Tag Archives: youth

London Youth Group Discovers Tiree

Youth on Tiree

Early in May, The Hebridean Trust covered the cost of a visit by a group of disadvantaged young people from London in order to give them the opportunity to stay at the Hynish Centre and to enjoy the challenges of the fantastic range of outdoor activities that Tiree has to offer.

The group, from the School Engagement Programme (S.E.P) at Golborne Youth Centre in West London, started their journey early on Wednesday 4th May at Heathrow airport. There was real excitement as two members of the group had never flown before and this was the first time away from home for many of them. Their flights were paid for by a benefactor who wishes to remain anonymous.

The cost of the stay at the Hynish Centre and the programme of activities was funded by The Hebridean Trust as part of the Trust’s commitment to disadvantaged young people. Those who attend the S.E.P. (3-5 days a week) are disengaged from a formal learning environment. These youngsters find it difficult to become motivated and complete set work or to contribute to overall learning. On the programme they are given one to one support, additional support with core subjects and personal development classes.

When the group landed at Tiree airport they were dismayed to discover that there was no service on their mobile phones and, even worse, the girls found there was not a Top Shop in sight! However, they soon settled in at Alan Stevenson House and spent the next week taking part in activities including surfing, rock climbing, abseiling and coasteering, being transported around the various island locations by Nancy MacKechnie.

One evening they headed off for an overnight camp. Unfortunately the wind got up and they had to return to the house, but not before they got to grips with cooking their dinner on a camp fire. The majority of these young people do not enjoy an active lifestyle at home so the whole experience took them outside their comfort zone. They found the activities tiring but by persevering they managed to overcome some of their fears and started working together as a team .

An Tirisdeach met up with them one evening towards the end of their stay and asked them about the experience and if they felt they had gained anything through their visit to Tiree. They all agreed that the time had made them work more as a group, they had found out about each others strengths, weaknesses and some surprising phobias! A lot of them had missed their families and had realised how little they did for themselves at home.

All the group enjoyed staying at Alan Stevenson House and commented on the lovely food and how nice Monica and Lesley are. They found the lack of street lights, pavements and crowds strange and although they had adjusted to no mobile phone reception or shops they were looking forward to their return to London. They also said that, if they had not been missing their families, they would have liked to stay longer.

Tiree Trust Update

Trust directors are pleased to announce the appointment of Andy Wright as our new Finance and Governance officer. Andy’s roots are on Tiree, and he is looking forward to moving here with his wife Hannah and 12 week old baby daughter. Andy’s post, like Ann’s post as development manager, is funded by the Big Lottery as part of the Harvesting the Wind Award the Community received in 2008 (Sophie’s position is very generously funded by the Robertson Trust, while Lynne’s post is funded by HIE).


November was another very good month for Tilley, generating 232 MWh, which takes the total for the year to date to over 2100 MWh, still ahead of our projections. We will be holding a public open day/evening in mid or late Jan to launch the Windfall Fund. This will also be an opportunity for you to tell Lynne what you want to be included in the new Community Development Plan. We are delighted that TREL has received the 2010 Scottish Renewable Energy Award for Best Community Initiative. This was for “an initiative that has been lead and developed by a community and which supports renewables development in Scotland”. We beat a very strong field of candidates including projects lead by Balfour Beattie and NPower. We should all be very proud that TREL voluntary directors have got national recognition for all the hard work they put into making Tilley such a success as a beacon not just for Tiree but for other communities.


This week we have had the final night of Ch@ Room. We had a Christmas themed evening with games and Christmas challenges. We also served tasty turkey and cranberry toasties! I managed to secure a much appreciated grant of £300 from ACHA. The young people also raised £60 at the craft fair. This money will be used for new equipment for the Ch@ Room. Ch@ Room will commence again in January 2011. Next Wednesday (8th) is the final night of Youth Club. The youth Club is having a snowman drive and a fantastic Raffle. All funds raised are for youth Club! Show your support by coming along and joining in the fun. For more information or to volunteer for any of the youth groups on the island don’t hesitate to get in touch with me at sophie@tireetrust.org.uk


At the time of writing the Tiree Array developers, Scottish Power Renewables, were due on Tiree for a meeting with the Trust. We will update you on anything new we have learned from that meeting. Also at the time of writing, Lloyd Gudgeon was due to attend a meeting in Glasgow with the Scottish Government, The Crown Estate, Argyll & Bute Council and SPR, to formally demand that the Tiree Community becomes part of the process which directs the design of the Array and considers whether or not it should receive permission to go ahead. We will update you on the outcomes of that meeting. Meanwhile on Tiree, the Forum continues to put together a picture of the likely impact of the Array, should it go ahead. To help with this, Sam Bouchnak has joined the team. He will be concentrating on providing the Forum with support in the run up to a public presentation in February. There is another survey out there trying to get your opinions on what the Array might mean for us. This survey is being run by Argyll Renewable Communities, which is made up of the communities of Tiree, Islay and Kintyre, all of which are facing potentially close offshore windfarms. The survey can be found at
and you can find more details on a separate article in this paper. We want to collect as many responses as possible so that when we talk to government about our concerns we can not be accused of representing only a small number of local people or specialist interests. Please do take 10 minutes to fill out the questionnaire. Paper versions are available from the office.

