Orkney Cash Boost from National Lottery

Three groups are sharing in £18,200 of National Lottery funding for projects bringing together local people and visitors worldwide to enjoy a range of community activities in Orkney.


Photo By Jane Cooper

The Orkney Sheep Foundation will use its award of £4,800 to bring back SheepFest’22, an annual celebration of conservation and culture, after COVID prevented islanders and visitors from physically coming together for the past two years.

The event planned for August 2022 is well known for welcoming people from across the world to celebrate the island’s 2,000 rare native sheep that live solely on kelp washed up on its shore.

It also means that for the first time they can employ four sheepdyke trained builders to join volunteers in helping rebuild the 13-mile sheep dyke, thought to be the longest drystone structure in the world.

Welcoming the funding, Kate Traill Price from The Orkney Sheep Foundation, said:

“We are thrilled to be awarded this generous and very welcome grant. As a non-profit event, SheepFest relies entirely on support both from within the island community and from volunteers and sponsors further afield, and we are delighted that we will once again be able to host an on-site, fortnight event of sheepdyke restoration and island celebration in 2022.

“You can find out more about SheepFest’22 at www.nrsheepfestival.com. The Festival welcomes volunteers of all skill levels, and next year’s event will take place from the 1st – 12th August 2022.”

Sanday Men’s Shed

Orkney will now be home to a second men’s shed, thanks to an award of £7,000. Sanday Men’s Shed will use the funding to help remodel and refit a building in the village of Kettletoft which will provide a community asset to improve men’s health and wellbeing. The group currently has 16 members who have already been sharing and lending their skills to other community projects.

Stephen Murray, secretary of the Sanday Men’s Shed explains the difference the shed will make to the lives of its members:

“It’s fantastic to receive this funding which will go a long way to purchasing the materials we need to refurbish the old Co-op shop in the village. The building has been mouldering away for years and it will really lift the village to have it in good shape.

“Having a Men’s Shed on the island will provide a brilliant focus for getting together for community or personal projects, restorations, sharing practical skills or just a good chat – all of them needed more than ever after 2 years of Covid, thank-you to all concerned.”

See also: Donation to Orkney Men’s Shed

St Magnus Way

Orkney Pilgrimage receives £6,400 to create an accessible digital platform to host a virtual tour of the St Magnus Way pilgrimage walk and additional online materials that will highlight the historical, spiritual and sociocultural significance of the route.

Stuart Little, St Magnus Way Chairperson, said:

“We are delighted to have been awarded this National Lottery funding. The award completes the funding needed to enable us to progress with the development of a Virtual St Magnus Way enabling those that are unable to walk the 58 mile physical walk to have a pilgrim like experience from the comfort of their home on their computer, tablet or phone. We are working with individuals and organisations locally and nationally to ensure a meaningful experience for people with a range of limitations.”

Hobbister St Magnus Way Image credit: Bell

Announcing the funding, The National Lottery Community Fund’s Scotland Chair, Kate Still, said:

“It’s wonderful to see three community projects in Orkney celebrating this National Lottery funding. From the infamous St Magnus Way and SheepFest22 festival to a new men’s shed, these projects will bring people together to learn and share skills whilst celebrating Orkney’s unique culture and heritage.

“We are keen to hear from more projects in the area who have a project idea that will help people and communities to thrive. Groups can get in touch on 0300 123 7110 or email us at advicescotland@tnlcommunityfund.org.uk where our funding team are on hand to help.”

The National Lottery Community Fund distributes funding on behalf of National Lottery players who raise more than £30 million each week for good causes throughout the UK.

Thanks to National Lottery players, last year we awarded over half a billion pounds (£588.2 million) of life-changing funding to communities across the UK. Over eight in ten (83%) of our grants are for under £10,000 – going to grassroots groups and charities across the UK that are bringing to life amazing ideas that matter to their communities.

To find out more visit www.TNLCommunityFund.org.uk

See also: “Del Amitri are thrilled to be returning to Orkney”

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