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Also in the news / Call for kindness as fuel price rises, no smoking day and more…

PEOPLE are being reminded to be kind to staff at petrol stations as the cost of fuel rises.

Sound Service Station in Lerwick took to social media to stress that price increases are “completely outwith our control”.

“We set our minimal margin which remains the same no matter what price we pay to buy our fuel in,” the company said.

“Please be kind to our staff at this time, some of them have received negative comments already but please bear in mind that this isn’t their fault.”

Petrol is now sold in town for as much as 162.9 pence per litre, with further price increases expected.

SHETLANDERS are being asked to consider making an individually tailored plan on national No Smoking Day today (Wednesday) to give up smoking to improve both mental and physical health.

Although the smoking rate in the NHS Shetland area dropped to 20 per cent in 2018, more progress is required if the Scottish Government’s ambitious target of reducing the rate to five per cent or less by 2034 is to be met.

NHS Shetland health improvement practitioner Astryd Jamieson said: “Most people find quitting smoking a really hard thing to do, but it is possible with the right kind of support, designed to suit you.

“We offer specialist stop smoking support throughout the isles, where people can access free nicotine-replacement therapy (NRT medication) and regular behavioural support over the phone, or online.

“We are also due to trial our new group programme for people who have tried to quit several times in the past but are struggling. We are running this programme as a face-to-face service beginning in April.”

Help is available by contacting NHS Shetland’s health improvement department on 01595 807494 or email info@healthyshetland.com.

A PRIVATE, stand-alone 5G network has been switched on at the Kergord construction site for the interconnector cable which will link Shetland to the national grid.

The 5G network, funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, aims to test the potential of new digital technology and demonstrate tangible benefits, along with other stand-alone networks implemented across a range of industries.

It is the first time a stand-alone 5G network has been used on a construction site in the UK.

Contractor BAM Nuttall is collecting evidence of how the new technology can help improve safety, sustainability and increase collaboration.

LOCAL social enterprise and charity COPE Ltd is looking to recruit new voluntary directors.

COPE is currently governed by a board of seven serving directors, drawn from the local community. They come from all walks of life and bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table.

Several of the current directors have been with the organisation for a considerable length of time and are keen to see new faces join the team and help drive COPE’s strategic vision moving forwards.

Chair Neil Jamieson said: “Next year will see us celebrate our 25th year in business and we’re keen to attract additional directors to the board.

“Strength in numbers would really help us rise to the task of ensuring that COPE’s long-term future is secure, and the organisation develops in step with the needs of our community.”

They are particularly interested in hearing from people who have a background in HR, business, finance or legal services.

Anyone interested can contact Neil Jamieson on 07803 555 846, or vice chair John Tait on 07900 492 976.

VOLUNTARY Action Shetland has launched a new website to make it easier for local communities to access services for volunteering.

New features on the website include news and events, and resources for voluntary organisations.

Voluntary Action Shetland executive officer Lynn Tulloch said: “We are delighted to be launching our new website. We wanted to make it to be user friendly whilst providing relevant and key information to support the third sector.

“Some areas are still a working progress so keep an eye out for more exciting website area launches soon.”

SHETLAND MSP Beatrice Wishart has urged islanders to apply for membership of the board of Crown Estate Scotland, the public corporation which manages land, seabed and coastline across and around Scotland.

The organisation is keen to attract applications from people representing island communities. The closing date for completed applications is 18 March.

Wishart said: “This is a great opportunity to be involved in the direction that plans are taken for infrastructure growth in coastal and island communities. Where could a better voice for all this come from than Shetland?”