District News: Butt to Barra 19-3-15

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Power of Attorney meeting - Age Scotland’s Power of Attorney campaign is coming to the Western Isles with two meetings being held in Lewis Retirement Centre in Stornoway on March 23rd and 24th.

A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document which gives someone else the authority to make specific decisions about your life – including issues around finances, care and property – if you were to need help or lose the ability to make these decisions for yourself.

Writing a POA is one of the most important choices people can make in their lives. It not only allows you to choose who you want to make decisions on your behalf, should you lose the ability to do so – for example because of an accident or illness – but it also gives you the opportunity to discuss with those around you what you would want to happen in certain circumstances.

Yet Age Scotland says too many people don’t think to make one as they assume that, if they were to lose the capacity to make decisions for themselves, family members would automatically be able to step in. This is simply not true.

Without a POA in place, somebody would need to go to court to get the legal right to make decisions for you – which can be time-consuming, expensive and stressful. This can lead to issues such as families being unable to access shared finances to pay bills, or care decisions being delayed which can result in people having to stay in hospital for longer than necessary.

Brian Sloan, Chief Executive of Age Scotland, said: “Getting a Power of Attorney is one of the most important decisions you can make and it’s one you shouldn’t keep putting off until later, as many people do.

“It’s not nice to imagine something happening which would mean you lose capacity to make decisions for yourself. But planning in case something were to happen, won’t make it happen. It just means that if it were to, both you and those close to you have the peace of mind that you have had the chance to talk about and prepare for what you personally wanted to happen.”

Around 55,000 new POAs are registered in Scotland according to the Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland).

Age Scotland’s campaign will be focused on older people across Scotland, and is funded by the Scottish Government.

The campaign has also received funding from Solicitors for Older People Scotland.

As part of the campaign, Age Scotland is providing talks and workshops on Power of Attorney to older people’s community groups, at local and national events and to professional networks across Scotland over the coming months. If you would like to find out more or ask about having a presentation in your area, contact Age Scotland on 0845 833 0200.

A guide to Power of Attorney in Scotland, produced by Age Scotland, is available to download: here

The meetings, which are open to the public, will take place from 2pm to 4pm on March 23rd and 11am to 12.30pm on the 24th at the Lewis Retirement Centre, Stornoway.

Great Bernera

Great Bernera Estate Buyout - The counting and result of the vote regarding the Estate Buyout will be held tonight (19th March 2015) starting at 7.30pm in the Breaclet Community Centre. The count should start at 7.30 pm with the official result being announced after this. This is a public event and so is open to all.

This is an historical event for our Island and is expected to be well attended so do come along and attend if you able. Some refreshments will be made available during the evening.

If the vote is yes then we can progress to purchasing the island for the community. This would involve getting a valuation for the island, mapping of the land to purchase and making grant applications to funding bodies to enable us to actually pay for the transfer to us.

This would also involve starting a membership of all those who wished to be part of the project for a likely fee of £1 per member. The membership drive would start immediately and membership forms will be available on Thursday night. If these aims are achieved and the purchase was successful then the community would be in a position to start projects and development for Bernera.

Motivated by Mervyn 5k

If you haven’t yet entered the 5 km event for the above charity then application forms are still available from Amy and you can enter on the day. The event is to run or take a leisurely stroll through the Castle Grounds on Saturday 4th April. You do not have to be fit to join in and young and old are welcome. The proceeds from the entry fee go to local fishermen’s charity. So with the better weather why not join in and you can enjoy a walk with stunning scenery while supporting a local charity in memory of a lovely guy.

Whist - A reminder that there is a whist drive every Friday in Community Centre Café at 7.30pm and all are welcome.

Tobson Grazings - There will be an AGM of the above group at 7.30pm on 20 March in Community Centre. All interested parties are asked to attend the meeting to elect a committee.

Spring Equinox - Hopefully the better weather will now continue for Spring and lambing and that there will be clear skies to view the eclipse on Friday 20th around 9.30am.

Western Isles

Art opportunity - To coincide with Jersey’s hosting of the 2015 NatWest Island Games, the Jersey Arts Trust is thrilled to announce that it will be producing an Inter-Island Artist Lock-in at Elizabeth Castle.

To mirror the inclusive and cooperative ethos of the Island Games, the Jersey Arts Trust has invited one Artist from each participating island to spend ten days at the Castle to develop shared work around the theme of ‘Islandness’.

The Lock-in is to be facilitated by Sue Hill who is the Associate Director of WildWorks– the renowned international theatre company best known for its 2011 production of ‘The Passion’ with Michael Sheen in Port Talbot.

From 2000 - 2006, Sue was also the Artistic Director for the Eden Project, developing their innovative interpretation strategy, commissioning artists, writers and performers to illuminate Eden’s ideas and messages.

Jersey Arts Trust Director, Tom Dingle, said: “The aim of the project is to bring people of different cultures, languages, experiences and backgrounds together in a spirit of creativity and cooperation, forming closer ties with our fellow Islands. As an Island off an Island, Elizabeth Castle is the perfect location for such exploration to take place. For up to 12 hours a day it is completely cut off from the mainland of Jersey.”

Application forms can be downloaded from www.arts.je. Contact Alice on 01534617521 or alice@arts.je for more information.