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Jamie Wills

Inverurie, United Kingdom
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About Jamie
Jamie Wills is a journalist based in Inverurie, United Kingdom.
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Gael Force celebrates 40 years with book

16 Jan 2024  |  welovestornoway.com
Gael Force Group, a marine equipment business founded in Stornoway, is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a special limited edition book detailing its growth from an initial idea by founder Stewart Graham to a company with annual sales over £40 million. The book includes stories, photographs, and showcases some of the firm's equipment. Despite now being based in Inverness, Gael Force maintains strong ties to its Hebridean roots, with contributions to local memorials. Stewart Graham reflects on the company's success, attributing it to stakeholder support, particularly from the islands, and looks forward to future growth and innovation in fish farming systems.

Art Festival chief to address An Lanntair

12 Jan 2024  |  welovestornoway.com
Kim McAleese, Director of the Edinburgh Art Festival, is set to speak at An Lanntair's Art Gathering in Lewis, alongside local artist Mairi Gillies. The event, funded by the Foyle Foundation, aims to connect island artists with influential figures in Scotland's art scene. McAleese will share her insights on art in rural areas and her extensive experience in the arts sector. Andrew Eaton Lewis, Artist Support Co-ordinator at An Lanntair, highlights the importance of such events for artists in remote locations. The gathering will also feature discussions on the creative potential of darkness, led by Mairi Gillies.

Launch date announced for first Turkish-built ferry

12 Jan 2024  |  welovestornoway.com
Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) has set a launch date for the MV Isle of Islay, the first of four ferries being built in Turkey, signaling progress for Scotland's island communities. The ferry, due to serve Islay and Jura, will launch on March 16 at the Cemre Marin Endustri shipyard. Two additional vessels are under construction at Ferguson Shipyard, which has been criticized for delays and cost overruns. The new ferries are part of a government commitment to deliver six new vessels by 2026, with the MV Isle of Islay expected to enter service later this year, enhancing capacity and resilience for the ferry network operated by CalMac.

Table tennis returns to the islands

10 Jan 2024  |  welovestornoway.com
Table tennis has made a comeback on the Isle of Lewis, driven by coach Ken Macleod and the newly formed Barvas Table Tennis Club. The club, which meets on Monday evenings, has attracted around 25 adult members and numerous juniors. The initiative aims to revive the sport in the Western Isles, similar to the recent resurgence in Shetland. The club emphasizes community involvement and inclusivity, welcoming players of all abilities. Table Tennis Scotland has pledged to provide new tables to support the club's growth. Ken Macleod, a seasoned coach with international experience, aims to create a sustainable community club that can thrive independently.

Panto performers prepare for SY shows

10 Jan 2024  |  welovestornoway.com
Preparations for the pantomime 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz' are underway, with the production set to be performed at An Lanntair in Stornoway. The show, produced by Stuart Morrison, features a mix of local and external talent, including David McClelland and Andrew Crawford. The production, which has been in preparation since January 2023, aims to bring a visual spectacle to the stage, blending pop songs and vibrant colors. Local children have been involved in the choreography, ensuring a strong Hebridean element. The pantomime has previously received positive reviews in Peterborough and is expected to be a hit in Stornoway as well.

Exhibition on Gaelic song traditions on tour

09 Jan 2024  |  We love Stornoway
An interactive exhibition titled 'Seinn Spioradail: Sacred Soundscapes of the Highlands and Islands' will tour Lewis, Uist, and Skye from 2024 to early 2025, featuring Gaelic song traditions. Dr Frances Wilkins of the University of Aberdeen co-curated the exhibition with designer Ronan Martin, based on six years of fieldwork. The exhibition aims to document and share the diminishing sacred singing traditions of the Hebrides, with support from the British Academy, Carnegie Trust, and Bòrd na Gàidhlig. It will include sound recordings, film, objects, a digital archive, and an interactive virtual tour, with a CD and book release planned for later in 2024.

Youtube channel aims to cut new

04 Jan 2024  |  welovestornoway.com
A YouTube channel called Daily Quiet, featuring short, narrative-free videos of Lewis, is helping people de-stress as they enter 2024. The videos, often under two minutes, showcase serene scenes from the Western Isles, such as beaches and sheep grazing. The anonymous creator, with family roots in North Uist and Skye, started the channel to combat stress from doomscrolling. The channel allows those who cannot visit the shore or machair to experience it virtually and plans to continue providing 'life in the slow lane' content throughout the year.

Christmas joy in toys thanks to Salvation Army

19 Dec 2023  |  welovestornoway.com
The Salvation Army Stornoway Corps' Christmas toy appeal will provide 253 children from 128 families with presents, marking the highest number since lieutenants Christopher and Faith Thompson joined in 2020. The local community's generosity has been overwhelming, with support from businesses like Cross Stores, Stornoway Airport, Riley's Toy Shop, Argos, Tesco, Treetops Cafe, and Tarbert Community Centre, as well as public donations. The effort involved local organizations in identifying recipients and volunteers in sorting donations into age-appropriate bags. Most deliveries have been completed, promising a brighter Christmas morning for many families.

Peat & Diesel's road to stardom to show on BBC Alba

18 Dec 2023  |  welovestornoway.com
Stornoway folk-rock band Peat and Diesel's successful year will be featured in a two-episode documentary on BBC Alba, airing on December 28 and January 1. Produced by MacTV, the documentary follows the band as they tour the UK, Ireland, and Germany, perform at the Glastonbury Festival, and receive a Scottish Music Award. The band, consisting of Calum “Boydie” MacLeod, Innes Scott, and Uilleam “Uilly” MacLeod, also headlines the Hebridean Celtic Festival for the first time.

Christmas begins in Point and Sandwick

15 Dec 2023  |  We love Stornoway
Point and Sandwick has embraced the Christmas spirit with various community events, including a Santa's Grotto and Christmas parties, supported by significant donations from the Point and Sandwick Trust. The trust's contributions have funded festive lights and community gatherings, benefiting local families and groups. Key figures expressed gratitude and satisfaction with the trust's support, highlighting the positive impact on the community.

SHFC raises over £2,000 for City Mission

12 Dec 2023  |  We love Stornoway
Stornoway High Free Church raised £2,457.51 through public collections and direct donations for the Glasgow City Mission's Christmas Appeal. The funds will aid those in Glasgow affected by homelessness, poverty, and addiction, providing hot food, addiction support, and professional training. The church thanked the Lewis and Harris community and supporters like Car Hire Hebrides and Influence. Glasgow City Mission expressed gratitude for the church's consistent support over the years.

Record entries for FilmG

11 Dec 2023  |  welovestornoway.com
The Gaelic short film competition FilmG received a record 162 entries for its 2023 event, themed 'Mo Shealladh' (My Point of View). The FilmG team will make the entries viewable on their website before judging in January 2024, with winners announced at an awards ceremony in Glasgow on February 23. Project Manager Megan Dale emphasized the competition's role in fostering Gaelic storytelling and media, with over 50 workshops held to support entrants. MG Alba's Alison Macdonald praised the high standard of entries and noted the international interest from places like the Isle of Man and Canada.

Santa Trot brings horses for Christmas

11 Dec 2023  |  We love Stornoway
The annual Santa Trot event, organized by Tràigh Mhòr Pony Trekking, featured over 120 young enthusiasts riding horses and ponies at the Lochside Arena. The event included games, arts and crafts, and a charity raffle benefiting Glasgow Sick Children's Hospital. Organizers and volunteers, including Leigh Minion and her team, were praised for their efforts in creating a joyful and memorable experience for the community.

One in hospital after ‘drink spiking’

10 Dec 2023  |  welovestornoway.com
Stornoway police are seeking information after reports of drink spiking on Saturday night during pre-Christmas celebrations in Stornoway town center. Three individuals experienced symptoms, with one taken to hospital by ambulance and two by family members. The Outer Hebrides Alcohol and Drug Partnership warned about the dangers of spiking with alcohol, drugs like ketamine or cocaine, and by needle, emphasizing that it is an offense punishable by imprisonment.

