News Archive - January February March 2018

Jamie Stone MP Writes To First Mnister Regarding Caithness Poor Health
Jamie Stione Writes To Nicola Strugeon regarding Caithness Chronic Health figures
Jamie Stone MP for Caithness Sutherland and Ross writes today on his Facebook page - "Today I've written to Nicola Sturgeon to express my concern at the high levels of chronic disease in Caithness that were reported in this Monday's Press & Journal. The very high number of health problems experienced by people in the Far North make it more urgent than ever that higher levels of government step in to assist the local NHS.

Good Governance Training For Committee Members, Directors and Staff
Good Governance Sessions for Groups
Good Governance Training will be delivered in two sessions Wednesday 9th May 7pm-8.30pm. Your members what are they?, Ever wondered why you have members and why they are there How your committee works How your group is made up.

Funding Information Event In Wick - Groups Can Book A Place Now
Funding Event

Tuesday 24th April 10.00am-1pm Pulteney Centre, Wick.

John O'Groats Trail Group Install New Footbridge at Ousdale
New Footbridge at Ousdale By John O'Groat Trail GroupNew Foot Bridge At Ousdale
A team of 14 people built an 8-metre bridge across the Ousdale Burn, one of the largest burns along the Trail. They worked from 11 to 5 to complete the project, despite rain and cold. They were preceded the Sunday before by a team of 7 who brought the heavy materials, including two steel heavy beams, down the steep hillside. Ruard Erridge of Far North Fencing led the team and designed the bridge on the go, working to professional standards and with great leadership skills in collaborating with volunteers.
AGM At Gills Harbour and Some History
A reminder that the AGM for Gils Harbour takes place tomorrow Tuesday 27th March 2018 at Gills and there will be a talk by economist Tony Mackay.  Attached to this item is also some history from Morris Pottinger.

Walrus Spotted At Peedie Beach, Dunnet Head - STV
Colin McLean spotted the mammal basking in the sun on Peedie Beach at Dunnet Head in Caithness on Monday.
Could it be the same one spotted in Orkney a few days ago

The John O'Groats Trail Group Moving Forward
John O'Groat Trail LeafletJohn OGroat Trail Leaflet
Since its inception by Jay Wilson the John OGroats Trail group of volunteers have kept moving forward. With a daunting prospect of marking out 147 miles of trail From Inverness to John O'Groats they have created a viable route. Placing way markers and building styles and bridges the volunteers are still hard at work and slowly overcoming the problems. There are still fences to get over in some places and getting permissions from landowners all require time and sometimes cash. Established as a registered charity the group have gone from strength to strength and have just published a leaflet for the route and shortly will bring out a larger guide book.

Caithness Science Festival 2018 - Fun Day
Caithness International Science Festival 2018 Fun Day Saturday 17 March 2018Caithness International Science Festival 2018 Fun DayCaithness International Science Festival 2018 Fun DayCaithness International Science Festival 2018 Fun Day 17 March 2018

The final day of the Caithness Science Festival - "The Fun Day" gave a chance for listening to talks on various topic and many hands on displays.  The day showed to young people that science can be not only extremely interesting but also fun with the added bonus of a potential career.  This was the 16th festival that has grown bigger each year.  The fun day was held for the first time in the new Wick High school campus where the covered street that looks like a huge corridor really came into its own managing to house all the stalls and cafe.  Well done to Prof Iain Baikie and his team for continuing to stage the event that reaches every school in Caithness over the last few days.
‘Preparing for Investment' in the Highlands and Islands - charities, social enterprises, community enterprise Preparingfor investment - charities social enterprises
The workshops, delivered in conjunction with Community Shares Scotland and Firstport, will consider how social investment can be used to start, grow or develop community and social enterprise. Full of tips and advice on raising finance we will look at what it means to be ‘investment ready' and give participants a greater understanding of risk, rates and appropriateness of the different ways of raising money. Following on from an interactive and informative morning session we take a very practical and fun approach as you become the lender....will you invest? If you, your colleagues or your community want to know more about social investment then register now and spread the word.... All events are free to attend and include lunch. Sponsored by HIE, these events will give charities, social enterprises, community enterprise, advisors and intermediaries an overview of how social investment can enable greater growth, sustainability and social impact. The programme will be visiting: Wick 27th March at Pulteneytown Peoples Project.  Registration is required.

