As Scotland continues to celebrate the Year of Young People 2018, Bòrd na Gàidhlig has welcomed the opportunity to work throughout the year with a number of national and community organisations to increase the use of Gaelic nationally. These collaborations have resulted in the appointment of young Gaelic speakers to a range of national and community organisations to develop their Gaelic offering as well as raising the profile of Gaelic in national and local communities.
Among the young people is Shona MacMillan who took up the post of Gaelic Development Officer in September with the community-owned Galson Estate Trust based in Ness on the island of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. Shona, who is from Carloway, Lewis, is working with local organisations and businesses, helping them to use Gaelic in everyday life to strengthen and nurture it and identifying opportunities to work in partnership.
Agnes Rennie, Chair of Galson Estate Trust said “Shona’s post, which is jointly funded by Bòrd na Gàidhlig, HIE and Galson Estate Trust is the first step towards our Trust developing a range of initiatives which will reach out across the community to recognise the value of the Gaelic language and culture. There is no doubt that the opportunity to appoint an energetic young Gaelic speaker sends out all the right messages and we are delighted to have her join our team in Galson.
Shona Macmillan said “I am really looking forward to working with the businesses and organisations in the local community helping them to raise and develop the profile of the Gaelic language and culture”
Ruairidh Hamilton from Edinburgh works with Young Scot, the national youth information and citizenship charity which provides young people, aged 11 – 26, with a mixture of information, ideas and incentives to help them become more confident, informed and active citizens.
The Shieling Project in Glen Strathfarrar, near Beauly in the Highlands of Scotland has employed Stephanie Campbell from Kyle. The Shieling offers school trips and residentials, holidays, volunteering and an outdoor nursery for 3 to 5 year olds and Stephanie is involved in delivering outdoor learning in Gaelic as well as contributing to the wider potential for Gaelic learning at The Shieling.
During the summer, Kenny Rankin was in post with the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT), a Mull-based marine conservation charity that takes action through a programme of internationally-recognised research and education on its dedicated Discovery Centre, aboard their boat, Silurian, and schools visits around the whole of the Hebrides. Kenny’s work included expanding the Trust’s education programme to make it available to pupils in Gaelic medium education, and delivering floating classroom workshops and headland watches as well as community events.
In partnership with Creative Scotland the Bòrd supported creative traineeships at An Lanntair Arts Centre in Stornoway and Taigh Chearsabhagh in North Uist. These are specifically targeted at supporting arts/creative organisations to help them develop their creative work in Gaelic. Calum Fraser (24) is employed as a Trainee Performing Arts Programmer at An Lanntair Arts Centre in Stornoway where his role includes working with An Lanntair’s new Youth Board and the programming team to support elements of An Lanntair’s creative programme work.
Daibhidh Boag, Director of Community Development and Language Planning, Bòrd na Gàidhlig said, “We were delighted to have made a valuable contribution in recognition of Scotland’s Year of Young People and to have been able to support the different range of projects which are employing young Gaelic-speaking people. We firmly believe that all the young people, their employers and the communities they serve, will benefit in the long- and short-term from the support that the Bòrd has provided and that the Gaelic language will reap the benefit in years to come”