Hebrides’ seniors forum points the way to vote for island wind farm in national charity community awards final

One of the biggest social groups for the elderly in the Hebrides has given its full backing to community wind farm charity Point and Sandwick Trust, as the deadline approaches for voting in this year’s Scottish Charity Awards.

Point and Sandwick Trust, who run the wholly community-owned wind farm at Beinn Ghrideag, near Stornoway, has been shortlisted in the Celebrating Communities category in this year’s awards.

As a finalist, they are also up for the People’s Choice award – and all those involved in Cairdean Og Allt nan Gall are urging people to vote online for Point and Sandwick Trust, in recognition of all the work they do to support good causes in the community, including the Cairdean’s own activities which help ward off social isolation among the elderly.

In December, The Cairdean received £1,000 from Point and Sandwick Trust towards their Christmas party. They received a further sum of £880 recently which is going towards the costs of their summer holiday to the mainland and the hire of the Ionad Stoodie hall in Point for their monthly get-togethers.

Cairdean chair Duncan Don said that, as far as he was concerned, Point and Sandwick Trust should “absolutely” win the People’s Choice award. “Our Cairdean Og Group all think that they would be a worthy winner in this category because not only have they donated a generous sum of money to our Group but also to others in the community.”

The Cairdean show their appreciation of the Point and Sandwick Trust for the Isle of Lewis community-owned wind farm’s latest grant
Members of The Cairdean show their appreciation of the Point and Sandwick Trust for the Isle of Lewis community-owned wind farm’s latest grant

He was referring to Point and Sandwick’s huge raft of grant aids and sponsorships, from the annual £55,000 to Bethesda Care Home and Hospice and other big donations to the likes of the Hebrides Alpha Project, which helps people recover from drink and drug addictions, down to the myriad of small donations such as £200 to the Point Brownies, which helps keep them afloat too. 

Point and Sandwick Trust pours all the profits – expected to be £900,000 this year – from its three turbines back into the community as it is 100 per cent community owned.

Due to its success, other community groups have been inspired to aim for their own renewables projects, including the ‘gang of four’ crofting townships currently involved in a ‘David v Goliath’ legal battle against EDF Energy and their partners in Lewis Wind Power for the rights to develop wind farms on the Stornoway common grazings. 

The awards are run but the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations and the shortlist includes 40 individuals and organisations from across the third sector.

To vote for Point and Sandwick Trust in the People’s Choice Award, go online at www.scvo.org.uk/vote by Friday, May 18.

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