Carloway’s players rewarded

08 Dec 2023  |  We love Stornoway
Carloway Football Club celebrated its 90th anniversary with a player of the year awards event at Breasclete Community Centre. The evening featured speeches, awards, and the launch of a new book, 'Ninety Years On: The Story of Carloway FC 1933 -2023,' authored by Graeme ‘Windy’ and Eachainn Miller. Angus M Macleod, one of the club’s oldest surviving players, presented the awards, and Brian Wilson, who played a key role in the book's publication, formally launched it.

Islands Centre for Net Zero Open Day

07 Dec 2023  |  welovestornoway.com
The Islands Centre for Net Zero (ICNZ) will host an open day at the UHI Stornoway campus on December 7 to engage with local communities and businesses on decarbonization plans. The event will feature panel discussions on various topics related to decarbonization and will coincide with similar events in Orkney and Shetland. Funded by the UK and Scottish Governments as part of the Islands Growth Deal, ICNZ aims to support Orkney, Shetland, and the Western Isles in becoming leaders in the energy transition. The events are designed to gather public input on prioritizing challenges and opportunities for maximum impact.

Grants open for projects supporting young people

06 Dec 2023  |  www.welovestornoway.com
Community groups and charities in the Western Isles supporting young people under 30 can apply for grants up to £4,000 from the Outer Hebrides Youth Local Action Group. The funding is part of the Community Led Local Development initiative and prioritizes projects that develop skills, provide social benefits, or relate to life in the Western Isles. Preference is given to projects aiding care-experienced, disabled, impoverished, or marginalized youth. Funds must be used between January 20 and February 29, with an application deadline of January 2. Applications are available on the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar website.

Stornoway firm's alarm at boat

06 Dec 2023  |  We love Stornoway
Macmillan Engineering Ltd, a family-owned business in Stornoway, faces a threat to its viability due to a new deal between Stornoway Port Authority and Coastal Workboats. The deal, which relocates Coastal Workboats to the marine engineering workshop at Goat Island, has forced Macmillan Engineering to vacate the premises with minimal notice, disrupting their operations. The company criticizes the Port Authority for poor communication and failing to support local businesses. The Port Authority defends the decision, citing long-term benefits and job creation for the community.

Funding to aid LHHP promote island growing

05 Dec 2023  |  www.welovestornoway.com
Lewis and Harris Horticultural Producers has received funding from the Awards for All Lottery to hire a part-time food co-ordinator/agitator for early 2024. The role will focus on encouraging islanders in Lewis and Harris to grow more food using polycrubs, greenhouses, and outdoor spaces. LHHP, which has been active for 25 years, aims to address challenges faced by small growers and believes small scale producers can significantly contribute to sustainability and food security amidst climate change and economic pressures.

Isles MP: UK migrant policy will hurt isles

04 Dec 2023  |  welovestornoway.com
Angus MacNeil, MP for the Outer Hebrides, criticizes the UK government's new migration policy, calling it 'cruel' and 'damaging' due to its potential to exacerbate depopulation in the islands. The policy, announced by Home Secretary James Cleverly, raises the minimum salary requirement for migrants and sponsors, which MacNeil argues will negatively impact the local community and essential workers. He contrasts this with the Faroe Islands, which have seen population growth, and blames the UK government's disinterest in island issues.

Driver care plea as winter bites

01 Dec 2023  |  welovestornoway.com
Drivers are being urged to exercise caution due to hazardous road conditions caused by overnight frosts and potential snowfall. A car accident occurred in Achmore under slippery conditions, prompting a response from Western Isles police. The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for wintry showers and icy patches affecting areas including Na h-Eileanan Siar, Shetland, Orkney, and the north and west coasts of Scotland. The warning highlights the risk of slips and falls on untreated surfaces and advises checking the Met Office website for updates.

