News round-up: New fitness challenge; limited Skye cycle cash; pupils make elderly pen pals; Lewis charity album

Month-long Skye fitness challenge

Following on from the Skye Camanachd’s outstanding fundraiser on the 16th May, Skye Events have picked up the baton to keep island residents active.

The 1st of June will signal the start of a month-long challenge ‘The Skye’s the Limit’.

Skye Events, which organises the Skye half marathon, is asking asking virtual teams of 4 to log as much mileage as they can – through walking, running or cycling their way through June.

“The aim of the event is to link up friends and families with a common goal, keep folk active and raise some money for Skye community response,” said Sam Crowe of Skye Events.

“Sadly, we are unable to offer the island the Skye Half Marathon in June this year, however we hope this event will give folk a reason to get out and be active.

“We are also encouraging participation from folk outwith the Island, enabling distant friends and family to form teams and keep in touch through the challenge.

“We have been delighted with the support of our regular sponsors, who have been so supportive of the event, offering a fantastic array of prizes to help motivation.”

To register for the event, simply send your team name to racemanagement@skye-events and you will be sent back a joining pack.

Teams will be asked to donate £20 to Skye Community response and record their mileage throughout June.

Prizes will be awarded for the most miles covered, the group who does them in the most ridiculous manner, the team who raises the most money, the biggest range of generations, the youngest and oldest group and widest geographical group.

Council cash for cycling and walking routes

Highland Council has been awarded over £750,000 to roll out a network of safe walking and cycling routes in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Following an ambitious bid by Highland Council, supported by NHS Highland, to deliver rapid active travel interventions in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, The Highland Council has been awarded £752,954 from the Scottish Government’s Spaces for People fund, which is administered by Sustrans.

The bulk of the work will take place in Inverness, but some work for signage and path widening is planned for Portree. Wick, Nairn, Fort William, Dingwall and Aviemore are also in line to benefit.

Covid-19 grants for small business

The Covid-19 small business and self-catering grant scheme, set up to help companies stay in business during the coronavirus crisis, has now paid out £56,286,250 million to 5135 Highland businesses.

New album for cancer charity

The Martin family from Lewis

Renowned Gaelic singer and musician Calum Martin is launching a new album to help raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.

The album Stoirm is released under the band name, O.L.C.O.T.E and features music written by Calum and guests from as far afield as the USA.

All the proceeds are going to Macmillan Cancer Support’s award-winning Isle of Lewis Fundraising Group.

The album is dedicated to ‘Granny Martin’ a very special lady and Calum’s mother. Catherine sadly passed away last year and for one of the songs on the album, ‘Feels Like a Storm’ her grandson sings in her memory.

All sales and downloads go exclusively to the charity.

The album is available to download here on iTunes or Spotify and to buy the CD here.

Portree pupils become pen pals with the elderly

Portree High School pupils have been taking part in a pen pal project to connect with elderly members of the community during the period of isolation.

Alzheimer Scotland set up the pen pal project and so far pupils of all years have written voluntarily, over 50 letters, and drawn many pictures too for residents in Home Farm and An Acarsaid care homes, and for people living with dementia in the wider area of Skye.

The letters and pictures have brought a smile and a bit of warmth to people living in isolation.