The Minister for Older People and Equalities, Christina McKelvie, was on Skye this week as part of her tour of the west Highlands looking at projects that tackle social isolation and loneliness.
During a visit to Rag Tag n Textile in Broadford on Monday, the minister inspected the ‘cabin’ where small items of furniture will be upcycled and mixed media crafts undertaken.
She said: “I am looking at a number of projects, especially ones that are a bit further away, in rural areas, where you can see the difference they make to people’s lives. These projects create circumstances were people feel included, learn skills and get motivated to make a change.
“The big issue we have just now is climate change and upcycling and reusing is a huge theme of what happens here at Rag Tag. There are people here with complex disabilities, acquired disabilities, and that sense of social isolation impacts on their lives.
“When you come here you can use your talent and humour and are able to create connections and build social circles and improve confidence.”
Ms Mckelvie also visited Crossroads Care and Women’s Aid in Portree, before heading off to see projects in Fort William and Oban.
Rag Tag tutor and workshop coordinator Sarah Berry added: “The minister was really receptive and listened – that’s what the students said afterwards. She did seem down to earth and someone who listened. She took to the time to speak to the students and was particularly interested in rural isolation and hearing how Rag Tag can help people feel less isolated.
“She also took on board general comments about living on Skye and the issue of public transport.”
Article by Michael Russell