Comhairle identifies priority systems to restore

01 Dec 2023  |  We love Stornoway
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has prioritized the restoration of key systems following a cyber-attack on November 7, which left stored information inaccessible. Significant progress has been made in restoring WiFi connectivity and printing, with ongoing efforts to find permanent solutions for other systems. Chief Executive Malcolm Burr emphasized the need for permanent solutions to alleviate the strain on employees and improve service delivery. The Comhairle is consulting with the Scottish Government and software providers to ensure optimal solutions.

St Andrews Day in Paris!

30 Nov 2023  |  welovestornoway.com
Western Isles food and drink businesses showcased their products at a St Andrew’s Day event at the British Embassy in Paris. The event, hosted by British Ambassador Dame Menna Rawlings and Scottish Government cabinet secretary Mairi Gougeon, featured island delicacies such as scallops, langoustines, smoked salmon, oatcakes, and gin. The evening aimed to develop relationships and introduce new products, enhancing Scotland's reputation for high-quality produce. The event followed a fact-finding tour by British Embassy chefs to the Hebrides.

Comhairle hears case for island airships

29 Nov 2023  |  welovestornoway.com
The Comhairle nan Eilean Siar's Transport and Infrastructure Committee received a presentation from the Sustainable Aviation Test Environment (SATE) project, discussing the future of aviation technologies such as airships, autonomous drones, and amphibious aircraft. The presentation emphasized increased regional mobility, potential new routes, and quicker transport for key industries. SATE, led by Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd, is exploring the integration of these technologies into regional contexts and anticipates significant developments, including hybrid aircraft trials in the Highlands and Islands by 2025. The project is currently in its second stage and has established the UK's first low carbon test location in Orkney.

Book celebrating school's 150 years is launched

29 Nov 2023  |  welovestornoway.com
A new book titled 'The Nicolson Institute - The History of an Island School' by Iain Smith with Joan Forrest was launched to commemorate the 150th anniversary of The Nicolson Institute. The book, featuring nearly 200 photographs and various historical documents, highlights the school's impact on education in Lewis and the Western Isles. The launch event included speeches from the authors and notable figures such as Dr. Frances Murray and Tom Clarke, who shared personal anecdotes and praised the school's legacy. The event also featured musical performances by current student Innes Begg. Additional launch events are scheduled in Borve and Partick Burgh Halls.

Man jailed for sexual offences on Lewis

28 Nov 2023  |  welovestornoway.com
A 54-year-old man, Sinclair Leahy, has been sentenced to six years in prison for serious sexual offences committed on the Isle of Lewis between March 2020 and February 2021. Leahy was found guilty at the High Court in Edinburgh on October 16, 2023. Detective Sergeant Daniel Smith of Police Scotland highlighted the force's commitment to addressing sexual offences and supporting victims.

HMRT callouts clock 300 hours this year

28 Nov 2023  |  We love Stornoway
The Hebrides Mountain Rescue Team (HMRT) held its annual general meeting, highlighting the promotion of four trainees to full members, logging over 300 personnel hours on callouts, and the completion of a new team base. Despite fewer callouts in the past year, the incidents varied widely. The new base, opened in May, has been well received and used for multiple training sessions. The meeting also saw the election of two new committee members. HMRT, based in Stornoway and formed in 2010, is inviting new members who are physically fit and eager to learn, regardless of mountaineering experience.

Lewis Wind Power launches sponsorship fund

05 Oct 2023  |  welovestornoway.com
Lewis Wind Power (LWP), a joint venture between EDF Renewables and ESB, has launched a sponsorship fund for local projects in Stornoway, offering £12,500. The fund opens on January 5, with a deadline for applications on January 29. LWP also announced continued support for the HebCelt festival with a £7,500 donation for the 2024 edition. Darren Cuming of LWP highlighted the positive impact of the fund and the festival on the local community and economy.

