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Also in the news / Seals touch down, Foinaven strike, sea-themed artwork, New Shetlander and recognition for Compass Centre

The four seals arrived on board two light aircrafts at Sumburgh Airport in late July. Photo: Ronnie Robertson

THIS photo shows four seals touching down at Sumburgh Airport earlier today (Tuesday) following a flight from the mainland as they prepare to be cared for at the Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary.

The seal pups have been taken north following an issue with water supply at an SSPCA rescue centre in Clackmannanshire.

Jan Bevington said the Hillswick sanctuary was “only too happy” to help by taking over the care of the pups.

A total of nine seals are set to be on the move following the problem with the water treatment system at the SSPCA centre.

More on this story can be found here.

AROUND 60 union members onboard the Foinaven floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO), 120 miles to the west of Shetland, have informed operator Altera and oil giant BP that they are to embark on an indefinite strike starting on 5 August.

Unite says its members onboard the vessel have been given a “significantly inferior” redundancy package compared with Altera’s onshore workforce.

All workers will be made redundant at the end of August when the vessel is towed to Hunterston Port, in Ayrshire. Production from the Foinaven field was suspended in 2021.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said its offshore members are being treated as second class employees after it emerged that Altera’s onshore staff are set to receive redundancy payments of one month’s salary for each completed year, while offshore members were being offered basic statutory redundancy.

A BP spokesperson responded saying: “Our focus remains on the safe removal of the Petrojarl Foinaven FPSO. We continue to work towards that and are liaising with Altera.”

Photo: Stephen Adamson

ARTWORK inspired and influenced by young people in Shetland is now gracing the windows of Sumburgh Airport’s departures lounge.

Children and young people from Lerwick, the West Mainland, the North Mainland, Whalsay and Fair Isle were involved in the sea-themed project. It takes the form of stained glass made by Rae Simpson.

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To celebrate the national Year of Coasts and Waters the council asked children and young people what this theme meant to them.

Their ideas and artwork formed the inspiration for the piece of stained glass art, which was recently unveiled at the airport.

The driving force behind the project was Shetland Islands Council’s youth and employability services, which put the call out for young people to get involved.

CELEBRATING 75 years in business, Scotland’s oldest literary, political and cultural magazine has just released issue number 298.

One of the main features in the summer issue of The New Shetlander is an investigation into rough justice in two communities in North Yell in medieval Shetland.

Meanwhile, discussing the pros and cons of standardising Shetland spelling author Christine De Luca responds to an article by Viveka Velupillai, who is the driving force behind the I Hear Dee local language project.

This issue’s editorial reflects on developments in Up Helly Aa, and the success of the recent Pride celebrations. Da wadder eye writer Jim Nicolson writes about Putin and Ukraine and the war’s repercussions, and comments on the cost of living, with a look at Finland.

The New Shetlander is on sale now, price £3.50.

THE COMPASS Centre’s commitment to the LGBT community has been recognised.

The Lerwick based charity – also known as Shetland Rape Crisis – has been awarded the LGBT charter at silver level after its team worked over the last year to make the centre as accessible as possible for LGBT survivors, volunteers and staff.

This has included the development of new policies, training for staff and board members, an audit of resources, increased use of social media, new pages on the website, public consultation, and special events throughout the year.

Access and inclusion project worker Emilie Smith explained: “This is a wonderful achievement for The Compass Centre and demonstrates that we take our commitment to equality and inclusion seriously.

“It is important to us that LGBTI+ people see their identities, experiences and issues reflected in our service.

“We hope that by achieving the Silver LGBT Charter, we can send a positive message that the Compass Centre is a champion of inclusion, where LGBT service users will be safe, supported and included.”

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