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News round-up / MP leads local media campaign, scheme to send anonymous letters to loved ones, ferry timetable changes

Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael.Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael. Photo: Shetland News

NORTHERN Isles MP Alistair Carmichael is leading a cross-party campaign asking the government to support local and independent media through an increased share of public health advertising spending.

His letter to the secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport has been supported by 40 MPs.

Carmichael said: “Local press are some of the most trusted sources of news for our communities and we must support them in this challenging time. They are vital to our efforts to respond and recover from the coronavirus and yet they are facing significant financial difficulties.

“This letter is about getting a fair share of government advertising spend for local and independent press, to reflect both their importance in our communities and their financial needs. The secretary of state for health has an important role in deciding where these advertising funds go.”

A NEW scheme has been set up to allow people to send anonymous letters to loved ones during the coronavirus crisis – raising money for local mental health charity Mind Your Head in the process.

The Letter for Lockdown campaign has so far raised £150, with money also due to go to the NHS Charities COVID-19 Appeal.

People can submit details they might want included in a letter “filled with positivity” to a loved one, and the campaign will write one and send it on anonymously in return for a donation.

Mind Your Head marketing officer and wellness practitioner Charity Johnson said: “We are so grateful that the fundraisers have chosen positive action.

“What a lovely thing to be able to brighten someone’s day with a small gesture, and at the same time, support the promotion of mental health and wellbeing in Shetland. We hope that the community will use this opportunity to stay connected despite the physical distance.”

THERE have been some more changes to the restricted inter-island ferry timetable.

The 6.30pm Ulsta to Toft sailing between Monday and Sunday will now depart at 6.35pm, with the 6.55pm Toft to Ulsta trip now leaving at 7pm.

Anyone who was booked on these sailings have been rebooked.

From 2 May the Fair Isle ferry will only sail on Tuesdays and Saturdays, with no journeys on Thursdays.