Rona Membury (HTN Treasurer), Donald MacDonald (Secretary) with Dawn Davidson, Support Worker WI Sight Action; and Ali MacLennan (Chair of HTN)

Two local charities recently received a much-needed cash boost to support their activities.

The committee of the Hebridean Talking newspapers association - Rona Membury (Treasurer), Donald MacDonald (secretary) and Ali MacLennan (Chair) - presented Alzheimer Scotland Lewis and Harris branch with £1280.58 and The Western Isles Sensory centre with £2000.

The Hebridean Talking newspapers association was established in the early 1980s with the first tapes going out in November 1984 to about 100 blind and partially sighted listeners in Lewis and Harris. But with the advance of modern technology, demand slumped and the group has recently wound itself up.

"Following on from the hard work of Bob Eaves and Meg Thompson of the Hebridean Talking newspapers association, the last of the commitee on winding up, have the pleasure on behalf of those who went before us to donate this money," said Rona Membury.

Western Isles Sensory Centre (WISC) is a branch of Sight Action, with their head office in Inverness. In the Western Isles they have two workers, Dawn Davidson and Ishbel, who are based in their local office in Esplanade Court. Ishbel is often to be found at the hospital as Eye Clinic Liaison Officer. Dawn is mainly office-based as she is getting to grips with Sign Language and hoping to work towards a qualification that will be of benefit to the Deaf services.

Dawn said: “We cover the Western Isles supporting people who have Sensory difficulties, predominantly vision and hearing.

“We have recently started two new groups, a Deaf Club which runs every second Tuesday evening and a Sensory Support group which runs monthly, on the last Thursday of the month 2pm – 4pm.

“This kind donation from the Hebridean Talking Newspaper will be used in the Western Isles for our Sensory Support group as they look at beginning new projects. This is an exciting time for the Sensory service as we aim to reach out to more people in our community.

“If you would like to be part of this service, we are always looking for volunteers, please feel free to pop into our local branch on Esplanade Court, Stornoway or give us a call on (01851) 701787. “.

Alzheimer Scotland Lewis and Harris branch support the local Alzheimer Scotland Western Isles service. Alzheimer Scotland’s local service provides support services, community activities, dementia advisor, dementia resource centre, dementia specific advice and information to other agencies and awareness raising to support people living with dementia and their families in the Western Isles. The Lewis and Harris branch support the local service with fundraising activity. The donation will be used to continue and develop ongoing work that the service has been involved in with the Playlist for life project (

Marion MacInnes. Service Manager, said: “Currently our service provides a 1-1 support worker to work alongside the individual and their families/friends/carers to create a personalised playlist so the person can then access their favourite music as part of a meaningful activity or to simply relax and enjoy listening to their music.

“We are very grateful to receive this donation to support our work. If anyone is interested in finding out more about this or wishes to support this activity in any way we’d love to hear from you.”

Contact Marion at 18 Bells Road, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis 01851 70 2123. 07771925730. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Rona Membury (HTN Treasurer), Donald MacDonald (Secretary), Marion MacInnes (Service Manager Alzheimer Scotland), Ellie Donnelly (Dementia Advisor Alz Scot)