Lochalsh builds on Covid community response with new survey for residents

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Lochalsh residents are building on the extra community spirit they have generated during the Covid lockdown and are once again showing what can be achieved by people working together.

A team of volunteers is hand delivering 1,600 community surveys to every household throughout the area as part of the Lochalsh Collaborates project.

The survey was designed by a group of local representatives from community councils and trusts which are part of the Lochalsh project.

The survey results will allow the community to envisage what would make Lochalsh a better place to live, write a Community Action Plan and use that as a launch pad leading to improvements to services and activities in Lochalsh.

It is hoped as many people as possible from Lochalsh will take part in the survey.
Virtual roadshow meetings are also being arranged to allow people in each of the seven community council areas to express their opinion about local issues.

The project was formed in 2019 when Kyle and Lochalsh Community Trust
attracted funding from the Scottish Government’s Investing in Communities Fund to
appoint a Community Development Officer. Support from the Scottish
Community Development Centre (SCDC) was also offered.

Mick Doyle of SCDC, who has supported the project since its inception said: ‘The community engagement work in Lochalsh is amongst the most creative and
exciting we have seen. It is bringing new approaches to existing techniques, like a
Gaelic version of the survey, as well as innovation using creative means like film.

‘Building on the solid relationships local groups have with people will deliver a clear picture of what folk want and need and contribute new techniques to community
development across Scotland.

‘The regular Lochalsh Collaboration meetings are attended and supported by
Highland Councillor Biz Campbell and Jo-Anne Ford of SLCVO.

Ms Campbell added: ‘As councillor for Ward 5, I was encouraged by the energy and engagement we saw at the recent Achmore and Stromeferry Virtual Roadshow. It was a tremendous effort by the community council of Achmore and Stromeferry, Lochalsh Collaborates and Scottish Community Development.’

The community survey is available online in English and Gaelic at www.lochalsh.uk until Sunday March 21.

It can be posted out in a large print paper version on request and telephone support can also be given to anyone who needs help in filling it in. Email Community Development Officer Susan Walker at susan.walker@lochalsh.uk. Telephone 01471 833274.

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