Hofn nearing completion

The Hofn redevelopment is nearing the end. We are now just waiting for floor coverings and then it should be good to go! The youngsters are using it at the moment but I’m sure they will all agree that it will be really nice when it is finished and kitted out with the new furniture.

Höfn Refurbishment


LEADER 2007 LogoEuro_Flag1Scot Gov logo

[clearleft] hofn youth centre(July 2012) The Hofn is now 12 years old and was very much in need of refurbishment. Some interior work has been done and we have received grant funding from the Orkney Islands Council Community Development Fund and the Orkney LEADER project towards the building extension works. Building work on the extension is well under way, new furniture has been bought and the quiet room has received a new look with a fresh coat of paint. The young folk of the island have done some fundraising, including holding a jumble sale in January that raised funds for various youth groups. A group of representatives from the Hofn attended a Board meeting and handed over £500 to the Chair. All their fundraising will be used to furnish and equip the Hofn.

Once the work is complete the young folk that use the Hofn are hoping to hold an event to ‘re-open’ the youth centre. Watch this space for further details.

The Hofn is available for hire and bookings can be made through the Island Diary room booking service at http://www.westrayslivingheritage.co.uk, or contact the caretaker, Stephen Cowe on 677 404. The charges are £5 for a two hour booking, £10 for a half day and £20 for a full day. All prices are subject to VAT at the standard rate.

Bonfire Night funding approved

Westray Senior Youth Club were successful in applying for £500 to purchase fireworks for a display at the November community bonfire night.  We look forward to another exciting night after last year’s well-attended event.


School Trip to Poland

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.

Westray Connections 2012

Westray connections 2012The first “Westray Connections” music weekend was held in 2012, and organised by the Westray and Papa Westray Tourist Association, with Westray Development Trust underwriting and subsidising the costs of this.   From small intimate afternoon concerts at local venues to a packed evening concert in the community hall, and an impromptu jam session outside the hotel on the Sunday, this was an extremely successful event that involved both Westray folk, and those with “Westray connections”.   It was wonderful to see the wealth of talent and enthusiasm of all the young folk taking part.   The event will be repeated again in 2013. 

This project was underwritten by Westray Development Trust and later received a shortfall grant of £750.08.


Hofn refurbishment plans

The young folk of the island held a very successful jumble sale in January to raise funds for various youth groups.  A group of representatives from the Hofn attended the WDT board meeting in February and handed over £500 to the Chair, who emphasised that the young folk who use the Hofn would have a major say in how the money would be used in the planned refurbishment.  They are also planning to have a “re-opening” event to show it off.  The Board are really pleased to see a group of such enthusiastic young folk using the Hofn, and would like to thank Edith for all the hard work she has and still is putting into it.

Picnic benches for the playpark

IMG_3279 (Small)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.

TV for the Hofn

The Hofn youth group have been awarded £350 towards the purchase of a new TV and digital TV viewing system.  They have agreed to fundraise towards the cost of the TV licence.

Youth Trip to London

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.

Westray Skiff Project

Launch of the Westray SkiffUntil recently the Westray Skiff were the sea taxi used to transport people and small cargo between the isles. These boats were built maintained and used locally and exported to other islands. As local transport systems improved, reliance on the Skiff decreased, as did the skills to build, maintain and sail them.  With funding from The Prince’s Trust and Millenium Commission, the team built a new skiff, which helped them to increase awareness of their heritage, revived an old Skiff and facilitated interaction between the young and old. All the experiences of the young participants were recorded and put online during the build. The Skiff was then donated to the local Westray Sailing Club.  It is is now raced at the local Westray Regatta every July, which is an important date in the local calendar.

The Skiff’s dedication ceremony is pictured right.  (image)

A PDF of the Team’s progress can be downloaded HERE.