The Royal Air Force will land in Tarbert next week to help support the personal development and curriculum needs of 200 young people from Harris, 4-5 June 2019.

The visit will be based in and around the Sir E Scott School combined primary and secondary campus. The 15-strong RAF team will work with the school’s staff and students to lead a wide ranging programme of activities:

  • In conjunction with the University of the Highlands & Islands, the RAF Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) team will work with sixth year students on Tuesday afternoon to help them with a personal development project where the sixth years will teach and lead their own STEM project with their fellow primary age students, supervised by the RAF personnel.
  • A three strong group from the RAF Youth Engagement team will run a range of individual and team building activities for primary and secondary classes on Wednesday, including lunchtime and evening sessions.
  • A presentation on the crash of an RAF bomber on Harris during WW2 will also see the launch of the new RAF Scottish Aviation STEM Heritage Trail Website during the visit.
  • Music will be a key element of the visit with the charity, Never Such Innocence (NSI) is bringing Bethzienna Williams, a finalist from ITV’s ‘The Voice’, to work with a class who will then perform their new work at a community social event in the school on Wednesday evening. NSI aims to give children and young people a voice on war and conflict by reflecting upon these themes through history, poetry, song and speeches. A small contingent from the RAF’s Pipes & Drums will also work with students.

Air Vice-Marshal Ross Paterson, Air Officer Scotland said: “The connections between the UK Armed Forces, particularly the RAF, and the Western Isles are very strong, which is why the RAF is delighted to be coming to Harris in such strong numbers.

"Across the three days that we are in Tarbert we shall see personnel from the RAF and civilian youth organisations find out a little more about each other, and for the RAF, who depend so much upon on excellence in engineering, it is a great opportunity for us to do our bit to promote STEM subjects in the Outer Hebrides.

"We’re also delighted to be working with the school on some special music and art activities and shall be looking at Isles’ historic links with the RAF. Everyone at the School has already made us so welcome and we are very much looking forward to our time with them.”

From 1940, both Stornoway and Benbecula were at the heart of the Battle of the Atlantic flying maritime patrol aircraft to seek and destroy German U-boats and shipping, and to protect Allied convoys heading to the UK with supplies essential to the war effort.

Stornoway was home to a RAF unit from the early 1960s until 1998, and at Benbecula from 1958, has been the home of a MOD missile testing range and a Remote Radar Head.