It was nearing midnight and the sky still remained light. The only hint of sunset visible from the kitchen window was a pink smudge above the Minch, the stretch of water that separates the islands of the Outer Hebrides from the mountains of the Scottish coast.
Last month’s launch of the new e-Sgoil satellite hub, in the old Carinish School building in North Uist, showcased a number of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s educational aims, from developing the islands’ young workforce to working within the community.
With the recruitment process now complete, September marks a new start for the careers of the 34 apprentices who will be taking up their posts throughout the Western Isles this month.
The launch of new apprenticeships in the Outer Hebrides is being hailed as a success, after 250 applications were submitted for the 40 work placements, which were announced by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar in May.
One only needs to look at the fishing, aquaculture, or ferry sectors in the Outer Hebrides to see that the maritime industry plays an important role in the local economy.
The school year ended on a high note this summer for the two island schools who reached the final of the 2017 Scottish Education Awards in Glasgow.
The results of the May 2017 follow-up inspection of the Outer Hebrides care services for children and young people were announced this month, showing dramatic improvements across all areas of the service.
In an effort to tackle population decline and boost employment opportunities for the islands’ young people, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar – with funding from the Scottish Government – recently launched a group focused on ‘Developing the Young Workforce’ of the Outer Hebrides.
The Northern Alliance celebrated a new success last month when Deputy First Minister and Education Secretary John Swinney announced that the regional education collective, of which Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is a part, would be receiving £385,000 in funding from the Scottish Government.
Earlier this year, Laetitia Vançon’s documentary photo series depicting life in the Outer Hebrides went viral.
After half a century, it’s safe to say that Doune Braes Hotel, on the west side of Lewis, has become a beloved fixture in the local community.
“We’re a rural location and an island location, so we very much have to depend on our own devices to take matters forward."
It was January 2016 when Gemma Paterson received the phone call that would change her life as she knew it.
The freedom I had as a child gives my memories the filter of a fairy tale.
American singer-songwriter Kyle Carey spent her early years in Alaska, grew up in New Hampshire and currently resides in Brooklyn, New York – yet to hear her speak Gaelic, you could be forgiven for thinking she was an islander.