Delight as Kyleakin Connections project to take ownership of its home

The Kyleakin Connections team

Members of Kyleakin Connections – the vitally important project which helps adults with learning difficulties – are celebrating becoming owners of their long-time base.

The project has been successful with its application to the Scottish Land Fund and has been awarded £24,580 to buy the Old School in Kyleakin.

Kyleakin Connections, a charity formerly known as Skye and Lochalsh Association for Disability, has been using the building for nearly 30 years as a day resource for adults with learning disabilities.

This funding will allow Kyleakin Connections to buy the premises from Highland Council.

One of the team’s recent projects was a photography exhibition

The present services will continue to be delivered from the premises, including a range of activities which focus on increasing the independent living skills of the attenders, encouraging health and wellbeing and interacting with the wider community.

The Nice Café and Bookshop, operated by the attenders one day per week, has proved to be a popular enterprise.

The Old School is currently also being used by a number of local groups as a complement to the larger community hall.

The purchase of the building will open up other possibilities and plans are in progress to expand and develop the facilities to meet the present and future needs of groups, especially the more vulnerable, within South Skye and Lochalsh.

Last year staff members cycled from Edinburgh to Skye to raise funds

Dr Audrey Sinclair, Chairperson of Kyleakin Connections Board said: “We are delighted with the news.

“Not only will it allow us to carry on our normal services, we shall be able to expand our activities and extend the usage of the building to other groups in the community.

“Kyleakin Connections has been fortunate for many years to have a loyal group of members and friends and we are grateful for their support and encouragement with this project.

“I would also like to acknowledge the Highland Council, the present owners of the Old School, for their positive response to our request to purchase the premises.

“At a time of so much uncertainty and sad news during this Covid-19 crisis, it is refreshing to be able to bring some good news into the community and give everyone something to look forward to.

“We are especially looking forward to when we can hold an event to celebrate the acquisition of the premises.”

The KC members working on their camera skills with Simon Larson

Local Councillor John Finlayson said: “I am delighted to have been involved in the discussions about the purchase of the building and I also welcome the positive relationships that have been further established between the Highland Council and the Board of Kyleakin Connections, to further develop the exciting future of this important and community-based group who deliver such a key service.

“As someone who lives in the village of Kyleakin, I know how important Kyleakin Connections is to both the users and the local community.”