Island Community Wind Farm Finalist in Scottish Charity Awards

04 May 2018

Community wind farm charity Point and Sandwick Trust is delighted to have been shortlisted in the Scottish Charity Awards.

Two years ago, PST won a Green Energy Award from the renewables industry for its community-owned wind farm at Beinn Ghrideag on the outskirts of Stornoway. 

This time, the nomination is for charity work – for its funding and support of community projects with the profits from the wind farm – and the Trust is particularly proud to be a finalist in the Celebrating Communities category. 

The Awards are run by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), the national body representing the interests of charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. 

The shortlist includes 40 individuals and organisations from across the third sector in Scotland and members of the public can have their say by voting for their favourite entry from all the categories in the People’s Choice Award – to do so, vote online at http://www.scvo.org.uk/vote by May 18. 

All the winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on June 14, hosted by Sally Magnusson and held at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. 

Angus McCormack, Chair of Point and Sandwick Trust, said: “We are so pleased to be recognised by the Scottish Charity Awards, even more so for our shortlisting in the Celebrating Communities category. As a Trust we built and operate the UK’s biggest 100 per cent owned community wind farm for the express benefit of our local community and the wider Western Isles. 

“Despite our relatively modest size, we are an inherently ambitious organisation and operate with a can-do attitude, delivering support to community-run cafes, respite care services and our local hos-pice. For a small group of villages in the Outer Hebrides, we are having a notable impact, and all thanks to the income from our turbines and the incessant blowing of the Hebridean wind!” 

Run annually by the SCVO, the Awards are open to any voluntary organisation, charity, community group or individual charity volunteer or staff member, and celebrate the life-changing work they do and their dedication to making Scotland a better place to live. 

There are eight categories – Charity of the Year, Charity Champion, Demonstrating Digital, Pionee-ring Project, Terrific Trustee, Leading Light, Celebrating Communities and Cracking Campaign. 

Shortlisted alongside Point and Sandwick Trust in Celebrating Communities are: Autism Rocks (Fife), Caithness KLICS, Larkhall & District Volunteer Group (LDVG) and Inverness Foodstuff. 

Anna Fowlie, SCVO Chief Executive, said: “I am so looking forward to my first Scottish Charity Awards as Chief Executive of SCVO. We know there is fantastic work going on in our communi-ties thanks to third sector organisations, from national charities to local volunteer groups, and the Awards are a great way of celebrating and recognising those involved.

“As always, the calibre of this year’s finalists highlights not only their creativity, tenacity and innovation, but also the diverse variety of charitable work across the country. All of our finalists are so deserving and I would encourage people to support their favourite by voting in the People’s Choice Award.” 

The Awards evening will begin with a red carpet welcome for guests, a drinks reception with networking followed by a dinner. The highlight will be the Awards ceremony itself, where 500 guests will hear more about the finalists before the winners are revealed. 

In 2015, Point and Sandwick Trust’s Beinn Ghrideag wind farm was named Best Community Project at the Scottish Green Energy Awards. 

That award was for outstanding performance in the Scottish renewable energy industry – and the wind farm is known throughout the UK industry for its high technical performance. 

The charity started up in 2005 and the turbines began generating power in November 2015. It is the largest community-owned wind farm in the UK in terms of output, generating nine megawatts from its three turbines. And every single penny of its profits go back into the local community. 

It is expected to make £900,000 profit this year, enabling it to support a wide range of good causes, from major lifeline donations such as the £55,000 a year to Bethesda Care Home and Hospice to £500 for local schools in Point and Sandwick to buy bicycles for children with additional support needs so they can enjoy the freedom of cycling. 

But it is not just about giving donations and sponsorship. 

A central tenet of the philosophy at Point and Sandwick Trust has been about supporting community groups to help themselves and enabling them to push ahead with their own projects and access other funding sources independently. 

As part of this determination to help community groups help themselves, PST retain the services of a couple of advisers who help with funding applications and technical planning. 

Donald John MacSween, PST General Manager, said: “We provide fundamental support, not just grants. We want to stimulate community effort – that is one of our core beliefs.”

Point and Sandwick Trust | http://www.pointandsandwick.co.uk