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Community / Halls continue to go the extra mile for those in need during powercut

The South Nesting hall is one of many in Shetland which have opened this week – and people of all ages have been along for a bite to eat, a chat and some warmth

Photo: South Nesting Public Hall

THEY have not just provided welcome warmth and hot food – but the hubs set up for people suffering from the lengthy power cut in Shetland are also bringing the community together.

A network of venues – mainly public halls – have opened their doors in recent days to help those without power. A regularly updated list of opening hours can be found here.

Some have managed to open thanks to generators being brought in – while a couple of halls have even been given a washing machine/tumble drier each free of charge from George Robertson.

One warm place which has been open this week is the South Nesting Hall.

Chairperson Adam Priest said it has been a “busy few days”.

The committee initially delivered soup around the community before opening its doors for all on Thursday.

“We realised on Tuesday with the damage to the lines around Catfirth that it was going to be a long power outage,” Priest said.

“Luckily the hall had soup in the freezer left over from the senior citizens party at the weekend, and gas to heat it up.

“We concentrated on the all-electric sheltered houses at Stendaal on Tuesday. Wednesday we did the same, but also put out pizzas in addition to the soup.”

Later that night the DH Marine team hooked up a generator, so the hall opened up on Thursday while the deliveries continued.

Barry (left) and Fergus Cranie stopping by the hall.

The committee put on some hot food, while the hall also benefitted from donations of dry food which have been distributed around the isles by energy company SSE.

Priest said around 40 folk came by on Thursday – “from babies to pensioners” – and they even fed some of the SSE linesmen working in the area, “who were really needing it”.

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Priest said people in South Nesting have obviously been very concerned about the vulnerable in the community.

“Janice Morrison was providing her neighbours in Stendaal with soup and hot water all the time,” he said.

“There was also a 99 year old lady who was discharged from hospital on Monday, her family were obviously quite concerned for her.

“We tried to support them as best we could but it’s difficult when you’re dealing with such a long outage.

“We had little mobile signal for a big part of the power cut, so thanks has to go to CDCN [Community Development Company of Nesting] community worker Mark Ratter who communicated with SIC on our behalf.”

Priest said he said he would like to thank the “fantastic” hall committee and local people who have come to help.

Power did return to South Nesting on Thursday evening, but there are still some parts of North Nesting off.

For those in the Nesting community that remain without power the hall will be open today (Friday) between 12pm and 2pm for use of the shower and ovens, and for charging phones.

As of 10.45pm last night around 1,700 properties in Shetland remained without power after supply was cut on Monday following heavy snow and ice, with the Westside the worst affected.

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