Shetland.org’s recently published list of 21 Great Reasons To Move To Shetland highlights an inspiring array of things that make Shetland’s islands an attractive place to move or return to, especially for young and economically active individuals and families.
The list spans the cultural, social, economic and environmental reasons that living in Shetland in particular is such an appealing prospect, but many of the reasons are applicable across Scotland’s Highland and Islands’ rural communities….
‘The island is home to thriving fishing, aquaculture, renewable energy and marine engineering industries, as well as a strong public sector, with jobs regularly available in areas like local government and health. Fast WiFi, quality infrastructure and the availability of funding also makes this a better place than many to start a new business’
‘It’s more connected than you think. Regular flights from Sumburgh mean that you can be in Edinburgh or Glasgow for a business meeting within a few hours of leaving home’
‘Commutes feature show-stopping scenery, and more wildlife than cars. Many Shetlanders report that their drive to work is actually a pleasure’
‘With more space, an ancient crofting culture and new investment in renewable energy, it’s also possible to lead a more sustainable existence on the islands.’
CoDeL is delighted to be leading on the economic impacts project.
Reports are now coming in from across the Northern Periphery and Arctic region on a wide range of relevant research and data from Canada to Finland, and including Ireland and Scotland.
Reports include analyses of comparative economic data from across the region; a look at the impact of Covid-19 on health systems in two small hospital districts in Finland; detailing the response to the pandemic by entrepreneurs in Greenland, Iceland and the Faroes; research on the impacts of Covid-19 across Atlantic Canada, the Nordic countries and the Highlands and Islands of Scotland; and human rights case studies looking at the tension between health and economic outcomes.
One of the key themes emerging is around resilience and adaptability to crises and how these factors may match with protective factors for better health outcomes.
To what extent do characteristics of remote and peripheral areas help localities and regions in meeting the challenges of Covid-19 and other crises?
And do we need to redefine peripherality, which has often been framed as a disadvantage, but has been seen to prove otherwise during the pandemic?
We look forward to drawing together the analysis and insights from all these projects during February of this year.
A new online programme from The Social Enterprise Academy, Visioning Healthy Rural Communities, is inviting people from across the north of Scotland, including our islands, to unite around visions of positive change in health and social care within community settings.
Do you want to be part of creating positive visions for health and social care, be inspired by other rural and island communities, and help shape the debates in your own community?
The Visioning Healthy Rural Communities programme begins on Thursday 11th February from 1-3pm. You can register here, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Register now to ensure a place on this programme which is already booking up fast!
Uist was congratulated yesterday by Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government Aileen Campbell on its recognition as a Social Enterprise Place.
Alongside Lewis and Govan, Uist received the award at an event that was hosted by Social Enterprise Scotland on January 21st and attended by over 60 people from across the country. A presentation on the importance of social enterprise to the island was made on behalf of Uist by Thomas Fisher and can be seen here.
Motion ref. S5M-23873 Uist and Lewis Recognised as Social Enterprise Places Submitted by: Alasdair Allan, Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Scottish National Party. Date lodged: Friday, January 15, 2021 Supported by: Annabelle Ewing, Kenneth Gibson, Emma Harper, Bill Kidd, Stuart McMillan, Gil Paterson, Stewart Stevenson
That the Parliament congratulates Uist and Lewis on being recognised as the first communities within the Social Enterprise Places Scotland scheme; notes that Social Enterprise Places are local areas where social enterprise activity is thriving; understands that the programme was launched in November 2019 and aims to promote, raise awareness and build markets for social enterprises; further understands that Scottish islands have the highest densities of social enterprises per capita in Scotland and generate 10% of all jobs for people under 40 in island areas; notes that social enterprises, which reinvest their profits to create positive change, provide vital services and infrastructure contributing to public life, particularly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and wishes social enterprise continued success during, and beyond, these challenging times.
Leis gach deagh dhùrachd
Alasdair Allan MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar email@example.com 01851 700357 20 Kenneth Street, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, HS1 2DR To sign up for my newsletter, please click here
An online event recognising Uist and Lewis as Social Enterprise Places is to be hosted by Social Enterprise Scotland on January 21st at 11am. The event will be attended by Aileen Campbell, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government, and representatives from Uist, Lewis and Govan (named ‘one to watch’) will talk about the important differences that social enterprise has made in their communities.
Social Enterprise Scotland will also be putting out a call for other communities to join the exciting new programme.
Scotland has long had a reputation for social enterprise activity and on the 21st January Social Enterprise Scotland are thrilled to recognise the impact of social enterprise as part of our Social Enterprise Places scheme. Uist and Lewis will be formally announced on Thursday 21 at an online event, attended by Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary, Aileen Campbell MSP. In addition, Govan will be highlighted as ‘one to watch’ in 2021.
Social Enterprise Places are local areas where social enterprise activity is thriving, from neighbourhoods, to villages, towns, islands and both urban and rural communities. Social Enterprise Scotland has been encouraging local areas to recognise themselves as Social Enterprise Places committed to developing and investing in their local areas. The programme aims to promote, raise awareness, and build markets for social enterprises. While 2021 remains a challenging time for many areas the pandemic has also highlighted the role that social enterprise plays in supporting their community and Social Enterprise Scotland want to make sure their work is highlighted.
