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News round-up / Brynn bags BBC sports award nomination, childcare pilot, bairns’ bike success, Althing needs committee members

Brynn Hauxwell.

A TEENAGER from Yell who embarked on a gruelling wheelchair challenge for charity has been nominated for a prize at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards.

Brynn Hauxwell is one of five people nominated in the new Young Unsung Hero category at the respected awards.

The 15-year-old recently finished a charity challenge in which he pushed himself 1,679 miles – the equivalent of Shetland’s coastline – in his wheelchair.

He has raised over £6,000 for Ability Shetland. You can read more about his challenge here.


SHETLAND is one of five council areas in Scotland picked for a pilot project delivering extra funded childcare for families wanting to defer their child’s entry into primary one.

Currently, it is up to councils whether to fund early learning and childcare (ELC) for children born between August and December who defer entry to primary one.

Children with a birth date in January or February who defer school entry, however, are automatically entitled to another year of funded ELC.

The pilot projects will help better understand how many parents decide to take up the offer of a further year of funded ELC ahead of it becoming a universal right from August 2023.

Funding of nearly £3 million is being provided in Angus, Argyll and Bute, Falkirk, Scottish Borders and Shetland Islands councils for the pilots.

Children’s minister Maree Todd said: “From August 2023, all families will be able to access a further year of funded quality early learning and childcare (ELC) if they want their child to defer entry to primary school.

“This will ensure that all children who defer have an equal right to funded ELC if their parent or carer feels it is in their best interests.

“Any families considering deferral, including those in non-pilot local authorities, should contact their local authority and visit the Parent Club website to find out more.”


Back Row: youth development worker Loren Manson, Active Schools co-ordinator Danny Peterson. Middle row: Bobby, Keira, Lily-Belle, Austin, Chloe, Missy, Rhianna, Stella, Zara. Front: Ava, Leah, Caterina, Adam. Photo: SIC

THIRTEEN primary seven pupils from Brae High School have completed their Level 2 Bikeability programme.

The bairns have just finished a six-week training course, aimed at giving them the skills and confidence to cycle on single-lane roads and navigate simple junctions.

All pupils across Shetland are offered cycle training at Levels 1-3, coordinated by Shetland Islands Council’s active schools team.

Active Schools’ Danny Peterson said: Riding a bike is a fantastic way to get exercise, and has been very popular over the past months as families find new ways to get out and about in the fresh air.

“It’s really important, though, that children get the training they need to be safe on the roads. I’d like to say well done to all the Level 2 Brae pupils – and to those in all Shetland’s schools who are going through their training.”


ANYONE with an interest in becoming a member of the Althing debating society’s committee is being encouraged to come forward.

The Althing held an online AGM recently and it elected office bearers, but no new members were willing to join the committee.

It was decided to keep activity on hold until there are more volunteers and rules relax.

Caroline Henderson is the new chair of the Althing, while Robbie McGregor is the new vice-chair.

Scottish Parliament election, 6 May 2021