Caithness Science Festival 2018 - Photos
Caithness Science Festival 2018Caithness Science Festival 2018Caithness Science Festival 2018Caithness Science Festival 2018

The Caithness Science Festival 2018 is still going strong in its sixteenth year.  The official launch was on Tuesday this week with events running every day.  Prof. Iain Baikie who founded the festival and still leads a team of enthusiastic people to run it.  He thanked a range of people for their support.  At the event farewell was said to former Lord Lieutenant Ann Dunnet who has retired and was a long term supporter and patron.  MP Jamie Stone opened the festival with astronaut Duane Carey telling why he liked coming back for a fifth time to the festiaval.  Former MP and current Lord Lieutenant John Thurso gave vote of thanks.  A few demonstration tasters of the events for the week were on show to the people who were attending at the new Newton Park primary school. Every school in Caithness has had events from the festival and the big Fun Day is on Saturday 17 April 2018.
Community Groups Rewarded To Deliver Improvement Projects
Caithness and North Sutherland fund awards March 2018
Community groups across Caithness and north Sutherland have gained more than 178,000 from a local fund's recent awards. The Caithness & North Sutherland Fund, which is provided by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), has held two funding rounds since October and awarded money to eleven projects. Jim MacGregor, CNSFund Chair said, "It is an objective of the CNSFund to support activity that delivers added value or additionality and our aim is to focus on projects that will achieve environment, social, culture or infrastructure improvements. Our latest funding rounds saw the CNSFund commit over 178k towards a wide range of development projects throughout the Dounreay travel to work area. 
Opinions sought from Thurso Residents
Thurso residents opinions sought - Fill in the survey
Thurso Community Development Trust is continuing in its efforts to understand the needs of Thurso Residents while moving forward in identifying early projects for the Trust to complete for the development of the town. A successful public meeting was held earlier this month where round table discussions brought out many positive opinions of the town and needs for improvement. Marion O'Brien of the steering group leading the Trust stated, "It was wonderful to see so many people turn out and give views on Thurso a lot of discussion and positive ways forward were suggested, it is clear that many people share similar view points on what we need to do in terms of the tourism sector in particular and playing up to our strengths as a town rich in heritage and attractive spaces but not often celebrated."
Caithness International Science Festival 2018 - Many Events This Week Monday 12th - Saturday 17th March
Whats On This Week
Caithness Science Festival 2018Events

321 Blast Off - Astronaut Daune "Digger" Carey Monday 12th March
Caithness Science Festival 2018Meet an Astronaut

Launch Event - Tuesday 13th March
Caithness Science Festival 2018Official Launch event with tasters of the week

Gorilla Man and Blast Off 123 Wednesday14th March
Caithness Science Festival 2018Caithness Science Festival 2018

Lochaber To The Cosmos Thursday 15th March
Caithness Science Festival 2018Caithness Science Festival 2018

Its a Boozy Science - 16th March 2018
Caithness Science Festival 2018Boozy Science - Caithness Science Festival 2018

Family Fun Day At Caithness Science Festival 2018 - Saturday 17th March
Caithness Science Festival 2018Caithness Science Festival 2018

For more information see the Caithness Science Festival Web site
Halladale Film Festival 23 - 25 March 2018
Halladale Film Festival 23 - 25 March 2018Halladale Film Festival 23 - 25 March 2018Halladale Film Festival 23 - 25 March 2018Halladale Film Festival 23 - 25 March 2018Halladale Film Festival 23 - 25 March 2018

The Halladale Film Festival which is running at the Halladale Hall (A897) from March 23-25th.
The programme of films span Bill Nighy in the more mainstream, 'Their Finest', Indian film, 'The Lunchbox', Icelandic, 'Rams' to local films showing this area and people in the 60's & 70's 'An Album of Memories', the Flow country and a couple of surfer films; ’The Accord’ and 'The Faroes' and closing with the decidedly more edgy, ‘Deadpool' .... There is also a film making workshop included in the festival pass, but for that you need to sign-up ahead of time.  Gallery

The Story Of A Life By Grayson Perry  - Tapestries by Grayson Perry at Thurso Gallery until 28th april 2018Thurso Gallery until 28th April
The Essex House Tapestries: The Life of Julie Cope (2015) illustrate the key events in the heroine's journey from her birth during the Canvey Island floods of 1953 to her untimely death in a tragic accident on a Colchester street. Rich in cultural and architectural details, the tapestries contain a social history of modern Britain that everyone can relate to.  Perry is known for his ceramic art, in which traditional decorative forms reveal more complex narratives and irreverent political statements. A Turner Prize winner (2003), more recently he has reached a wider audience through a series of socio-cultural television programmes.
Not All New Items Appear On This Page
Check out from time to time  in  Arts - - Business - - Community - - Jobs - - Whatson
Many items but not all flow across to our Facebook pages

Volunteers Wanted To Record Plants
Bugle - volunteer to record plants
How would you or one of your group members like to be part of a UK wide project to record how our native plant species are changing over time? The National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS) is looking for volunteers to adopt a one km square in your area that you can visit twice a year. The scheme is supported by Scottish Natural Heritage and will help us gain a greater understanding of plant communities in Scotland.

