Fashion Design...and more with Isles college

“The National Certificate in Fashion Design and Manufacture is the ideal course for anyone of any age who would like to acquire or improve their existing skills in the design and manufacture of garments for the fashion industry,” explains Netty Sopata, the Isle of Lewis-based designer who runs the fashion design courses at Lews Castle College UHI in Stornoway.
“The year-long course focuses on introducing students to how to create their own garment designs, from their own research, in alignment with the trend forecasting rotation used within the fashion industry,” adds Netty.
To reach this level of skill, the course has a strong focus on providing students with practical skills and knowledge in illustration (both fashion and digital), pattern drafting and manipulation, and machine production, and introduces them to the Harris Tweed industry.

Read more: Fashion Design...and more with Isles college

Gaelic learning in Gaelic community

When it comes to Gaelic education, Lews Castle College UHI has a unique offering. “We are situated in what is the strongest Gaelic-speaking community in the world,” says lecturer Angela Weir.

“Nowhere else are there as many Gaelic speakers as there are in the Western Isles.”

This location in the heart of the Gàidhealtachd gives Gaelic students at Lews Castle College UHI various advantages, from access to a faculty of fluent Gaelic speakers and a wide range of courses, to the ability to use Gaelic in the community on an everyday basis – not to mention exposure to multiple Lewis-based Gaelic organisations.

Read more: Gaelic learning in Gaelic community

Constant challenge of seas for lifeboat volunteers

The Stornoway RNLI volunteer crew in action as they set off on a shout.

By Eilidh Whiteford

Thursday, December 14th, 2017, saw the volunteer crews at the Outer Hebrides’ oldest and newest Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) stations drop everything to head out to rough seas in gale force winds to the aid of those in danger.

Stornoway RNLI, established in the islands in 1887, and Leverburgh RNLI, founded in 2013, launched at 6pm that night in response to a Pan Pan call – one level down from a full distress Mayday – sent from 54m cargo vessel ‘MV Fame’.

With five persons on-board, the ship found itself in difficulties having lost propulsion power and was drifting 1.2nm offshore west of Scarp, on the west side of Harris.

For the volunteer crew of Stornoway RNLI, it was a shout that would see them at sea for 21 hours; and for two of the newly established Leverburgh RNLI volunteer crew, it was to be their first ever shout.

Drifting towards a rocky shoreline with no means of power amid Force 8-10 winds and a sea swell of up to 6-8metres, the ‘MV Fame’, which had five persons on-board, had anchored in a bid to slow the rate of drift and stop the vessel from grounding.

Read more: Constant challenge of seas for lifeboat volunteers

Natural enthusiasm for colour and scent


By Eilidh Whiteford

To walk into the Hebridean Soap Company is to walk into a delicious bubble of colours and scents.

Established by owner Linda Sutherland in 2002, the Hebridean Soap Company shop and workshop are based in a renovated century-old stone barn in Breasclete, Isle of Lewis.

Linda and her team deliver a world of all natural ingredients and fragrances, producing not only soap bars and liquid soaps, but also the company’s unique ‘Gaia’ body and face cream range and, most recently introduced, a selection of beautiful island-scented candles, available to both visitors to the shop and via website www.hebrideansoap.co.uk

“Each year you have people coming into the shop and then you find they come back on the website,” said Linda. “I used to do the website orders in the evening after work, but they’ve become a permanent job now. We’ve a lot of repeat customers and it is just so great to see.”

All-natural, produced where possible with local ingredients, and mixed, poured and moulded by hand, the Hebridean Soap Company products certainly offer something different to their mass-produced contemporaries.

Read more: Natural enthusiasm for colour and scent

Gaelic to forefront…and top of the world!  

 

By Katie Macleod

When it comes to Gaelic education, Lews Castle College UHI has a unique offering.  “We are situated in what is the strongest Gaelic-speaking community in the world,” says lecturer Angela Weir.  “Nowhere else are there as many Gaelic speakers as there are in the Western Isles.”

This location in the heart of the Gaidhealtachd gives Gaelic students at Lews Castle College various advantages, from access to a faculty of fluent Gaelic speakers and a wide range of courses, to the ability to use Gaelic in the community on an everyday basis – not to mention exposure to multiple island-based Gaelic organisations. 

For those students with an interest in studying Gaelic, there’s something to suit every language level, with options ranging from Masters degrees to summer short courses.  The Gaelic department at Lews Castle College offers four Higher Education options: BA Gaelic Language and Culture, BA Gaelic and Development, BA Gaelic Scotland, and MA Gaelic with Education, as well as a plethora of other classes.

Read more: Gaelic to forefront…and top of the world!