Westray Development TrustNews

November 2021 Newsletter

Westray Development pages in Auk Talk’s December 2021 issue.

General News

The WDT office will be closed for the Christmas and New Year period from Wednesday 22nd December until Tuesday 4th January (inclusive).

We have a few changes to staffing this month. We are delighted to welcome Kieran Fowler to our staff team on a one year graduate placement part-funded by Highland & Islands Enterprise. Here is an introductory hello from him:

‘Hello Auk Talk! My name’s Kieran Fowler and I’m delighted to be here in Westray as a Graduate

Project Officer working for the Trust. In my role I will be focussing on the development of the Westray Community Garden. Originally I am from Aberdeenshire however I’ve spent the last six years of my life in Glasgow where I studied at Strathclyde University. More recently I’ve been studying part-time at Scotland’s Rural college and University of Edinburgh, working in Food Security & Sustainable Agriculture.

Growing up in Aberdeenshire I was always interested in farming and my summers were often spent working on sheep and strawberry farms. Alongside this I’ve worked as a gardener and landscaper across Aberdeen and Glasgow for a number of years. I am someone who enjoys working outdoors and have always been fascinated by nature.

Asides gardening and farming I am a keen footballer, playing for Highland League Huntly’s youth programme and a brief spell at junior level for Culter F.C. I was also previously a manager for the Strathclyde Uni amateur team which was an eye opening experience. I look forward to playing with the Westray team in the Parish cup next year, if they will have me along! Aberdeen is my favourite football team and I have wasted many a day traipsing around the country to watch them play (and more often than not, lose). I am constantly reminded by my Dad and Grandad that Aberdeen used to be a good team! I am also a big rugby fan and have been along to Murrayfield a few times to see Scotland play. As you can probably tell I am an avid watcher of sport – football, rugby, tennis, darts and snooker to name a few.

I also fancy myself as a good cook – although my friends and family may say otherwise! I am excited to get my hands on some Westray prime beef and have already been along to Pierowall fish to try some of the local produce.

Over the next 12 months you may bump in to me at the Gym, at the hotel embarrassing myself on the dartboard/pool table, or most probably the Westray Community Garden. I can’t wait to get stuck in and I look forward to working with Mark and the rest of the garden team to build upon the great work which has already been done over the past few years.’

If you see Kieran out and about, I’m sure he would appreciate a welcome.

In less happy news we sadly say goodbye to Janice and Lena.

After almost 13 years working with WDT Janice is stepping down from her role as Administration and Finance Officer. Janice has been a key part of the WDT family for a long time and will be sorely missed. Going forward, Janice’s work will be split between Margo and Clare.

Lena has stepped down from her role as Hӧfn Youth Support but it has been great having Lena as part of the team these past few years and we wish her all the best for her exciting new future with a little one on the way. Going forward the Hӧfn opening will be covered by the three remaining Hӧfn Youth Support workers on a rota basis.

We are sure the community will join us in thanking Janice and Lena for their hard work these past years at the Trust and wish them both all the best of luck for the future.

Fuel Grant launch in the New Year.

This winter we are increasing the Fuel Grant to be £300 per eligible household in response to increasing fuel prices. The Fuel Grant will be launched in the New Year (2022), when applications open this will be announced on our website, social media, Auk Talk pages, and we will also place posters in the shops. You will be able to apply both online or via a paper form. To apply for the grant you will need to complete an application form once these are available and also include a copy of a recent bill (unless you use a meter key), guidance will be included with the application forms so you know how to apply depending on your set up (e.g. if you use a meter key or if your main heating source is gas or coal).

You can also access support and advice from;

THAW Orkney http://www.thaworkney.co.uk/ 

Warmworks Scotland (Orkney) https://www.warmworks.co.uk/orkney/

Home Energy Scotland https://www.homeenergyscotland.org/


Due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the county, the decision was made last month to postpone our AGM. This was rescheduled for Thursday 2nd December 2021 at 7pm in the Old Kirk. All members will have received details of the rearranged meeting by post or email. If you have not then please get in touch to update your contact details. To become a member, so next year you receive the Annual Report and are able to vote at our AGM, please visit www.westraydevelopmenttrust.co.uk/become-a-member/ to complete the online form. Or you can get in touch with the office team for a paper form.

