Eilean a’ Cheò Civic Awards 2017


Individuals and schools from the Isle of Skye and Raasay have received recognition of the important contribution they make to their communities during the Eilean a’ Cheò Civic Awards held in Portree yesterday (Monday 18 December).

This is the seventh year of the Awards which are organised by the Ward 10 Eilean a' Cheò Councillors to recognise people from all age groups and walks of life who have contributed to the success and wellbeing of their local communities.

The Arts/Music Award was presented to Dinah Rankin from Kilmaluag who was nominated by Kilmuir Community Council. 

They say: “Dinah is totally committed to the Trotternish area, and works tirelessly to support and encourage the children of the area, specifically over the past year when she has run an after-school club to prepare children for the Local and National Mods. 

“Clann Throndairnis enjoyed huge success in Fort William at the National Mod with the children winning a huge haul of medals for group and individual performances – a great achievement for a small community. This is all thanks to Dinah, who coached and encouraged the children and coordinated a massive voluntary endeavour from a number of people within the community.”

The Community Award went to Roddy Murray from Tarskavaig who has been in public office nearly all his working life. His early years were spent in the Western Isles where he undertook many roles in Comhairle nan Eilean Siar including Trading Standards, as a Councillor, and as Vice-Convener. After moving back to Skye, he has been tireless in a range of roles including those in Sleat Community Trust and the Sleat Community Council of which he is currently chair. 

Roddy has never been afraid to champion issues that affect the community that he has given so much time and energy to. One of the ‘highlights’ of his recent years has been the chairmanship of the Sleat Transport Forum, a sub-group of the Community Council that was established to champion public transport from, to and within the Sleat peninsula. 

Aside from his roles in the community trust and community council he continues to contribute in his own home village of Tarskavaig where he is clerk of the common grazings and on the Communities Hall management committee. 
His fellow Community Councillors who nominated him said: “His lifelong service to communities can only be described as exemplary, and he is the perfect example of dedication, passion and commitment.”

Kyleakin and Kylerhea Community Council successfully nominated Kyleakin Connections & Marrion Grant for the Enterprise Award.

The Nice Café and Bookshop enterprise is run by the attenders, staff and volunteers of Kyleakin Connections, Skye and Lochalsh Association for Disability, which is the day care centre that encourages and supports independent living and life skills for local people with Learning and Physical disabilities in the old school Kyleakin.

Each Wednesday since 2008 they have run the Café and Bookshop to enable attenders access to training for work as well as to enhance and improve their social skills.

On offer are beverages, filled rolls, home baking, second hand books, plants, a calendar and some crafts. All profit goes to outings and various activities chosen by the attenders themselves. The Café is popular and well supported by locals in Skye and Lochalsh and they are certainly worthy of the Enterprise Award for all they achieve.

Marrion has been a volunteer for Skye & Lochalsh Association for Disability (SLAD) for over 8 years. Through her volunteering, Marrion has been involved with the café from the beginning and has attended dutifully every week supporting the service users to gain confidence, promoting independence, equality and ensuring a real sense of achievement and self-worth. Marrion has brought her knowledge of cooking skills to the café and uses her very supportive manner to empower each individual to work independently, be part of a team, bake, cook, and serve the public. Marrion`s contribution has played a big part in the cafes success and the development of the service users. 

The Environment Award was presented to Ingrid Bruce from Portree. For the last few years, Ingrid has worked tirelessly to support the Eco Committee at Portree Primary School.  Ingrid has given of her time to offer a weekly gardening club after school which pupils have benefitted greatly from.   

Pupils, who had previously been reluctant to participate in out of school activities, enthusiastically attended Ingrid’s informative and practical sessions and took great pride in the space they were creating.  Regardless of the weather, Ingrid showed great dedication to inspiring the young people to care for their environment and work together to create spaces that the whole school could be proud of. Last session, Ingrid campaigned tirelessly through Tesco Bags to acquire funding which allowed the creation of a beautiful nature walk at school.  The nature walk is made up of several outdoor activity stations along a path that runs behind the existing playground. All pupils at the school have benefitted significantly from this additional outdoor space and indeed form all of the many environmental initiatives that Ingrid introduced during her time at Portree Primary.

The 2017 Sport Award went to the team of coaches at Portree Primary who were nominated by staff and pupils.

Collectively the coaches run an extensive calendar of extra-curricular activities.  The pupils of Portree Primary School have access to a calendar of activities, unrivalled at even much more urban schools. The volunteers give of their time freely weekly for regular training sessions and also to accompany groups of children to events across the country. This often means rescheduling their own families and jobs to support the young people. 

The school has achieved many successes over the years, however, this term they were informed that they had achieved their second Gold Award from SportScotland, which recognises and celebrates success in school sporting communities.  Portree Primary are the first school to achieve a second gold award and this would not be possible if it were not for the dedication and support of all of the coaches and volunteers.  

Andrew Grieve from Broadford was awarded the Young People Award after being nominated by Nicholas Kelly, a Youth Worker with High Life Highland.

Andrew moved to Broadford last year whilst in his 6th year at High School and started his volunteering with a small after school Dodgeball session for Primary aged children. He has now finished school and has continued his volunteering with a regular Monday afternoon session. For a year now he has delivered and managed these weekly term sessions as a High Life Highland Young Leader, and has completed a Sports Leaders UK course, clocking-up well in excess of the 25 hours volunteering required. 

Nicholas Kelly said: “He has a brilliant way of delivering these activity sessions, which the children love and it will be a loss when he heads off to University next year.” 

Andrew volunteers not only for after school activities, he volunteers almost every Saturday at the Crossroads Shop in Portree and he also volunteers his time on a Sunday at the old folks home at An Acarsaid in Broadford where he helps out and talks to the residents.

During the ceremony Councillors John Finlayson, John Gordon and Ronald MacDonald presented the winners with their awards and thanked everyone for taking part. 

Chair of the Isle of Skye and Raasay Committee, Councillor John Gordon said: “It is great that we have had this opportunity to thank people for the terrific work they do in our communities. Sitting on the judging panel was challenging as we received so many strong nomination. Everyone of this year’s winners certainly deserve public recognition for their work. Often such people work quietly behind the scenes without a fuss, just keen to get on with their work. However the Awards are about celebrating the hard work and voluntary effort that goes on across Skye and Raasay so on behalf of all my fellow Ward Councillors I say thank you and well done. Keep up the good work.”



19 Dec 2017