News

First beneficiaries of OSH community fund announced

15th April 2022

Isle of Skye organic salmon producer Organic Sea Harvest (OSH) is delighted to announce the first beneficiaries of its ‘Bho Mhuir gu Tìr’ community fund.


Partnering with their dedicated aqua feed supplier, Cargill, the fund was launched at the time of OSH’s first harvest in 2021, and forms part of the company’s ongoing commitment to bring social, cultural, and economic benefits to the North-East Skye communities it farms within.


Funding has now been awarded to the first four successful applicants:

  • Skye Camanachd - funding of £3000 per year for 3 years, to provide training tops for shinty season 2022 and contribute to the purchase of shinty camans/sticks.
  • The Portree Community Allotments Project - funding amount of £2030.40 for materials and machinery to install deer fencing around the new allotments.
  • Sgoil Stafainn parent council - funding amount of £2000 for new window blinds for 3 classrooms, school prizes, equipment and materials for school and after-school clubs, and transport to external events.
  • Funding amount of £1400 to complete community fundraising for the installation of a new defibrillator outside MacKenzie Stores in Staffin.

Organic Sea Harvest operate two sea sites in North East Skye, which are both officially certified as Organic by the UK Soil Association.

Organic Sea Harvest founding director Alex MacInnes said:


Our intention has always been to give something back to the local communities of North-East Skye, and we are delighted that the first round of our community funding has been awarded to a diverse range of beneficiaries; from long standing organisations to brand new projects.


We have already received a large number of applications for the next round of funding and would encourage local community groups and projects to get in touch through our website to see if they might be eligible to apply.


The first local group to apply to the fund was the Sgoil Stafainn parent council, who have been awarded £2000 to support after-school clubs, school transport to external events, and to install new blinds in some of the classrooms.


Jock Gordon, Treasurer of Sgoil Stafainn parent council, said:


"While normal community driven fundraising events have been curtailed due to Covid,  Sgoil Stafainn Parent Council are very grateful to OSH & Cargill for this £2000 grant which has enabled the Parent Council to continue supporting the school in these difficult times."


Another of the first beneficiaries is The Portree Allotments project; a combined initiative between Portree and Braes Community Trust and Skye Housing Association, to create community growing areas, individual allotments, an orchid, and fully accessible paths on an area of wasteland near the centre of Portree. Phase 1 of the project is now underway, which will create 8 allotments (growing space for up to 16 households), along with the necessary drainage and infrastructure works to support the growth of the area as the project moves on to future stages. The funding award of £2030.40 from the OSH & Cargill community fund will allow for the purchase of materials to build secure deer fencing around the site.


Fiona Thomson, Development Officer at Portree and Braes Community Trust, said:


The timing of this award couldn't be better. After investing many hundreds of hours of volunteer time the community are finally progressing with the purchase of the allotments site and the working group were keen to keep up momentum and start developing the site as soon as possible for the coming growing season.  The fencing is a key element of the first phase of the project and the support from Organic Sea Harvest has meant that the community is now significantly closer to realising their vision for the chosen allotments site. Thank you to the Organic Sea Harvest team."


Back in Staffin, fundraising has been underway in the community to install a new defibrillator outside MacKenzie Stores. £1400 has been awarded from the OSH & Cargill community fund to complete the fundraising and allow purchase of the defibrillator.


Organic Sea Harvest’s local shinty team, Skye Camanachd, has also been awarded funding in a 3 year sponsorship deal to buy training strips for all the teams and help the club to maintain and replace their camans (shinty sticks) over this period. The club has dedicated fitness and training coaches, with the health and well-being of players being a top priority.


Thomas Wilson, chairperson of Skye Camanachd, said:


The club are delighted at the support OSH has provided and hope to have a continued relationship in the years ahead. Coming out of COVID financially is a burden on everyone and a charity sport club like Skye Camanachd has naturally felt that. The donation from the community fund alleviates the club having to spend its limited resources and the players having to spend their own money. We are very fortunate to have the support of local businesses like OSH.

 

To find out more information, and to request an application form for the

‘Bho Mhuir gu Tìr’ community fund, email communityfund@organicseaharvest.co.uk or visit www.organicseaharvest.co.uk

ENDS

Notes To Editors:

1: OSH focuses solely on producing the finest organic salmon.

2: OSH currently operates two sites on Skye, located at Invertote and Culnacnoc in the North East of the island, with both sea sites officially certified as organic by the UK Soil Association.

3: For further press enquiries, please contact Robert John MacInnes: rjm@organicseaharvest.co.uk