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Also in the news / Skeld Burns supper, bravery awards, telecom consultation, dementia grant, and more…

The haggis was piped in by Lance Hampton.

PEOPLE in Skeld and surrounding communities were treated to a proper Burns supper last week – including the haggis being piped into the room, and a Scottish dance band to entertain folk until the early hours.

One of the organisers, Sharon Deyell, said the celebration on 25 January was quickly organised when it became clear Nicol Mclaren & the Glencraig Scottish Dance Band, in in Shetland for Up Helly Aa, were around and willing to play at the event.

“Tickets sold out very quickly as there didn’t seem tae be many Burns Supper celebrations for folk to go to,” she said.

“There were quite a few tourists a look so that wanted to come to see a Burns Supper as they had nivir seen it before, there was a couple from America here on holiday also a French man!”

Lance Hampton who has recently moved to Shetland from America piped in the haggis while Skeld man Jim Crooks carried it before Nicol Mclaren delivered the address in true Scottish style.

“It was a very lively night as da dancing nivir stopped,” she said.


Constable Crawford and sergant McCabe with their awards. Photo: Police Shetland

TWO POLICE officers stationed in Shetland were presented with bravery certificates from the Society for the Prevention of Life from Fire today (Thursday).

Sergeant McCabe and Constable Crawford received the awards for the role they played when emergency services were called to a house fire in Lerwick on 24 January last year.

One person was taken to the Gilbert Bain Hospital as a result of the fire.


Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael.

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MP Alistair Carmichael has called on islanders to give their views to an Ofcom consultation on telecommunications resilience to express local concern over the planned shutdown of the wire copper network.

“I would urge anyone with an interest in the resilience of telecommunications in the isles to take part in the consultation before it ends. More than most our communities have a stake in keeping these systems working and reliable,” the Northern Isles MP said.

“There are serious concerns about the impact of the copper wire switchover, as well as in the future of mobile connections and other emergency networks.

“This cannot be left to the market alone. The regulator and the government must take a strong hand to ensure fairness and security.

“The flurry of storms we have had at the start of this year are a reminder that disruption can be unexpected both in its timing and its impact. I do not want us to discover too late that the resilience we expect in our communications is no longer the resilience that we get.”

The consultation can be found here. The deadline for responses is 1 March.


NOMINATIONS for the top talents from the commercial fishing industry are being sought for this year’s Fishing News awards.

With less than two weeks remaining until nominations close, Fishing News editor Andy Read said there was still time to nominate a fisherman deserving of recognition.

“If you’re a vessel owner with an outstanding new recruit onboard, a fisherman who has been mentored by an inspirational skipper, or a training college with a first-class student, we need your nominations to ensure that our shortlists really do represent the very best of the talent from around the UK and Ireland,” he said.

Nominations close on 12 February and can be made here. The winners will be announced at a gala ceremony in Aberdeen on 8 May.


SHETLAND Community Connections has received a £16,840 grant to support the growth of community-led work for people living with dementia, their carers and family members.

The grant will support the organisation to fund transport costs in an effort to overcome the barriers of Shetland’s rural and remote geography and support people living with dementia to engage in meaningful community activities.

The organisation is one of 12 projects who have been awarded funding through the second strand of the Encouraging and Supporting Grassroots Activity (ESGA) Fund), which aims to address gaps in support for people living with dementia and unpaid carriers, break down barriers to support, and empower people to live well within their communities.

Shetland Community Connections manager Jane Haswell said: “Our ‘Getting there…’ project will work closely with organisers of activities as well as people living with dementia.

“As community connectors we understand how important transport is to break the cycle of social isolation and support active citizenship for all.

“To support wider change the evaluation of this project will provide evidence for future strategy discussions around travel in all its forms across Shetland and Remote and Rural Scotland.”

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