Eilean a’ Cheò civic awards presented

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Individuals and schools from Skye and Raasay recently received recognition of the important contribution they make to their communities during the Eilean a’ Cheò civic awards ceremony held in Portree.

This is the sixth year of the awards which are organised by Skye and Raasay councillors to recognise people from all age groups and walks of life who have contributed to the success and wellbeing of their local communities.

broadford-sports-pitch-2Nicholas Kelly (pictured left) from Broadford received the young people award after being nominated by Broadford and Strath Community Council for working tirelessly with the youth club in Broadford to provide a safe and fun place for young people in south Skye. He also runs the local football teams for various age categories, which encourages the children of the area to become more active, and he spends many voluntary hours organising soccer sevens tournaments and other football events as well as ensuring that the football pitch is well maintained. Members of the youth club are now following his example by volunteering to help with other events for younger children within the community.

Raasay Community Council successfully nominated Roger Hutchinson (right) for a sports roger-hutchisonaward for his contribution to football since moving to the island 17 years ago. Roger has given of his time to coach children and young people on a regular weekly basis, including coaching in Raasay Primary School. Some of the boys he has coached are now regulars in football teams in the Skye and Lochalsh League and some of the girls are in the high school teams.

The arts/music award went to the pupils at Dunvegan and Portree primary schools who were nominated by volunteer music tutor Nan Cleghorn. The children in both schools have been encouraged to read music and play an instrument of their choice. They have entertained on many occasions over the years including at the Home Farm nursing home, Budhmor residential home, school concerts, the charity Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland and the Dunvegan Show and gala.

SUSAN WALKER 5 adjSusan Walker (above) from Camuscross received the enterprise award after being nominated by Camuscross and Duisdale Initiative. She has been key to the success of the initiative since it was founded in 2007.

The initiative’s biggest project to date is An Crùbh community hub, comprising of a shop and post office, cafe, toilets, meeting room and multi-use hall. It will open its doors formally at Easter, providing around seven full-time equivalent jobs and ultimately generating funding to support further community projects.

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Finally, the environment award went to Alistair McPherson (pictured above with Alison MacLennan) from Broadford who has volunteered with the Broadford and Strath Community Company for environmental improvements in the area for the benefit of the community. Projects include improvements to the path from the hospital road to the college in Broadford and the instatement of the polytunnels and allotment areas. Alistair was also the initiator of the flower planters at the entrances to the village and one of the main organisers involved in ensuring that Christmas trees and decorations are erected.

Councillor Drew Millar, chair of Highland Council’s Isle of Skye and Raasay Committee, congratulated all the winners. He said: “We had very difficult decisions to make as everyone nominated was worthy of receiving an award. Often such people work quietly behind the scenes without a fuss. There is a lot of hard work and voluntary effort that goes unrecognised in the ward and this is a way of showing our appreciation and saying thank you and well done.”