A school trip to France is just one of four projects in Barra and the Uists being backed by CalMac’s Community Fund.

The trip is being organised by Sgoil Lionacleit which teaches pupils from Berneray, North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist and Eriskay.

With support from the Fund they are taking a group of S2 and S3 pupils to France for an educational trip involving a range of challenging activities.

‘This project will provide an opportunity for pupils who are not used to travelling to visit another country and benefit from all the new social and cultural experiences that they will have along the way. We anticipate that the pupils will return with an enhanced level of confidence and independence.’ said Ann MacDonald, Chair of the Sgoil Lionacleit Parent Council.

In North Uist Taigh Sgìre Sholais, a not-for-profit community organisation in the village of Sollas, was given an award to help them establish a new outdoor play and recreation area for young people at the local community centre.

On Barra the local youth café is using their award to take a group of young people to the mainland to stay in an outdoor centre giving them the opportunity to take part in a range of pursuits.

And across North and South Uist, Benbecula and Barra the Dochas Dancers are set to host a dancing event thanks to an award from the Fund

Dochas provides tuition in Highland, National and Highland Choreography dance forms to more than 100 young people from the islands.

]CalMac’s Community Fund drives social value by supporting non profit organisations, based in a mainland port or island the company serves, delivering projects to benefit the lives of children and young people living in west coast communities. Organisations can apply for an award between £500 to £2000.

So far the Fund has supported 76 projects from woman’s football in the Outer Hebrides, to the Campbeltown Sea Cadets and a Gaelic youth club on Skye.

Each application was judged by a screening panel of young people recruited from across the company's network, in partnership with Young Scot.

‘These projects really capture what the Community Fund is all about, creating opportunities for young people to gain experiences they would not otherwise have access to,’ said CalMac’s Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, Gordon McKillop.