Criomagan: round up of local news and events

Mary Lou Stilwell with a gown for healthcare staff

Broadford testing centre open until Saturday

The temporary Covid-19 testing centre set up for essential workers and their families at Broadford will be in place until Saturday 9th May.

The number of tests being done at the centre remains quite low so we encourage all those who think they may be eligible to book a test as soon as possible.

You must pre-book an appointment on line, please do not turn up without an appointment or you will be turned away

You can find out if you are eligible and book a test here:

Skye police issue advice

Police have responded to reports people who had tested positive for Covid-19 were still out and about in the community.

Skye councillor John Finlayson raised the matter and received the following response: “I can confirm that police have received a number of reports from members of the community and on each occasion, have attended and spoken to a number of persons and given suitable advice.

“I would like to reassure your constituents that police patrols will continue during this period and if they have any concerns I would continue to encourage them to contact ‘101’ and local officers will respond to each call as appropriate.”

Seamstresses aid the Western Isles

More than 200 hospital gowns have been made by local seamstresses over the past few weeks for NHS Western Isles. A number of disposable hats and masks have also been made.

NHS Western Isles would like to say a huge thank you to all those involved in making this Personal Protective Equipment to supplement our existing stocks.

The skilled seamstresses include Mary Lou Stilwell, Marjory Mackenzie, Morag Duncan, Nana Maclean, Anna Suslova, Larisa Spirina and Katie Macleod.

Virtual gallery in Uist

Anybody in Uist who is missing their visits to the Taigh Chearsabhagh arts centre in Lochmaddy should go online and enjoy their virtual gallery tours. At

You can take part in the Sheena Patience Virtual Cafe Exhibition, and plans are underway to deliver the centre’s children’s Saturday Club art classes in cyberspace. You’ll have to provide your own coffee and cake in the comfort of your living room, but a cyber Taigh Chearsabhagh is better than no Taigh Chearsabhagh at all!

Online visiting in Uist

Uist and Barra Virtual Visiting is now live in Ospadal Uibhist agus Bharraigh in Benbecula, enabling vital face to face conversations to happen between patients and the people that matter most to them in their lives, which is inevitably going to be instrumental in their recovery.

Skye climate action meetings

“How can Skye be sustainable in terms of its communities, environment and economy, as we emerge from Covid-19?”

That is the question that Skye Climate Action will discuss at two virtual meetings, being hosted by Atlas Arts, on Monday 11th May (7.30 – 9 pm) or  Tuesday 12th May, (10.30am -12 noon).

If you would like to join SCA’s Sustainability Conversation please email for the link.


After one of the hottest Aprils on record and with weather forecasters predicting dry conditions to continue, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service are warning of the increased risk of wildfire across most parts of the north of Scotland.

Wildfire in Wester Ross this week, Pic, Malcolm MacKenzie

Although the muirburn season is now closed, fires may start from other causes. Sparks from garden bonfires, the use of sky lanterns or the casually cast aside cigarette butt when exercising outdoors, can all start unwanted fires.

SNH and SFRS are particularly keen to ensure both land managers and the public take extra care to avoid wildfires during these difficult Covid-19 times.

New Mòd schedule confirmed

Following its decision to postpone the planned 2020 Royal National Mod in Inverness until October 2021, event organiser An Comunn Gaidhealach has now confirmed that a reorganisation of the schedule of National Mod host venues up to 2024 has been agreed. Oban has been selected to host the 2024 event.

With the Royal National Mod in Inverness now to take place between 8 and 16 October 2021, the dates for the other host areas are to be as follows.

  • Perth – 14-22 October 2022
  • Paisley – 13-21 October 2023.
  • Oban – October 2024 (dates to be confirmed when 2024 school term dates become available)

An Comunn President, Allan Campbell, said “This postponement of a National Mod for the first time, excluding the First and Second World War years, was surely as difficult a decision as An Comunn directors have ever had to make. We made it with great sadness, but with a clear recognition that it was unavoidably the right thing to do.”

An unaltered syllabus of prescribed music will be carried forward to the 2021 event in Inverness.

Covid helpline

Highland Council’s Covid helpline 0300 303 1362 which has been up and running since 25th March has now handled over 5000 calls.

The helpline provides support for those needing urgent help including those shielding or otherwise vulnerable and anyone interested in volunteering.

Message from council leader

Responding to the news of the outbreak of Coronavirus at Home Farm care home in Portree, Cllr Margaret Davidson, Leader of The Highland Council said: “I was profoundly sad to learn of the Coronavirus  outbreak at Home Farm care home and my thoughts are very much with those who have lost loved ones.

“This is a very difficult and anxious time for residents, families and staff, but I have been heartened by the response from NHS Highland and the council who have moved swiftly to support the community in Portree which has included the deployment by the army of a mobile testing unit.

“Skye is a very close family community who will be supporting and caring for one another and I just wanted them to know that the Council and its partners will do all we can to help and support them at this time.”