Year-long project identifies Caithness inequalities

Transport, mental health and access to childcare have emerged as some of the key themes in a project aimed at identifying inequalities in Caithness.

Over the past 12 months Caithness Voluntary Group (CVG), working in partnership with Thurso Community Development Trust and Pulteneytown People’s Project, carried out extensive consultation across the county, supported by the Scottish Government’s Aspiring Communities Fund.

Details reports based on the consultation have now been completed and made publicly available.

The findings will feed in to the Caithness Community Partnership, whose main role is to work with communities to help local people live full, healthy lives with opportunity and diversity.

The consultation covered the three geographical areas of Thurso, Wick and rural Caithness.

In Thurso, common concerns included food and fuel poverty, the lack of a community space and the need to have a community hub.

In Wick, topics ranged from the need to improve health services for people with drug and alcohol dependency to the provision of a job club to help with CVs and job searches to support people into employment.

Issues reported in rural areas included social isolation and a lack of opportunities for young people.

Other areas of concern across the three areas included internet connectivity, childcare costs, access to healthy, inexpensive food and difficulties in getting to Inverness for appointments at Raigmore Hospital.

CVG development officer Yvonne Hendry co-ordinated the year-long project. 

She said: “Communities and statutory bodies will be able to use this piece of work as a way to find solutions to some of these issues.

“In my experience, communities are always very good at coming up with projects and ideas in their local areas.

“There is always going to be the issue of funding any new initiatives. But this consultation shows the evidence of need and will perhaps support any organisation looking for funding going forward.”

Anyone who would like copies of the reports should contact CVG to have them emailed, or they can pick up paper copies. The reports are also available to access on the Caithness Community Planning website:

For further information contact Yvonne Hendry (01955 609960;

Your Cash Your Caithness

Still time to submit Your Cash Your Caithness applications


Local groups in Caithness are reminded that the closing date for Your Cash Your Caithness applications is drawing near and to be in with a chance of receiving a share of £10,000.00, forms need to be received by 5.00pm on Sunday 2nd February 2020.

£10,000.00 of funding is available to let the local community decide for themselves which projects are needed in their area. If your idea fits, the community will get to vote for the best ideas at an event in Thurso High School on Saturday 29th February 2020.

Chair of the Caithness Committee, Councillor Matthew Reiss, said: “The handing of decision making back to the Community is the first stage in returning community empowerment to the most local level. As the closing date draws near I would encourage as many individuals or groups as possible across Caithness to take part in this initiative to get the funding they are looking for and to get their applications completed and submitted. I am delighted to see that a number of applications have already been received however I would urge all local groups to look at any projects they may wish to start and to complete what is a simplified application form.”

Application forms can be accessed online from the Highland Council web site at or by contacting  on 01955 609960 Caithness Voluntary Group who will also be able to provide information and assistance with the application process and provide some guidance on public presenting if required.

Volunteer opportunity Northern Trails Scotland

Volunteer  ANTS

Treasurer and other Trustees

The Association of Northern Trails Scotland (ANTS) is a registered Scottish charity, managed by a Board of Trustees.  Based in the North East Highlands of Scotland we are developing a long-distance walking trail (The John o'Groats Trail) from Inverness to John o’ Groats.  We are now actively seeking a Trustee/Treasurer, along with some other Trustees to increase our Board.

We are keen for our board to represent the entire geographic region we serve, including Caithness, as well as from outside the region.  We also want to continue to have a board that represents the interests of landowners and local communities as well as walkers.

We currently employ a bookkeeper, so the Treasurer role is not onerous, but would require willingness to maintain familiarity with our accounts.

Other skills we would like to strengthen on our board of trustees are fundraising, project management, publicity and law (especially land and access law).

The Charity was founded in 2016 by keen walkers and trail development has become an integral part of local tourism and a means to regional transformation and economic development.  The trail now has a diverse user group from local walkers to long-distance trekkers from around the world.  With a small group of volunteers along with grant-funded contractors, we continue to make improvements in order to expand the number of users.  Find out more on our web site at

To apply, please send a covering letter and CV to  Informal enquiries prior to application are welcome, and we would be happy to put you in touch with one or more of the current trustees to discuss their experiences.  Please note trustee is a voluntary position.

Closing date:  24 February 2020 initially but ongoing consideration of candidates as well.

Scottish Charity Awards 2020 launched

Organised annually by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), the Awards celebrate the amazing work that people within charities and community groups do every day, all over the country, to help those in need and raise awareness of important causes.

In 2019, 44 finalists were shortlisted, nine won awards and an additional four received special commendations for their work.

There are eight Scottish Charity Award categories – Charity of the Year, Charity Champion, Cracking Campaign, Pioneering Project, Celebrating Communities, Terrific Trustee and Demonstrating Digital – which are decided by a judging panel, and a special People’s Choice Award which is decided by the public and last year received a record-breaking 34,810 votes. Charities can find out more and apply at




Tesco Bags of Help looking for grant applications in Caithness

Community groups and charities across Caithness are being invited to apply for funding through the Tesco Bags of Help scheme.

Applications are officially open for 2020, with more than £1,000,000 to be shared across Scotland throughout 2020. Anyone can nominate groups and charities benefiting communities across Scotland. Three groups will be awarded grant amounts of £2,000, £1,000 or £500 every three months in various funding areas including Wick and Thurso. The scheme sees money raised from the sale of reusable Bags for Life in Tesco stores across the country used to fund local projects.

And customers decide where the money goes, casting their votes for shortlisted charities using blue tokens handed out in stores.

The scheme runs in partnership with charity Greenspace Scotland. Emma Halliday of Greenspace Scotland, said:

“We encourage community groups to apply for Bags of Help funding to help improve places and spaces in local communities. We are pleased to be able to be a part of the journey and provide support and encouragement to help local communities thrive.”

Find out more at: