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Also in the news / North schools funding boost, OPEN Project pitch, farm payments

Urafirth Primary School. Photo: Richard Webb (licensed for reuse under creative commons)

THE THREE Northmavine schools are to benefit to the tune of £750 thanks to a fundraising open weekend at Hillswick’s Weaving Shed gallery.

The weekend allowed people to view exhibitions as well as purchase artwork and items of music memorabilia.

Following the event the Urafirth, North Roe and Ollaberry schools will each receive £250 to go towards environmental projects.

One exhibition on show at the Weaving Shed related to the acclaimed Climate Change Children’s Voices Book, which features some of Northmavine’s young artists.

Gallery owner Geoff Jukes said: “These open days gave many people a wonderful opportunity to see the work of the Weaving Shed Gallery.

“Other artist exhibitions are planned for this summer, starting this Friday 17 June with an exhibition of locally made jewellery and woodcarving.”

A YOUTH mentor who works with Shetland-based peer-mentoring organisation OPEN Project has won a national pitching competition – landing the group a £700 boost.

Jess Carlyle.

Jess Carlyle, 23, was awarded the funding after presenting a three-minute pitch about OPEN’s innovative work with young people to a judging panel.

She was one of 12 candidates who took part in the competition, which marked the end of the Circle Academy’s 14-week Scottish Government-funded online social entrepreneurship programme.

In her presentation, Carlyle described how OPEN recruits and trains young people, aged 16-25, to become ‘peer educators’.

The organisation works to raise awareness and encourage positive lifestyle choices, especially on issues concerning substance use, relationships, sexual health and mental health.

Carlyle, the project’s organisation development lead, said the £700 award will help turn OPEN into an independent charity and will also support ongoing training for young people, including residential courses.

“The Academy came at the perfect time for me because it helped me learn more about things like business planning, legal structures, and governance,” she said.

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“I don’t think I would have thought about business planning at all if I hadn’t joined the Academy.

“We want to put the money back into the young people in our community.  Since 2013, the project has delivered 466 workshops to over 6,000 young people.

“This has had an invaluable impact on young people’s abilities to make informed decisions around their health and wellbeing in Shetland.”

ANNUAL farm payment dates are to be brought forward to September, in an effort to support the sector with cash flow and the cost of living crisis.

Rural affairs secretary Mairi Gougeon has confirmed that, subject to the approval of the Scottish Parliament, farmers and crofters will receive their advance payment for the Basic Payment Scheme and Greening around a month earlier than originally planned.

The decision follows a request from farming groups in Scotland to relieve immediate inflationary pressures and protect jobs in Scotland’s food and drink sector.

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