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Also in the news / Councillor meets Iceland’s PM, vaccination progress, volunteer awards

A SHETLAND councillor has been rubbing shoulders with Icelandic prime minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir.

Green councillor Alex Armitage, who was elected to represent Shetland South in May’s local elections, met with Jakobsdóttir at the Althing – Iceland’s parliament – in Reykjavík yesterday afternoon (Monday).

She belongs to Iceland’s left-green political party and has served as prime minister since 2017.

Armitage is currently in Iceland visiting family but took the opportunity whilst in the country to connect with fellow Green political allies.

He said: “It was a great privilege to meet with Katrín and discuss many of the issues that Shetlanders and Icelanders have in common, relating to our coastal economy, renewable energy resources and the need to include everyone’s voice in our transition to a socially just, sustainable society.

“Iceland is a great illustration of a society that has made full use of its ability to govern itself according to its own unique needs and opportunities. I can see a time in the not too distant future in which Scotland and indeed Shetland can follow this example. As neighbours in the North Atlantic, there are many ways that I can see Shetland and Iceland collaborating and learning from one another in future”

The councillor said the prime minister was “really interested” in hearing about Shetland – a place she has visited previously for the Shetland Noir crime writing festival.

MORE than 5,200 Covid vaccinations and 6,100 flu vaccinations given have been given out in Shetland since the beginning of September.

The programme will continue running until the beginning of December.

NHS Shetland said it has tried to contact all those aged 65 and over, and has nearly completed calling all those in risk groups to offer an appointment.

“We will shortly be sending a letter to all those aged 50-64 to invite them to make an appointment,” a spokesperson said.

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“We will also send letters to those in the other groups who we were unable to contact by phone and who have not yet been vaccinated to make sure that everyone is invited.”

Anyone who is eligible for the Covid and flu vaccines and has not yet had them can contact the vaccination team by phone on 01595 743319, or by email to

There will also be the option for walk-in clinics, with the dates and times due to be advertised later this week.

VOLUNTARY Action Shetland (VAS) has developed a new awards ceremony which will recognise volunteering undertaken in the community by all ages.

A competition will be held in the run up to the first year of delivery to determine the name of the awards’ two categories.

There will be one category for adults aged 26 and over, and one for children aged 11 and under.

The awards will complement the national Saltire Awards scheme, which VAS deliver annually to recognise young people aged 12 to 25.

By developing the new awards scheme, VAS wants to celebrate people of all ages in Shetland who contribute to volunteering and deserve recognition for this.

This follows on from its successful Shetland Community Spirit Award, which recognised people who had helped others during the pandemic.

In the run up to launching the volunteering awards in June 2023, VAS will be accepting entries to name the new award categories and these entries should be related to Shetland, such as its culture, heritage, local place names, dialect words, events in history, names of geographical interest or landscape.

VAS would like to encourage anyone to enter from now until 26 January.

Entries can be made by filling in a short online form or by contacting the VAS volunteering team via email at phone via 01595 743910 or in person at Market House in Lerwick.

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