Thomas Fisher, Director at CoDeL, representing Uist adds “In Scotland islands have the highest density of social enterprise per head of population. In Uist there are over 50 social and community enterprises, from large to very small, that are existential to the resilience, and thriving, of our island communities made up of 5000 people, including during Covid. We are delighted that Social Enterprise Scotland is recognising the role social and community enterprises have been playing on Uist for four decades in delivering to community needs, building community wealth, and developing our islands as attractive places to live and work. They also generate 10% of all jobs for people under 40 on the islands, enabling young people to return, stay or settle and contribute so much to our island communities.
Alasdair Nicolson, speaking for Lewis notes that “As an advocate of social enterprise and on behalf of Point and Sandwick Trust (PST), I welcome the recognition of Lewis as a Social Enterprise Place. This reflects the past and current development, leadership and entrepreneurship shown not only by Point and Sandwick Trust, but also of the other social enterprise actors, in Uig, Bragor, Carloway, Pairc, Galston and Tolsta, to name a few. As we look beyond the horizon we aim to create stronger communities, through further community led opportunities, and by creating employment and improving infrastructure at local levels. There are now many good examples which other communities can see and Point and Sandwick Trust, for our part, are happy to share as we share from others”.
The recognition of these communities has also been welcomed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
Margaret McSporran, Head of Social Enterprise Development at Highlands and Islands Enterprise, said:
“Social enterprises are a vital part of our community and economy in the Highlands and Islands and bring far reaching economic and community benefits across the region. They help create employment and skills opportunities, improve public services and support some of our hardest to reach individuals. We congratulate Uist and Lewis on becoming ‘Social Enterprise Places’ and welcome the recognition of these hotspots of social enterprise activity.”
Chris Martin, CEO at Social Enterprise Scotland said: “Congratulations to the new Social Enterprise Places, all brilliant areas full of thriving social enterprise activity. Our local community groups and social enterprises have really stepped up to lead during the pandemic lockdown period and this scheme is a great way to share this learning and best practice. We know that across Scotland there are many other places waiting to be recognised as exemplars and we look forward to highlighting them as we build on the Places programme. We were also pleased to welcome Govan as ‘one to watch’ noting, that while shining a light on our island communities, the scheme has also seen the impact of social enterprise in our largest city by population too”.
Ian Mitchell, CEO at CEISnotes “We are delighted that the huge potential of Govan has been recognised as a prospective Social Enterprise Place. Social enterprises already play a key role in the economic, social and cultural life of Govan securing jobs and delivering vital services across the community. The importance of Place will be even greater as we recover from the effects of the pandemic. We look forward to even deeper collaboration between enterprises and with the Council to truly make Govan a Social Enterprise Place”
The Social Enterprise Places Programme for Scotland was launched by Social Enterprise Scotland in November 2019 but delayed by the Covid-19 lockdown period. It builds on the programme originally developed by Social Enterprise UK, that recognised Callander as Scotland’s first ever Social Enterprise Place.
The programme is sponsored by The Scottish Government and the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Benefits of the programme will vary from place to place but we know from the experiences of SEUK that collaboration, shared learning and collective voices have all strengthened social enterprise places over time. We plan to build on this working with other partners who have an interest in Placemaking, community development and regeneration.
Social Enterprise Scotland is a membership organisation that represents social enterprise organisations across Scotland. There are over 6,000 social enterprises in Scotland, all organisations committed to supporting social/environmental outcomes. Scotland and many social enterprise organisations have played a pivotal role in supporting people and communities during the pandemic, something they were well placed to deliver and have a continued commitment for.
To learn more about Social Enterprise Places please contact Naomi Johnson: firstname.lastname@example.org
New inter-island commerse site Isle20 has provided an online platform for businesses throughout the islands to continue selling their produce during Covid , and is now boosting their Christmas sales to make up for income lost during summer’s lockdowns.
Dynamic island entrepreneur, Rhoda Meek, based on Tiree, reports:
It’s been so exciting to watch isle20.com go from strength to strength over the last few months – we have now got more than 500 island businesses listed, and 140 of them are selling in the isle20 shop!
We have over 2500 products to buy directly and after being featured in the Calmac newsletter we had our highest grossing sales day last month. The site stayed up despite hundreds of visitors a minute – which was the biggest worry!
So far we reckon we have generated over £40,000 for small island businesses and we’re not done yet – watch put for exclusive gift boxes, a giveaway in partnership with CalMac and we have gift cards available for those last minute Christmas panics!
CoDeL is delighted to have secured additional funding under its Leader-funded Smart Islands project, for feasibility work on ‘Uist Life’ to develop a technology-based platform to give greater value and visibility to the rich environmental, cultural and community assets within Uist for local islanders, community organisations and visitors, and to benefit our island communities and local economy.
This funding allows CoDeL to recruit for 3 short-term posts under the Smart Islands project.
Community Engagement Officer, Uist Life: 260 hours @ £19 an hour (total £4940)
Digital Consultant, Uist Life: £7000 for 20 days or more of consulting
Website and Social Media Support, Smart Islands Project: 50 hours @ £20 an hour (total £1000)
Following our weekly discussions with younger islanders and others, we drew up a community letter to our island MSP, Alasdair Allan … with more than 40 signatures, over a quarter from accommodation providers, and a quarter from younger islanders, mainly young leaders. See the letter here: Community letter to MSP 15Jun20
Of course, not every islander agrees fully with the letter, and we continue to have diverse discussions with people with different viewpoints during these challenging times.