Council Issues More Fines In Caithness For Dog Fouling And Fly Tipping

Dunbeath Broch Gains Leader Funding
Dunbeath Broch gets Leader funding
An award of 21,014 from the Highland LEADER Programme is the last piece of the financial jigsaw required for a project which aims to conserve Dunbeath Broch in Caithness. Neil Buchanan, Chair of Berriedale & Dunbeath Community Council said: "Dunbeath Strath provides a walk with a variety of interest and is popular with local people, the wider Caithness community and visitors to the area. The Strath is sheltered, picturesque, has a long and impressive history of human settlement and is rich in archaeological sites. The best known of these are brochs - tall imposing circular drystone towers built over 2000 years ago - some of the most remarkable structures ever built in Britain. Despite this richness very few Caithness brochs have been subject to modern excavation and dating and few are readily accessible or adequately presented.
Living Better With A Long Term Condition - Starts 19th March at Caithness Horizons
Sign Up For a five week course ar Caihness Horizons.  This has made a diffeence for many peopel so take a look

Shooting Clerks - Postponed unitl 10th March
Shooting Clerks- 3 March 2018
Thurso Players - One of our ex members - Brett Murray is returning to the Mill Theatre with his film showing. The film is around an hour and a half long and will be screened on Saturday 10th March (Postponed from 3rd March), followed by a question and answer session and refreshments will be available.

HiMRA - Highland Migrant & Refugee Advocacy - A New Volunteering Opportunity
HiMRA - Highland Migrant & Refugee Advocacy - A New Volunteering Opportunity
This new project has a focus on empowering migrants and refugees to speak out and seek support. Building on the findings from Birchwood Highland's 'Migrant Matters' research, this project will seek to fulfil the need for support services to be enduring, community based and community led. The project is looking for volunteers in several partsof Highland including Wick.

Norscot Secures Innovation of the Year Award
Local Caithness Firm Norscot based at Bower Secures Innovation of the Year Award
Norscot, the Highlands and Islands manufacturer of timber frame kits, windows and doors, received the Innovation of the Year Award at the prestigious Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards 2018. The awards, run by Interface, aim to celebrate the achievements of academic and business collaborations and partnerships.  Norscot, in partnership with the University of Strathclyde, were recognised for the research and development of virtual reality show home software. Norscot currently employs 60 staff and generates an annual turnover of more than 4 million.
KELLOGG'S Celebrates 20 Years Of Supporting Breakfast Clubs With New Grant Programme
KELLOGG'S Celebrates 20 Years Of Supporting Breakfast Clubs With New Grant Programme
Cereal giant to give 1,000 to a breakfast club every school day of 2018. Here is how schools in your area can apply. The Kellogg's breakfast club network currently supports 3,000 clubs. Kellogg's is celebrating 20 years of championing breakfast clubs by offering schools across the country the chance to get their hands on 1,000. To mark the anniversary, the cereal giant will be giving a 1,000 grant away every school day of 2018. Schools should act fast if they want to try and win an award of 1000 as the offer is to be withdrawn if over suscribed.
16th Caithness International Science Festival
Caithness Science Festival 2018
Snakes, Tarantulas,Gorilla's, Engineering, Wildlife Adventures, Elements, Programming, Environments, Electrics, K'NEX and Storytelling. Yes it is that time of year again - the 2018 Caithness International Science Festival is ready to kick for an even bigger festival. This is the 16th Annual Festival and "the biggest and best to date, there is already a buzz of excitement around" according to Chairman Iain Baikie. "We are really excited to have NASA Astronaut Duane "Digger" Carey coming back to Caithness for the festival. Duane is such an inspirational speaker and very giving with his knowledge and experience. With this in mind we have scheduled Duane in to visit as many schools as we possibly can as well as hosting two public events where everyone is welcome to attend"
20 Mile An Hour Speed Limit for Streets In Wick
20 Mile an hour speed limit for Wick streets
The safety of children walking and cycling to and from school and traffic calming measures in Wick were under the spotlight at yesterdays meeting of the Caithness Committee (Wednesday 21 February 2018). Local Councillors have given the go-ahead for proposals to introduce a 20mph speed limit and traffic calming measures across Wick designed to get motorists to slow down when driving around the town. The scheme will include introducing gateway signage, roundels, 20mph repeater signs and Speed Indication Devices. Money will come from the 50,000 per year of capital funding allocated by the Council to implementation 20mph speed limit schemes across the Highlands in addition to the 100k Carbon Clever Capital contribution.  Business Index

