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Our Community Engagement Project

This exciting new project is aimed at reducing social isolation and promoting social activities across the West Harris estate and wider community.

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Our Story

This exciting new project is aimed at reducing social isolation and promoting social activities across the West Harris estate and wider community. This is more relevant now than ever before, with many facing enforced isolation as a result of the Covid19 pandemic.


Social isolation is known to have a hugely negative effect on an individual’s health and wellbeing, and affects all, no matter their stage of life. We hope through this project to develop effective ways to prevent and reduce social isolation. In the coming months, we will be putting our heads together (socially distanced of course) to create a project strategy and meet with our wonderful partners, Third Sector Hebrides (Befriending Lewis and Harris) and mPower, who we will be working alongside to the benefit of our island communities.

We will also be carrying out a number of engagement activities to allow us to better understand your priorities and needs, allowing us to devise and deliver a programme of interesting and inclusive events and activities.


Among proposed activities are a horticulture group, health walks, workshops and ceilidhs. Covid19 will of course continue to impact the project, but we are working our way through guidance to better understand how we can adapt the project to ensure participants remain safe.

 

This project came about following previous community consultations in which a need was identified for greater opportunities for social activities. We want the project to be led by the community, for the community and this will only be possible with your input.

Our Project Team

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Hello, I’m Iain Maciver, the new Community Participation Officer for the West Harris Trust. I’m a Leodhasach who has lived in Dundee for the last 10 years, having left the island to study Community Learning and Development at the University of Dundee. After graduating I was lucky to work in youth work, then employability and more recently with Dundee and Angus College trying to end child poverty.  
I am really looking forward to my new role and the opportunities this will bring. I am excited to meet everyone in the community and hopefully enhance community life here in Harris.

COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION OFFICER
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My name is Romy Benedetti, Project assistant. I am delighted to be part of this project as I believe more importance needs to be placed on the role of face-to-face interaction and maintaining social bonds, during this trying time. I am very happy to be part of a project aimed at reducing feelings of loneliness and social isolation. Today, face-to-face communication in general has declined, without adding a global pandemic into the mix. With that said I hope that everyone will participate in this new project in order to help others and develop the community.

PROJECT ASSISTANT
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