News / West Side parents asked to provide packed lunches for children

The Happyhansel Primary School in Walls. Photo: Malcolmson Architects

PARENTS at two primary schools on the west side of Shetland have been asked to temporarily provide packed lunches for their children due to a canteen vacancy.

SIC children’s services director Helen Budge confirmed that a vacant post in the kitchen at Happyhansel in Walls, which also provides meals for pupils in nearby Sandness, meant school meals were unable to be provided.

Budge said it was a regrettable matter and she hoped it would be a “very interim measure”, and “all different avenues have been explored thoroughly” as the local authority continues efforts to fill the vacancy.

“It is not a situation we would want to see continue beyond a very minimum amount of time,” she told councillors at the start of Monday’s meeting of the education and families committee. “It’s really disappointing and vexing for parents.”

Budge said the meals were normally made at Happyhansel for both schools and then transported to Sandness.


“We’ve had a resignation so we have been advertising for staff for the canteen to provide the meals, and unfortunately we’ve been unsuccessful in recruiting,” she said.

The schools service looked at whether meals could be brought in from other schools but there were “concerns about keeping the food hot travelling that kind of distance”.

Later in the meeting, North Mainland councillor Emma Macdonald was assured that any parents whose children receive free school meals would receive a payment to cover the cost of providing a packed lunch.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.