Please remember to bring your face covering if you are attending the AGM and follow the current COVID-19 rules.

Bayview Housing Project 

Thank you to everyone who took part in our Local Lettings Policy community consultation. We received 14 responses which was a good number. The results will be collated and shared on our website along with the answers to any queries submitted via the survey. Although the survey is now closed you can still view the draft policy on our website www.westraydevelopmenttrust.co.uk/wdt-local-letting-policy-community-consultation/

The next steps will be to finalise the policy, get this approved by the Scottish Government who is one of the project funders, and then pass this over to our letting agents Drever & Heddle who will manage applications for the flats on WDT’s behalf. Due to supply delays and staff shortages the Bayview schedule of works has unfortunately been delayed and we are still waiting on confirmation dates from suppliers in order for a new projected completion date to be set. Despite these issues work has continued to progress at Bayview with the kitchen installation, painting, and rendering work all underway. We will not be able to plan opening for applications until we have that project completion date confirmed. However when applications are open this will be via our letting agents, although we will also announce this on our website, social media, and in our Auk Talk pages.

Bargain Box

We’re still experiencing some problems with the Bargain Box roof despite several repairs but we are getting there! Hopefully it won’t be too long before we’ll be able to announce reopening.


The Höfn reopened for youth on November 5th for the first time since March 2020. While being in the Höfn is different from usual due to necessary COVID-19 rules we hope Westray’s young folk have enjoyed having access to the drop-in Youth Centre again. A copy of the rules, as well as Hofn user/emergency contact forms were sent out via Westray Junior High School. If you have not completed this form already please do so and return it to the WDT office as soon as possible. If you do not have a form you can download one from our website or you can get in touch and we’ll post one out to you. The Höfn is only open for youth from S1-17yrs.

Grants Awarded

Education and Training Grants

This month we helped one of the island’s youth put on their dancing shoes and attend contemporary and jazz dance lessons. Through the Education & Training Grant you can apply for 50% of course fee costs up to a maximum of £500 per year. For driving lessons this is capped at 50% of costs for 10 lessons, plus 50% of 1 theory exam and 1 practical exam.

Entertainment Grant

Last month we awarded The Orcadian Story Trust £439.78 for their ‘Island Jaunt to Westray’ which included two storytelling events on the island which were part of the annual Storying telling Festival. Planning a community entertainment event? You can apply for an Entertainment Grant up to a maximum of £700 through our website. Or get in touch for a paper form.

Community Grants

If you or your group are starting to think more about restarting projects shelved due to covid or are just looking to start something new, don’t forget that community groups can apply for funding from WDT, it is even easier to apply now through the online forms on our website!

Turbine Figures

As many of you will have noticed, the turbine is currently at a standstill and has been for more than four weeks. There are several faults that require a specialist team to remedy and Enercon assures us they are working to get a team out to us ASAP.

Contact Us

Our office remains closed to the public for the time being. The staff team are implementing a phased return to work which will enable the office to be staffed by at least one member of staff during the Trust’s core opening hours of 9am – 4pm Monday to Friday.

Isobel – Operations Manager- isobel@westraydevelopmenttrust.co.uk

Margo – WDT and WRE Admin & Finance Officer – margo@westraydevelopmenttrust.co.uk

   – office@westrayenergy.co.uk

Clare – Admin Assistant admin@westraydevelopmenttrust.co.uk

Kieran – Graduate Project Officerkieran@westraydevelopmenttrust.co.uk

To keep up to date with the latest community development news between Auk Talks visit us;

On our website – www.westraydevelopmenttrust.co.uk

On Facebook – Westray Development Trust

           – Westray Community Garden Project

On Instagram – @westraydevelopmenttrust