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It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas over on the Westside with a group of elves raising as much as they can for two vital services within the community - and trying to grow local businesses as well .  

Barvas & Brue Community Centre and Sgoil an Taobh Siar/Sgoil Araich (Barvas Primary School and Nursery) have joined forces to create a ‘Barvas Christmas Bonanza’ raffle. 

The Community Centre is at the heart of the community with events throughout the year, something for everyone from youth clubs to Gaelic classes.  Monies raised from the raffle will be used to enhance the facilities already in place and will provide a bit of much needed stability in such uncertain times. 

Sgoil an Taobh Siar aims to offer a safe environment for a fun filled educational experience for 86 pupils as well as the 22 youngsters attending Sgoil Araich. 

Organisers say: "It is hoped that monies raised from the raffle will allow us to purchase new electronic tablets for each classroom which will enhance the learning experience of the children as well as software that will make their learning fun. 

"The children have all shown such resilience over the past two years, it will be nice to give them the comfort of ‘normality’ with the P6/7 trip reaching the mainland for the first time since pre Covid19.  The monies raised will benefit each and every child attending the school and nursery.    

"The project started off quite modest but has grown beyond all expectations.  The organisers have been totally overwhelmed by the support of so many local businesses that have donated prizes.  

"It is much appreciated that even in such trying times businesses have been so generous and supportive.  A spokesperson of the fundraising group said “There have been a few fantastic prizes donated from across the Minch but local businesses have made all this possible, we will not forget their support and in turn will support them as much as we can in the future by buying local.”

The draw will take place on Thursday 22 December with winners being announced throughout the day/evening. 

With such amazing prizes to be won, it is not surprising so many people want to be in with a chance of winning something for themselves or as a last minutes Christmas present for someone special but we have been truly humbled by the response we have had from everyone. 

If you would like to purchase tickets (£1 per ticket) please contact the Facebook/Instagram page Barvas Christmas Bonanza, visit Tech Mobile on Bayhead, Stornoway, or pay via PayPal to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

"We live in a unique and resilient community where the support we have for each other really is refreshing, especially when times are tough for so many.  Moran Taing!"

And the overall message they are trying to get across is to 'shop local where you can' as the local companies have given them a huge amount of support year-in, year-out when fundraising for the school.