Tiree’s First County Capped Rugby Players

rugby players

There could hardly have been a better way for Tiree RFC to have ended their first full season than to have had four of our players represent Argyll and Bute against Uddingston RFC’s touring U16 and U17 sides.

It has been an excellent year that has seen the number of pupils attending the rugby club increase both at primary and secondary levels. We have had a couple of visits from Billy Thomson, the SRU’s representative for Argyll and Bute, which have been extremely useful and thoroughly enjoyed by the pupils. The skills of all of the youngsters who have attended the Saturday morning club have increase drastically and this was very evident in our four players that went to Mull last weekend.

Three of the four boys had never played in a rugby match before and I am sure that the thought of going into a full contact game against extremely experienced players must have been daunting but our boys never showed it. Jamie MacDonald and Daniel Hayes both played the first half of the U16 game and put in very solid performances.

Jamie was the first to put all his practice to the test by putting in a thumping tackle against a significantly larger opponent, who ended up landing on top of him, much to Jamie’s surprise. Daniel, not one to be upstaged, decided to take on two of the opposition and ended up at the bottom of an eight man ruck (pile-on). He did win the ball for his side but unfortunately ended up with a twisted ankle for his efforts and had to sit the rest of the game out. Bruce Thomson, the club’s only experienced player, was on for the full match as a wing forward and despite having never been in a scrum before seemed to know exactly what he was doing. He was the nemesis for the Uddingston team as not one player was able to get passed him and he seemed to be everywhere. His performance was so solid that it drew the attention of the Argyll and Bute county team scout. Ewen, unfortunately, only got onto the pitch for the last 10 minutes of the U16 game but still managed to stamp his mark. The first time he got his hands on the ball he made a great run, breaking through one tackle and making 10 yards on the ‘gain line’ before he was brought down but he retained possession for his team. He then went on to play for the U17 side where he was positioned in forwards and continued Tiree’s new but rising reputation of producing formidable tacklers.

All of our boys put in excellent performances and played a crucial role in securing a 19-5 victory for the U16s and an 18-5 victory for the U17s. A special mention should also be made to Sean, Finn and Jack who have attended almost every training session since the club started. Also to George, Joseph, Connor, Beatrice and Colin who have attended regularly as well as all of the others who have started to turn up.

The club is growing in numbers and ability and it would not have happened if it wasn’t for these youngsters coming along on Saturday mornings. Of course nothing would have happened at all if it hadn’t been for the time and effort that has been volunteered by Tiree’s rugby champion, Aurélie Stevens, and the coaches Steve Thomson, Bruce Kemp and Robert Trythall.

The rugby club would like to thank ‘Active Schools’ for the funding that they have provided which will help us get more equipment and subsidised last weekends trip to Mull. Also to Tiree School for making the premises available on weekends and the support we have received from the PE department.

The club has gone from strength to strength and will hopefully continue to do so as Tiree rugby has already started to get a reputation for itself and I am confident that this is just the beginning of great rugby achievements for the youth of the island. As for future Scotland players, watch this space……………

Youth on Tiree


I’ve spent the first week or two finding my feet and talking to various groups who I’ll be working with to decide how they can get the most out of the Youth worker position. I’ve also been working on questionnaires which will be issued to the young people in the school to hear what they have to say and what they would like to see happen on Tiree. As well as looking into Youth development and opportunities, I’ll be working with the school, the Youth club, Mothers and Toddlers and Mainly music.

The Youth club will be starting again on the 23rd of November. I will be working with the Youth club every Monday and Wednesday night. This season is looking promising with lots of new ideas and new helpers! We’re also launching the new Ch@ room at the beginning of December. This is a re-launch of the Youth Café, started up by Danny, and will be held every weekend in the Youth club room. It’s a place for young people, ages 14-21 to come and chill out. We’ll be watching movies, playing pool, making toasties.. Etc
And…. We hope to have a bus service home at the end each night, thanks to Angus-John, to save parents coming out into the wild weather late at night! There might be a small charge for this.

If you would like to get in touch with any ideas or questions don’t hesitate to e-mail me.

Sophie Isaacson Tiree Youth Worker