The ‘Community, Heritage and Tourism Gaelic Award’ has been awarded to the Shawbost Community at the inaugural Gaelic Awards ceremony held at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh recently.
The Gaelic Awards competition, which was organised by Media Scotland with support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig, looks to reward all aspects of the Gaelic language and culture across Scotland and to highlight the excellent work being undertaken.
Awards also recognise ability, achievement, contribution, effort and excellence.
The Shawbost Community received a number of nominations for the award especially for the inter-generational projects which have been undertaken as part of its work.
For example, the local youth group “Tàirneanaich” organised walks throughout the area with adults from Comunn Eachdraidh an Taobh Siar informing them of the history of the area and its placenames.
The whole process was captured on video which was sold to raise funds for the historical society.
Over the last two years the Shawbost Forum has run a number of events, especially for the younger members of the area, and also concerts and workshops for the whole community.
Iomairt Ghàidhlig Iar Thuath Leòdhais was also one of the three finalists for the ‘Best Contributor” Award in recognition of the work done in the North Lewis area – from Ness to Carloway.
Donald Macneil, the CnaG Chief Executive, “I wish to congratulate Iomairt Iar Thuath Leòdhais, the Shawbost Forum and the people of Shawbost themselves for this award.
“I think the example of Shawbost shows us what can be done in a community when they are provided with the means and there is a willingness for organisations and individuals to work together for the benefit of the community and the Gaelic language.
“This also proves that the initiatives which are funded by Bòrd na Gàidhlig, are effective and are making a difference in communities.
“I wish to congratulate Marina Murray, the officer for Iomairt Iar Thuath Leòdhais for her work on behalf of the Iomairt. I would also like to congratulate all the other winners and nominees in the competition.”
There are now eight Iomairtean Gàidhlig in different communities – five in rural areas such as Lewis, Uist, Skye, Lochaber and Islay and Jura as well as three in cities – Inverness, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Each Iomairt is run by a committee with community representatives, a development budget and a development officer.