Barra youth see the light in Castlebay games hall

barra lights


The Barra Youth Council were celebrating this week after Comhairle nan Eilean Siar finally got round to fixing the lights in the games hall at Castlebay Community School.

Members of the BYC wrote a letter in June asking the comhairle’s education department to replace the bulbs in the hall, many of which have stopped working over the last couple of years, making it difficult to play sport in the hall.

This week, one member said: “It is much easier to play badminton, now that we can see the shuttlecocks.” Another BYC member stated: “Sports are now more enjoyable and it is great that we have all the lights fixed.”

The Barra Youth Council, in partnership with Community Learning and Development, have taken part in a youth consultation and have helped collate the views of young people that live on Barra and Vatersay.

Over 60 young people took part in this consultation and identified the main issues that affect them, with 38 per cent saying mobile phone and internet coverage is the main issue; 34 per cent viewing better sports facilities as most important; 11 per cent wanting better street lighting; 9 per cent highlighting getting jobs and 8 per cent transport links.

Katie Denehy, Community Learning and Development worker said: “The young people of Barra and Vatersay have over the years highlighted issues that affect them and have made a real difference to their community. They have petitioned for Orange network on the island, met with MSPs at the petition committee and raised the issue of wi-fi on all Caledonian MacBrayne ferries in the Western Isles. It is a delight to continue working with the young people, in helping them raise these issues and help to turn their aspirations into a reality.”

The Barra Youth Council are working on trying to get an all-weather pitch for Barra and have organised a petition, conducted several surveys, met with MP Angus Brendan MacNeil and are aiming to engage with “Fixtures”, a charitable organisation which helps young people aged 16-25 years old raise issues that affect them in the community.