Rousay Eglisay & Wyre Development Trust
On behalf of the Development Trust we would like to welcome you to Rousay, Egilsay and Wyre.
View of the Rousay Sound
Introduction to REW DT.
Our three islands are home to a community of approximately 260 people. These residents worked together to form our Development Trust in September 2006, with a view to tackling our local issues and improving the quality of life for those living in our communities. Our aim, broadly, is to help our three beautiful islands to be both vibrant and sustainable.
To achieve this we gather ideas from our residents; identify projects; and with the aid of funding obtained via Government and social initiatives or by the funds we produce from our turbine, turn these ideas into projects or community assets. In recent years we have constructed the 900kW community-owned wind turbine, provided community gardens, introduced wifi centres, sought ways to make our homes and community buildings warmer and cheaper to run, introduced a grants and bursaries scheme, and we regularly organise the annual Rousay Lap Half Marathon and from 2018 our Peddie Lap 5K fun race. Further details of these, and other projects we are currently working on, can be found on this website.
Many of the UKs smaller islands have similar issues to ours, such as, a population decline (especially amongst the young), an ageing population, below average recreational facilities, a decline in traditional industries, limited employment opportunities, low wages and fuel poverty.
Our Development Trust is trying to further enhance the quality of life, preserve our community and secure our future. All island residents over the age of 18 can apply to become a member of the Trust. Our directors are elected from within the membership, by the members themselves, and the combined Board makes decisions on what projects the Trust should develop, to try and meet these aims.
How it all started
Following a series of reports commissioned by the public sector, Rousay Egilsay and Wyre were defined as "becoming threatened" evidenced by
- Population decline
- Below average economic activity
- An ageing population
- Reliance on inward migration
Orkney- wide issues were also identified
- High transport and shipping costs
- A trend of depopulation on the inner and outer isles with a gradual centralistaion of people in Kirkwall and on the mainland
- A general decline in the traditional industries of fishing and farming resulting in a need to train and support new business
- High levels of under-employment, low wages and fuel poverty
With the support of Orkney Islands Council and HIE, Rousay Egilsay and Wyre formed a Development Trust to establish a way forward where we could start to reverse some of these trends.
At an open meeting held on 18 September 2006 it was agreed to establish a Community Development Trust for the three island group. This mirrored activities across Orkney where island communities have chosen to set up Trusts to take forward a range of local projects.
We are registered as a company limited by guarantee and have charitable status. This enables us to apply for funds that other community groups can't. It enables us to own assets such as land and buildings.
We have been advised by and work in partnership with various agencies including Rousay Egilsay, Wyre and Gairsay Community Council, Egilsay, Rousay and Wyre Community Associations, Orkney Islands Council (OIC) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
The Trust was formed legally on 16 March 2007 and the current Directors were formally elected onto the board in 2008.
For our latest accounts click here
Who's on board?
Between them members of the board have gained a range of academic and professional qualifications. subjects include Science, Marine Biology, Business Administration, Project management, Service Delivery, Music, Craft and Design and Civil Engineering to name but a few.
Skills and experience
The Directors and staff of the Trust have an enormous range of skills and knowledge gained from years of experience in a diverse range of occupations including Farming, Teaching, Structural Engineering, Science, Music, Ferry and Airline Services, Hospitality Trades, Plant and Machinery, Haulage & Transport, Agricultural Services, Secretarial, Active Service, Utililty Companies, Accountancy, Retail Trades, Construction, Business Analysis, IT services, Printing and Publishing, Renewables and Environmental Services.
Voluntary and Charity committments
Trust board members and staff are actively involved in a variety of voluntary community and charity groups. This involves putting time and effort into activities that help others and create social opportunites. Involvement in organisations and activities such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, Rousay Egilsay and Wyre Community Associations, Parent School Council, Gun Club, Darts Club, Certified First Aider, Fire Fighter, Coastguard, Rousay Egilsay Wyre and Gairsay Community Council and the Small Boat Owners Association. Members of the Trust also organise events to raise funds for community groups and charities such as RNLI and Cancer Research UK
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News for REWDT
We now have two volunteer responders for this potential project, but for it to work well we need a few more. If you are interested, please contact the REW DT office.
The Community Heartbeat Trust has contacted the REW DT to see if, as a community, we would like to operate a defibrillator scheme. This requires volunteers to make it work effectively. The volunteers would be allocated a section of Rousay (normally the area they live in) and if an emergency occurred in their area they would be required to go to the nearest defibrillator and get this to the incident scene and if needed, operate the defib until the emergency services arrived. The defibrillators also require a daily check which takes around 15 seconds to do.
If we have enough volunteers the REW DT will look at getting defibrillators installed in zones (agreed with the Community Heartbeat Trust) around Rousay and arrange for full training on the use of the defibs. The REW DT will also cover the replacement battery, pads and any other costs involved in ensuring these machines are kept in perfect condition and ready for use.
If you are willing to be a volunteer, please contact the office.
‘Community Land Scotland’ have designated 10th – 18th August as ‘COMMUNITY LAND WEEK 2019’ to celebrate community land ownership throughout Scotland.
Though still at the early stages with regard to the purchase of land at the Trumland estate, REWDT have been invited to join in these celebrations so Rachael is organising a family-friendly event for Saturday 17th August.
It will be centred around a tiny but fascinating plant, the ‘Round-Leaved Sundew’, that only grows in the peaty soils of hill-land such as we have in the centre of Rousay. There will be various arts activities open to all ages, an information board outlining ideas and possibilities for some of the Trumland land projects and Rachael will, of course, be on hand to discuss these with you
The local Brownies & Guides will be serving drinks & snacks and hoping to earn some money towards their future activities so please give generously!
Thank you to everyone who came along last year and made our first Peedie Race so special, this will now be an annual event and the 2019 Peedie 5K race will be held on Saturday 08 June, watch this space for details. Hope to see you all on Race Day.