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News round-up / Thousands raised for NHS, virtual debating programme, Orkney’s green success recognised

Peter and Karen Wood: 'truly humbled by the generosity of people'.

HUSBAND and wife team Peter and Karen Wood, from Hoswick, are set to hand over more than £8,000 to the NHS Shetland endowment fund after their fundraising efforts generated 16 times their initial target.

For the last few weeks, well-known accordionist Peter was playing for NHS staff on his Facebook page against an initial fundraising target of a moderate £500.

That target was reached within half an hour after setting up the fundraising webpage on 19 April. Two days later the Woods had already reached over £2,000.

Karen Wood said on Monday: “We are truly humbled by the generosity of people in Shetland and worldwide that have donated to this worthy cause.

“We wanted to raise £500 and never imagined our total would exceed £8,000. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”

NHS Shetland chief executive Michael Dickson said the Woods’ “wonderful fundraising project” had given the community joy during difficult times.

“As someone who is not from Shetland, Peter’s playing has introduced me to the beauty and warmth of locally-composed music,” he said.

“I enjoyed coming home after a long day and listening to Peter on Facebook. What touched me most is his especially composed piece NHS Shetland, which was enough to bring a tear to the eye!

“Thank you Peter and Karen for a wonderful effort and to everyone in the community who supported you.”


Debate Night host Steven Jardine.

THE BBC Scotland Debate Night programme is virtually travelling north and is seeking an audience from Orkney and Shetland to question a studio panel from their computer or mobile phone.

Hosted by Stephen Jardine, the programme will be aired on Wednesday 13 May and will be available to watch via iPlayer.

“This is an important chance to discuss the issues that matter to you and get your voice heard. You lead the agenda – your questions will be put to those who influence how Scotland is run and will define the direction of the programme,” Jardine said.

“Maybe you are a key worker; have been self-isolating or your work has been affected by coronavirus? Whatever your situation, we want you to apply and be part of the discussion.”

Anyone interested in being part of the virtual audience is asked to fill in the form found at this link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/send/u39873202


ORKNEY’s ongoing work to create a sustainable energy future has been recognised as it came third in the first ever European Union responsible island prize.

The Danish islands of Bornholm and Samsø were first and second respectively.

The competition was launched in March 2019 by the European Commission to discover and reward European islands that were making real steps towards building proper sustainable communities.

Since 2013, Orkney has generated over 100 per cent of its electricity demand from renewable power sources. There are now over 300 jobs related to renewables, over 700 individual energy generators and technology investors, and 12 large-scale wind turbines.

Around 10 per cent of the homes in Orkney have microgeneration installed (compared to 2.8 per cent UK average) providing clean energy and income locally.

Co-chair of the Orkney Renewable Energy Forum Gareth Davies said: “The success that has been achieved since has well and truly been led from within Orkney all be it with major support from others.”