Temporary free parking in Perceval Square

01 Oct 2023  |  welovestornoway.com
Parking in Stornoway's Perceval Square Car Park will be temporarily free for a maximum of two hours from December 15 to January 5 to support businesses and the public during the festive period. Comhairle nan Eilean Siar aims to facilitate Christmas shopping and ensure a good turnover of parking spaces.

Islanders invited to shape independent living fund

01 Oct 2023  |  welovestornoway.com
Disabled people, support organizations, and stakeholders in the Highlands and Islands are invited to participate in shaping the reopened Independent Living Fund (ILF) Scotland through an online event and subsequent co-produced events. Feedback will be collected by a working group established by the Scottish Government and ILF Scotland, which will make recommendations to the Minister for Social Care, Mental Wellbeing and Sport. The ILF, established in 2015, will reopen on a phased basis in 2024/25 with an initial £9 million to support up to 1,000 additional disabled people with complex needs.

Licensing Board Welcomes Pubwatch Success

01 Oct 2023  |  We love Stornoway
The Western Isles Licensing Board has commended the Lewis and Harris Pubwatch scheme for its significant impact on public safety and behavior in licensed premises. The scheme, which targets abusive and threatening behavior, violence, and underage drinking, has received praise for its collaborative efforts with local publicans. Councillor Norman Macdonald highlighted the scheme's success in meeting the board's primary objectives, ensuring a safer environment for the community.

Medical wards reopened to new admissions

09 Feb 2023  |  welovestornoway.com
Medical Ward 1 in Stornoway's Western Isles Hospital has reopened to new admissions after being closed due to a Norovirus outbreak. Ward 2, which had been closed since January 23 due to Covid-19 cases, reopened earlier. NHS Western Isles advises visitors to avoid visiting if they feel unwell or have symptoms of Norovirus or COVID-19, and to practice good hand hygiene to combat circulating viruses.

Two days of snow warnings

12 Jan 2023  |  welovestornoway.com
The Met Office has issued two consecutive weather alerts for snow and ice from Saturday evening through Monday, with snow showers expected to affect northern Scotland during strong northerly winds. Accumulations of 2-5cm are expected in some places, with up to 10cm in a few low-lying areas. Disruptive snow is possible as milder Atlantic air meets cold arctic air over the UK. Loganair is allowing customers to adjust travel plans without charge due to the predicted weather.

Road closure north of Balallan after RTC

11 Jan 2023  |  We love Stornoway
The A859 near Balallan has been closed following a road traffic collision involving a single car. Police Scotland reported the incident occurred around 2.50pm on January 11, 2023. Emergency services are on the scene, and a lane is expected to open soon.

Shed Café opens

05 Dec 2022  |  welovestornoway.com
The Shed Café, a recovery café in Stornoway, opened on December 5, offering a new space for the community and individuals recovering from addiction. Managed by The Shed Project and funded by the Outer Hebrides Alcohol and Drug Partnership, the café aims to provide skills and a sense of purpose to volunteers on their recovery journey. The opening was a success, with full tables and support from the community. The café, which took six months to set up, will be in a pilot stage for about a year with hopes of becoming a long-term community fixture.

Santa's fire engine ignites fayre

25 Nov 2022  |  welovestornoway.com
The Parkend to Braighe (P2B) Community Association Christmas Fayre on November 25 featured Santa arriving on a fire engine, various stalls, home baking, games, and a raffle. The event, held at Sandwick Hall, emphasized community bonding and support for local crafters and businesses. Funds raised will support P2B committee activities, including a warm hub and outings.

Jamie Wills’s Profile

15 Nov 2020  |  muckrack.com
The article reflects on the personal experience of the author's first job in journalism as a part-time columnist for the 'Elite Reference' supplement of the 'China Youth Daily' newspaper. Although the author considers this role to not be 'real journalism,' it likely provided valuable experience. The piece also touches on the essence of being a journalist, which involves research, interviews, self-education, and presentation of information. The author emphasizes the importance of going beyond social media platforms like Twitter to conduct thorough journalism.

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