On Saturday 7th May the Western Isles Kidney Patient Association held a presentation in recognition of the work of Angus 'Texie' Macleod, who is retiring as chairman after 12 years.
The event was held at the Fàilte centre, Bayhead and was attended by members of the charity and staff from the renal unit at the Western Isles hospital.
The association expressed the deepest of gratitudes to Mr. Macleod, former harbour-master, and presented him with a print by local photographer Chris Murray, whilst his wife was gifted an exquisite bouquet.
Speaking on his time as chairman, Mr. Macleod thanked his fellow members stating ‘I would not have survived the last 12 years without the help of the trustees’. He is to be succeeded as chairman by Mr. Donald Nicholson.
The presentation also coincided with the 21st anniversary of the formation of WIKPA - marking over two decades of improving the lives of kidney patients in the Western Isles. The event commenced with a minute long silence in memory of those the group has lost over the years.
Since its formation the association has worked hard to bring about better standards of healthcare for it's beneficiaries. Prior to April 2007 haemodialysis patients had to travel to Inverness for treatment. However, a four-year campaign by WIKPA resulted in a renal unit being opened within the Western Isles Hospital.
The association is composed entirely of volunteers, meaning all money raised directly supports renal patients. WIKPA grants cover contingencies which are not covered by the NHS - each Christmas beneficiaries are given a £250 grant to help with heating costs over the winter.
In 2019 WIKPA volunteers and supporters fundraised £12,000 which financed the purchase of a new dialysis machine for the renal unit at the Western Isles Hospital.
WIKPA also provides an invaluable support network for kidney patients and their families throughout the Western Isles - in Uist and Barra as well as Lewis and Harris.
Despite inability to gather in person over the course of the pandemic, WIKPA’s work proved more vital than ever, considering the many difficulties it created for those with underlying health conditions.
Further information on WIKPA can be found here: http://wikpa.org.uk