S5M-21887: Recognising the Work of Community Reserve Volunteers

That the Parliament recognises the work of over 25,000 members of the public who have signed up as Community Reserve Volunteers with the British Red Cross to provide essential support to communities across Scotland in response to COVID-19; acknowledges that their efforts are part of the Scotland Cares campaign, which encourages people who are healthy and not at risk to volunteer to provide practical or emotional support in their communities; recognises that 14 Community Reserve Volunteers have been working with the British Red Cross in Orkney to support out-of-hours GP services and, in May 2020 alone, provided 461 hours of voluntary support to NHS Orkney as on-call drivers to transport GPs to calls and help them with the application and removal of their PPE; believes that the contribution of volunteers in a number of essential roles across Scotland is a vital part of the overall response to COVID-19, including for keeping communities safe and protecting the most vulnerable; thanks all Community Reserve Volunteers for their exceptional acts of kindness and willingness to go above and beyond in order to put the needs of others first during this challenging time; pays tribute to these efforts as part of Volunteers Week 2020, which celebrates the invaluable role that volunteers play in all aspects of daily life, and wishes all volunteers the very best as they continue to make a real difference to the lives of others.


The Inaugural Virtual Orkney Folk Festival

That the Parliament welcomes the Orkney Folk Festival: Big 2020 Lockdown Special, which will run online from 21 to 24 May; recognises that this will be the first virtual festival in the event’s 38-year history; understands that it will be streamed on the Orkney Folk Festival Facebook page and will feature a series of performances and highlights from previous years; commends the Festival Committee on adapting to current circumstances and organising the programme to ensure that people in Orkney and around the world will be able to enjoy and stay connected to this popular and internationally-renowned festival; hopes that the virtual festival will also allow new audiences to be reached and generate a wider interest in folk music, paving the way for the festival to continue growing for years to come, and wishes everyone involved a successful virtual festival, full of great entertainment and wonderful nostalgia.


Oskar Thompson's Fundraising Cycle Challenge

That the Parliament congratulates five-year-old Oskar Thompson, from Orkney, on his outstanding fundraising efforts for Orkney Foodbank during the COVD-19 pandemic; understands that Oskar initially set out to raise £20 for the local charity by cycling 20 miles in seven days and has far exceeded his target by raising over £1,400 and counting; acknowledges that Oskar was inspired by his dad, Sam Thompson, who has also raised funds through a similar challenge in the past and that Sam will be joining Oskar on his cycle near their home in Deerness; believes that Oskar’s impressive efforts will ensure that some of the most vulnerable households in Orkney can access essential food during this particularly challenging period; thanks all those who have generously donated; pays tribute to Oskar for his hard work and incredible commitment to supporting others, and wishes him all the best for the completion of his challenge.


Pam Halliday Receives Key Worker Award of Zoe Davidson Jewellery

That the Parliament congratulates Pam Halliday, who is from Orkney, on being awarded a silver Spring Tides ring in recognition of her work during the COVID-19 pandemic; acknowledges that the award was presented to Pam as part of a campaign launched by the local jewellery maker, Zoe Davidson, to recognise the inspiring efforts of key workers across Orkney; notes that over 200 nominations were made for the award and the winning name was pulled out of a hat; understands that Pam was nominated by her co-worker for her exceptional work as a midwife in the Balfour Hospital; believes that the campaign is an excellent way to recognise and celebrate the fantastic work of those going above and beyond to support their communities and keep everyone connected by sharing positive stories during this uncertain time; thanks Zoe for organising this wonderful initiative; congratulates Pam, and all key workers nominated, on being recognised by their communities for the essential work that they are doing, and hopes that this campaign helps to raise awareness of the appreciation that everyone has for key workers in Orkney and across the country.


Welcoming Funding for Age Scotland Orkney

That the Parliament welcomes the news that Age Scotland Orkney has secured funding to continue its range of essential services delivered through the Dementia Orkney Project; notes that the organisation has received £120,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund, £51,000 from the Robertson Trust and £10,000 from Dementia Friendly Orkney; understands that the funding will support initiatives delivered by the project to support people living with dementia and their carers across the islands; considers that the project has delivered exceptional work since it was established in 2017 to help Orkney to become more dementia-friendly and address the low diagnosis rate of dementia across the islands; welcomes in particular the establishment of a Dementia Hub to provide information and advice to those affected by the condition; pays tribute to Age Scotland Orkney Chief Executive, Gillian Skuse, and Dementia Coordinator, Stephanie Stanger, as well as the outstanding staff and volunteers who have worked tirelessly to make the project a success by providing a comprehensive range of essential services that improve the quality of life for people living with dementia and their carers across Orkney, and wishes the team at Age Scotland Orkney the very best in their work to further enhance their existing services and develop new ones going forward.

 


Orkney Recognised at the EU RESponsible Island Prizes

That the Parliament congratulates Orkney on being recognised at the first EU RESponsible Island Prizes; understands that the contest rewards achievements by islands for innovative renewable energy solutions and achievements in energy production, electricity, heating, cooling and transport; acknowledges that Orkney was awarded the third-place prize of €100,000, which was funded by the EU Research and Innovation programme, Horizon 2020, in recognition of its efforts to overcome energy challenges and become one of the European leaders in the use of novel green technologies for decarbonisation; pays tribute to the many groups and people that have contributed to this success by developing projects and technology, such as the Marinus Tidal Energy Platform and the ReFLEX project, which use renewable energy sources and allow Orkney to realise its green energy potential; thanks the Orkney Renewable Energy Forum in particular for its hard work and dedication in driving forward the islands' successful renewable energy sector; believes that its outstanding efforts have contributed significantly to this prestigious recognition, and hopes that it will inspire other islands and communities across Scotland to the make the most of their renewable energy opportunities.


Margaret Tait Recognised in Commemorative Plaque Scheme

That the Parliament welcomes recognition by Historic Environment Scotland of Orkney’s Margaret Tait as a recipient of its Commemorative Plaque Scheme; understands that the national scheme celebrates the work of individuals who have made significant contributions to Scottish public life; acknowledges that Margaret was the first Scottish female director of a feature-length film, Blue Black Permanent, and also published three books of well-known poetry during her distinguished career; recognises that Margaret is one of six women to have been recognised with the commemorative plaque, which will be situated at her birthplace on 25 Broad Street in Kirkwall; notes that this latest recognition of Margaret’s achievements comes ahead of Women’s History Month in March 2020, which celebrates the leading female figures from Scotland’s history in a range of different fields; believes this accolade to be a tremendous honour for Margaret and her family, and hopes that it will not only raise awareness of Margaret’s achievements but also act as inspiration to others to follow in her footsteps.


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