The Westray Development Trust Board are pleased to announce that they have confirmed they have allocated £40,000 towards the replacement of the playpark equipment, subject to other funding being successful. It has been very clear to the board that this project has wide community support and is a very important local facility that has been well used. Thanks to Friends of Westray Playpark for managing this project on behalf of the community.
The Westray Nursery received a grant of £400 from Westray Development Trust to spend on fruit and vegetables for snack time. This has meant that even though the Westray Nursery doesn’t have access to cheap supermarket snack items, it can continue to charge the same session fee as other Orkney nurseries and provide a healthy tooth kind snack every session. It also means that the children can try out some more exotic fruits when available. The children did some lovely drawings of the fruit they enjoy most.
Westray Junior High School have started planning a trip to Poland for all senior school students next year. Children and parents have made a huge undertaking to fundraise half the total required, and WDT has agreed to match this (up to £8500). £2400 of this has already been paid over to cover deposits.
The playpark was one of the first projects undertaken by the Westray Development Trust, with the vision and enthusiasm of a dedicated group of volunteers to lead the way. The Trust secured the use of a suitable piece of land (within the school playing field) and the steering group proceeded to put plans into action and raise the necessary funds. The selection and layout of equipment was all approved by the children who would be using it.
The Westray Children’s Playpark came back onto the “projects list” in 2012 following an approach by a group of local parents who wanted to take on the hard work of upgrading the equipment. 12 years of salt laden winds have taken their toll, and it was felt that starting again with a new fundraising effort and replacing most of the equipment at the same time would give the best results for our children. It’s an important local facility, and there is hardly a time during daylight hours when there aren’t children playing there, with both school and public use. A new group, Friends of Westray Playpark, has formed to take on the project, with funding support from WDT.
The group fundraising for the cultural exchange visit from Malawi to Westray which includes two children from the Westray School’s partner school in Malawi, have been awarded £1000 towards the cost of activities that will involve the local children.
Following a request from the Playgroup for somewhere for people to sit while watching their children and grandchildren play, the board approved funding of up to £400 for two new picknic benches to be made. We are delighted that these will be made by pupils from the Westray Junior High School.
12 teenagers from Westray and 5 from Papay (accompanied by 6 leaders) had a very enjoyable but exhausting trip to London with the Parish Kirk Youth Group. They spent six nights (20-26th October) staying in the Central London area of Kennington/North Lambeth. Alongside a number of more predictable tourist visits, the group
– Found out about a major new prison rehabilitation project
– Were shown around the Wimbledon Tennis Complex
– Sailed up the Thames in a WW2 amphibious landing craft
– Rocked to Queen at the “We Will Rock You” musical
– Spiralled upside-down at Thorpe Amusement park
– Attended a thrilling Fulham v Everton match at Craven Cottage
– And were guests of honour at a “Lambeth Scottish Ceilidh”
Westray Development Trust was one of a number of funders (including local fundraising efforts) who made this happen.
Prior to the Westray Conference in 1998, the lack of youth facilities was well recognised. A typical Saturday night for teenagers in Westray meant meeting up at the public toilets. A Youth and Children subgroup was determined to meet the needs of Westray’s young folk, and consulted with and actively involved them in planning. The strong feeling was that a drop-in centre was needed, that had rules, but as little adult involvement as possible, with young people to be involved in the establishment of the centre. The use of a private building was donated as both an interim solution and a trial to see how it would work. This was an important first step and led community backing for the Westray Development Trust to build a centre, now known as the Hofn, for the primary use of young people. This was funded primarily by the Social Inclusion Fund, with other smaller funds used for furniture and equipment, transport and operating costs. The building opened for use in September 2000 with a disco and official opening marking the occasion. The building is owned by the Westray Development Trust.
The Hofn is well recognised as a community asset, with considerable value to our young folk and their families in assisting the transition to independence. Its primary users are those in the S1-S4 age group, with new users becoming involved each year. With the move of trust offices to the neighbouring unit and the upgrade of the building and facilities in 2013 it is expected that the Hofn will also continue to be used as a community meeting venue.