Book Bug Sessions At Wick
Book Bug sessions take place at Wick and Thurso libraries and are a great start for kids reading with lots of fun and singing.  Check out your local library.

Scottish Community Drama - Festival of One Act Plays
Festival of One Act Plays in Assembly Rooms, Wick

Weekend Drama festival featuring Thurso & Wick Players.

23rd and 24th February 2018. 7.30pm - 10.30pm.

Assembly rooms, Wick.

Caithness Health Action Team (CHAT) At Scottish Parliament
Caithness Health Action Team members at Scottish Parliement 7th February 2018
Five members of CHAT formed the delegation to meet with the health minister Shona Robison on Wednesday 7th February 2018. The team from CHAT each took different elements of health concerns in Caithness to present to those present. Much to the surprise to CHAT the meeting had grown somewhat. The minister had invited a few others to listen including all the Highland MSP's (only Rhoda Grant and Gail Ross were actually present with Edward Mountain left feeling it had been orchestrated to keep him out as he had to chair a major committee meeting that morning. Also present were David Alston chairman of NHS Highland and Elaine Mead the Chief executive of NHS Highland.  Items are in several newspapers including the John O'Groat Journal today with features on the day and following day radio.   More going on over the next few days on the CHAT Facebook page .
Scottish Guitar Virtuoso Andy Gunn - Live at Assembly Rooms
Andy Gunn Live
Scottish Guitar Virtuoso Andy Gunn brings his all new line up featuring the cream of Scottish Blues musicians on tour in support of brand new album ‘Too Many Guitars To Give Up Now'. Compared to Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan in the press, Andy has absorbed these classic influences but also honed his own style and voice over the years by the old fashioned route of wood shedding and jamming in every bar and club the length of the UK. He has also played many festivals and shared the stage with such names as Buddy Guy, Albert Collins and Geno Washington.

Auction Sale of Former Wick High School
Wick High School for sale by auction
The former Wick High School has now been put up for sale by auction with a guide price of 50,000.

Local Groups Share Funding Pot of 75000
In the latest round of awards from the E.ON Camster Community Fund over 75,000 has been distributed to eleven local projects. Awards ranged from 255 to hire a bouncy castle for the Watten Pre-School Parents Council annual Christmas party, to 25,000 to Lybster Community Improvement Fundraising Group to contribute to the purchase and installation of equipment to transform the playpark.
Highland primary and nursery enrolment
Highland Council is inviting parents and carers to enrol their child for nursery and primary 1 for the 2018/19 school year which starts on 21 August 2018. If your child will be five years of age on or before 28 February 2019, they are eligible to enrol for primary 1. Children born between 1 March 2014 and 29 February 2016 are entitled to a funded Early Learning and Childcare place.

Community groups celebrate after being awarded funding following public vote
Your Cash Your Caithness 2018
Local people in Caithness cast their votes on Saturday (27th January 2018) at a Highland Council participatory budgeting event held in Thurso High School. Eleven out of the 18 projects bidding for 15,000.00 of community funding were successfully voted for by over 100 people who registered to vote on the day. Applicants were given a 3 minute slot to sell their project with a further 2 minutes allocated to allow any questions from the audience.

Castle Of Mey Highland Games To Host First Scottish Paralympics Athlete
Alex Armor
An article in the Mail on Sunday has highlighted a move for Castle of Mey Highland Games to hold the first ever events for athletes with a disability.

Highland Council Announce No Cuts For PSA and ASN Jobs
The council's budget leader Alasdair Mackinnon said on BBC Radio Scotland that suggested cuts to 300 jobs in schools were "off the table".   It remains to be seen if teacher numbers will still be affected.

