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News round-up / Volunteering awards, renewed call for fatal accident inquiry, surprise donation, baby box success

127 young volunteers received their awards on Tuesday night. Photo: dave Donaldson

YOUNG people in Shetland have given more than 20,000 hours of their time to volunteering in the community during 2018.

At the annual Shetland Saltire volunteering awards on Tuesday, 127 volunteers between the ages of 12 and 25 received more than 290 certificates recognising the contribution they made.

At the event at Mareel, volunteers received their awards from local MSP Tavish Scott – including five Saltire summit awards, the highest accolade.

Youth volunteer development worker for Voluntary Action Shetland Neil Pearson said: “The Saltire Awards ceremony is an annual event but volunteering is going on every day in our community, it is so important and so many of the activities we participate in simply would not happen without volunteers.

“It is truly humbling to see just how many of our young people have embraced this message, we are incredibly proud of every one of them”.

ISLANDS minister Paul Wheelhouse has said it was outwith his remit to intervene in the decision-making process of the Lord Advocate on whether a fatal accident inquiry (FAI) will be held into the Super Puma helicopter crash off Shetland in August 2013.

The minister was responding to renewed calls from local MSP Tavish Scott who said in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday that the government should impress upon the Crown Office the need for such an inquiry.

“Six years of delay is simply not acceptable. Families and friends don’t yet have answers to the basic questions of what happened and why. Nor do they know whether or not prosecutions will happen,” Scott said.

“An increase in resources to deal with Fatal Accident Inquiries is welcome, but that doesn’t provide the families with the answers they deserve. It also means lessons can’t be learned.”

Wheelhouse said: “Investigations of deaths and decisions into fatal accident inquiries are, as I’m sure the member is aware, a matter for the Lord Advocate acting independently.

“I cannot intervene directly in the decision making of the Lord Advocate but we are making resources available to hold more fatal accident inquiries.”

ShetlandPeerieMakkers, which provides knitting lessons for primary age children across the isles, has welcomed a generous donation from Michigan in the United States.

Heritage Spinning and Weaving, at Lake Orion, Michigan, held a Fair Isle Day workshop where three women shared their talents for Fair Isle knitting at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.

During the event, the trio – Debbie Wood, Joan Sheridan and Cherie Cornick – held a raffle and raised $1,202 (£910) to support ShetlandPeerieMakkers’ work in bringing back traditional knitting skills and knowledge.

Prizes for the draw were provided by local knitter Hazel Tindalland Jamieson’s of Shetland Knitwear.

Brough Lodge Trust manages the initiative and chairman Pierre Cambillard said: “This donation confirms that Shetland’s knitting tradition means so much to people not only in Shetland but also around the world. Hand-knitting is a part of Shetland’s culture and ShetlandPeerieMakkers is a project that helps ensure its future.”

A TOTAL of 335 baby boxes have been shipped to new parents in Shetland since the scheme began in April 2017.

Around 80,000 free baby boxes – which include essential items like clothes, books, towels and thermometers – have been delivered by the Scottish Government across the country, with a new design set to be launched on Mother’s Day.

Children and young people minister Maree Todd said: “We are committed to giving every child the best start in life, and we do this by ensuring that every family with a newborn has access to essential items needed in the first six months of a child’s life through the baby box.”