are so grateful to the Coastguard and Mountain Rescue teams, Christopher Adams Scottish Ambulance Service and all the marshals and volunteers who assisted us on the day and especially Irene Morrison who catered for over 70 people - we couldn’t have done it without them.”
The prizes for competitors were created by the Isle of Harris Handmade Glass and Harris Distillers Ltd.
The Leanne Fund also extends a big thank you to Charlie Barleys who donated all the meat for the after-event feast for competitors.