Caithness Horizons Cuts Manager Post And Reduces Curator Hours
Caitness Horizons Gets Ready for budget cuts
Uncertainty over funding from Highland council. Caithness Horizons, which tells the story of the county of Caithness from 416 million years ago to the present day, has deleted its manager post and cut its curator's hours from 40 to 20 hours a week in anticipation of funding cuts. The independent museum, in Thurso, Scotland, received 90,000 from the Highland Council, and 95,000 from Dounreay (the history of the Dounreay Nuclear Research Establishment is told in the museum) in 2017-18, towards its overall budget of 345,000.

Volunteer Mentors Sought by Action for Children in Caithness and Sutherland
Action For Children - Mentors wanted in Caithness and Sutherland
A leading children's charity are seeking volunteer mentors across the Highlands to work with young people supported by a project Action for Children have just launched in Inverness and Ross shire. Caithness and Sutherland are next! Action for Children in the Highlands have begun delivering ‘Intandem', a needs led volunteer mentoring service funded by Inspiring Scotland, for young people aged 8-14 who face complicated and challenging situations. Intandem has been set up to support young people coming into, or leaving the care system, and provide a positive adult role model. The project will match mentors with trained volunteers to build a positive, trusting, supportive and secure relationship.

Laurandy Day Care Centre Gets Local Funds Boost
Laurandy Day Care Centre
Laurandy Day Care Centre held a fund-raiser day at Tesco , Wick and raised 526.29 at Tesco on Saturday 20th January 2018. Chairman of Laurandy Day Care Centre, Bill Fernie said,"We thank the public once again for their generosity. The money goes to help run the centre where we care for mainly very elderly people. A high number of our clients unfortunately have dementia or Alzheimers."
                          Community Index

How Many Calories in a Burn's Supper and Ways to Burn Them Off!
How Many Calooriesin Haggis and Neeps and how to burn them off
On average there are 1,303 calories in one helping of your Burn's night feast (but then who ever has just one helping?. Discover the calorie breakdown of the main components of a Burn's supper and some inventive ways to burn your way through it!

Thurso Town Improvements Burns Supper For Senior Citizens - FREE
Tickets are available on a first come, first served basis from Caithness Horizons Museum and Art Gallery.
Interim elections for Highland Community Councils
Community Council Elections
Nominations are being invited from people seeking election onto eight community councils across the Highlands. The resignation of some members have brought the following six community council's down to below half of their memberships so interim elections have been called in order to fill the vacancies.

     Caithness Business Index

Your Cash Your Caithness 2018 - Projects short-listed for public vote
Money for Participatory budgeting round
Following the Your Cash Your Caithness initial bidding process, 19 projects now have a chance to put their idea to the public vote. There is 15,000 on offer with applications received totalling 25,545. The participatory budgeting event will take place in the Main Hall of Thurso High School on Saturday 27 January 2018. Registration will be from 9.30 am and the event will start at 10.00am sharp and run until around 1.30pm.   Community Index

Helping Businesses And Third Sector Supply To The Public Sector
Procurement for Businesses and Social Enterprises
The Highland Council and its Commercial and Procurement Shared Services partners Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils are running a series of events to help businesses supply to the public sector. Some of the events are hosted by other organisations and we will be signposting suppliers to these as well. The programme of events for Highland aims to increase understanding of public sector procurement policy/legislation by offering practical support.

Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership Latest Update

Our Story - Caithness FM on Radio Scotland
This programme went out on Radio Scotland a few days ago but you can catch it on iplayer on he link above.
See the Portacabin    Caithness FM on Facebook
Get Switched On At Work With Electric Vehicles
Green Event to Check out electric vehicles
'Switched on @ Work' is an event to help employees and businesses identify the benefits of switching to ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs). ULEVs range from pure electric, plug-in hybrids and extended range electric vehicles. Dealerships will provide a range of ULEVs for test driving as well as the opportunity to discuss interest-free loans for electric vehicles, fuel efficient driver training for EV's and grant funding for home and workplace charging infrastructure.

The Mill At John O'Groats Trust Asks You To Complete Their Survey
Mill at John O'GroatsMill at John O'Groats
The trust wishes to find out more about your viewson restoring and opeing a new community place a the mill.

    PHOTO GALLERY        Other Old Buildings In Caithness

See The Latest New Jobs Available Today
The Caithness jobs market is picking up as 2018 gets going.  29 new vacancies have been entered in our forum this week already.

Siemens Recruitment for Jobs At New Wick Supply Base
Siemens have begun a recruitment drive for the new base under construction at Wick harbour.   Three permanent full time jobs are currently in with more to come as the project moves forward so keep checking.