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Also in the news / No concrete issues, reduced opening hours, CLAN Yarns and more …

THERE appears to be no schools or other public buildings in Shetland where Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) has been used.

Shetland Islands Council, NHS Shetland and Shetland Recreational Trust have all confirmed that the potentially dangerous concrete is not an issue in any of their buildings.

A council statement read: “Through our building inspection, maintenance and repair programmes, Shetland Islands Council has not identified any buildings with Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC).”

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has warned that RAAC is now beyond its lifespan and may collapse with little or no notice.

Freedom of Information requests by the Scottish Liberal Democrats revealed a quite a few universities and colleges affected – but none belonging to the UHI network.


POPULAR Lerwick cafe Fjara has reduced its opening days from six to five due to staffing issues.

The café, on Sea Road, will now only be from Tuesdays to Saturdays.

In a message on social media management said they were hopeful to be able to open again on Sundays in the not too distant future.

“Of course, this not ideal for us, but at the given time, with the shortage of staff we are currently facing, we feel it is the best option for us,” they said.


A NEW Clan Cancer Support monthly peer support group to help reduce isolation for anyone in Shetland affected by a cancer diagnosis is starting this week.

Da Clan Yarns will take place on the first Wednesday of each month from 2pm – 4pm at Clan’s base in Islesburgh Community Centre in Lerwick.

The meeting will enable attendees to talk about their cancer journey in a safe space, with wellbeing advice and support available from Clan and professional guest speakers providing information about additional local services.

Clan’s Shetland area services coordinator Dorothy Jamieson said: “Da Clan Yarns was formed to provide a safe space in a non-medical environment for cancer patients, their carers, family and friends to promote mutual support and wellbeing amongst those attending and in doing that, we hope to reduce any feelings of isolation.

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“Each session will be hosted by Clan with our specially trained listening and support volunteers on hand. Anyone who wants to come along can contact us to find out more information and register to attend.”


The Gaada team (left to right): Jono Sandilands – Workshop/Publishing Coordinator, Amy Gear – Director, Shannon Leslie – Graduate focused on archives/shop Daniel Clark – Director
Photo: Mhari McLeman/HIE

AN ARTIST-led social enterprise that works with local communities to develop art activities held an open day at the weekend to mark the relaunch of its refreshed workshop.

Burra-based Gaada was founded by artists Amy Gear and Daniel Clark in 2018. Its work centres on a visual art workshop in a former Methodist Kirk where it delivers a programme that includes exhibitions, publishing and the development of local resources for artists.

The community interest company was awarded £48,017 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) towards the cost of transforming the building.

So far, this has enabled them to alter the interior and double their capacity for weekly one-to-one workshops as well as purchasing new equipment for screen printing and risograph, improving useability and overall efficiency.

Mhari McLeman, head of strengthening communities at HIE in Shetland, said: “Gaada is an incredible social enterprise and fair work employer, which has delivered an immense amount of impact in the five years since their creation.

“Our investment encourages it to grow further, which, in turn enables it to increase their social impact by removing the barriers for a growing number of individuals including underrepresented groups.”

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