For the good of all

I had a really great time in town today. Another really positive meeting hosted by Volunteer Action Orkney, it was great to meet new people from the other islands and catching up with some familiar faces.
Today’s meeting was the final stage of VAO’s Your Island Your Choice Participatory Budget where 9 islands were represented at the meeting and 2 others submitted postal votes for the event.

Congratulations to The Blide Trust and Eday Development Trust for winning the £6,000 in the inter-island fund.
I really like Eday’s idea of providing smart TV’s and webcams to promote inter-island connectivity and communications. I’m a huge supporter of the island’s coming together and supporting each other, after all we’re all in the same boat, suffering similar problems but all unique in our own way.
The Blide Trusts bid to improve and support the mental wellness on the islands through gardening and Tai Chi etc is certainly an interesting proposal and I look forward to seeing how that works out.

I really liked the idea of Papay Development Trust hiring the Golden Marianna to sail between Papay and Westray, giving them an extra 12 ferries between the two islands. Sadly there wasn’t enough money in the budget to fund this project.
I really hope they can find the funds to set this up, I think it would really improve prospects for the people of Papay.

I can’t thank VAO enough for their contribution and support over the past few months, bringing all 13 island communities together to decide what their respective island needed and giving us the money we need to improve our islands the way we see fit.
To say that this pilot project has been a roaring success would be an understatement! I certainly hope we can move forward together and keep the momentum going, hopefully even with a bigger pot of money.
In the mean time, North Ronaldsay will shop around to set up our very first gym/healthy living centre. I guess there’ll be no excuses for anyone on the island being unfit! That’s one way to keep warm during the winter months! 

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