Photograph by Morris Macleod

This exciting new project is aimed at reducing social isolation and promoting social activities across the West Harris estate and wider community. This is more relevant now than ever before, with many facing enforced
isolation as a result of the Covid19 pandemic.
Social isolation is known to have a hugely negative effect on an individual’s health and wellbeing, and affects
all, no matter their stage of life. We hope through this project to develop effective ways to prevent and reduce
social isolation. In the coming months, we will be putting our heads together (socially distanced of course) to create a project
strategy and meet with our wonderful partners, Third Sector Hebrides (Befriending Lewis and Harris) and
mPower, who we will be working alongside to the benefit of our island communities. We will also be carrying out a number of engagement activities to allow us to better understand your priorities and needs, allowing us to devise and deliver a programme of
interesting and inclusive events and activities.
Among proposed activities are a horticulture group, health walks, workshops and ceilidhs. Covid19 will of
course continue to impact the project, but we are working our way through guidance to better understand how
we can adapt the project to ensure participants remain safe.

This project came about following previous community consultations in which a need was identified for greater opportunities for social activities. We want the project to be led by the community, for the community and this will only be possible with your input. 

THE PROJECT TEAM


Hello, I’m Iain Maciver, the new Community Participation Officer for the West Harris Trust. I’m a Leodhasach who has lived in Dundee for the last 10 years, having left the island to study Community Learning and Development at the University of Dundee. After graduating I was lucky to work in youth work, then employability and more recently with Dundee and Angus College trying to end child poverty.  
Coming from Lewis I am a big football fan and can’t wait to get back playing once restrictions ease.
My partner is from Harris so coming back to live here was a no-brainer. I am really looking forward to my new role and the opportunities this will bring in combatting social isolation in West Harris. I look forward to meeting everyone in the community and hopefully enhance community life here in Harris

 

My name is Romy Benedetti, Project assistant. I am delighted to be part of this project as I believe more importance needs to be placed on the role of face-to-face interaction and maintaining social bonds, during this trying time. I am very happy to be part of a project aimed at reducing feelings of loneliness and social isolation. Today, face-to-face communication in general has declined, without adding a global pandemic into the mix. With that said I hope that everyone will participate in this new project in order to help others and develop the community. 

DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT

This is a great craft project for your little ones. In this tutorial you will learn how to make a simple and easy bird feeders from recycled goods you’ll already have at home. Make sure you have them finished and presented in the garden in time for RSPB Love Nature event this weekend!!
 It’s so easy to take part – spend an hour counting the birds you see in your garden, from your balcony or wherever you can see from your window, then tell us what you saw.
 It really is that simple. 
Please share photographs of your bird feeders with us! Contact us at Community@westharristrust.org
 -Romy
 

This is a great craft project for you and/or your little ones. Terrariums are great fun to create; join me as I create a closed native terrarium in a sealed jar with moss, hardscape, and plants found around a local UK woodland. Terrariums are enclosed ecosystems that can be self-sustaining, making a perfect addition to your windowsill as they are great for relaxation, giving you a little chunk of nature to create and enjoy. The sound quality is relatively quiet but we have invested in a microphone to insure that the up and coming video sound will be of a better standard.

 -Romy

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