The Scottish Government’s Community Land Unit will be in Orkney to provide information on routes to asset ownership available to community groups.  The session will cover Community Right to Buy and Asset Transfer routes.

If your group would like to know more about asset ownership through either community right to buy or asset transfer, please register for an information session. The session will be held on the 24th of July in the King Street Halls, The morning will focus on aspects of Community Right to buy followed by Asset Transfer aspects in the afternoon.

There is a limited opportunity for individual appointments with the Community Land Unit, and booking is essential. To find out more, please contact Gary at or to book your place please contact

Rob McGregor from VAO will be holding a Drop In at Kirkwall Library on 18th July between 10.30am and 12 noon. 

kirkwall drop in


SCOTLAND TO BENEFIT FROM UK-WIDE £30,000 COMMUNITY PROGRAMME - Scheme aims to cut costs, drive energy efficiency and increase comfort in local buildings

Thrive Renewables launches the fourth round of its Community Benefit Programme today. The renewable energy company will award grants of up to £4,000 to local groups for simple and effective energy efficiency improvements to community buildings and offer free expert advice for zero-cost solutions.

The scheme is offering funding to community buildings local to Thrive’s seven renewable energy projects in Scotland:

Drumduff wind farm just outside Edinburgh.

Clayfords wind farm near Strichen in Aberdeenshire.

Beochlich hydro electric site on the south east side of Loch Awe in Argyll.

Gevens wind farm in Fife.

Sigurd wind farm on Burgar Hill, Orkney Mainland.

Brotherton wind farm near Johnshaven in Aberdeenshire

Dunfermline wind farm at the Pitreavie Business Park in Dunfermline

The launch comes as movements such as the Extinction Rebellion and Greta Thunberg’s school strike climate have brought environmental issues to the forefront of public consciousness.

“Implementing energy efficiency improvements is a great way of cutting carbon emissions and raising awareness of sustainable energy use throughout the community,” says Adrian Warman, Operations Manager at Thrive. “This programme is an important part of our commitment to supporting the local communities we operate in.”

This is the fourth Community Funding Programme round since 2015. To date, the programme has awarded 21 grants totalling £63,300 to 17 community groups, including cricket pavilions, community and youth centres and village halls across the country. So far, the programme has cut 40 tonnes of carbon emissions each year.

Grants may be awarded for changes like installing insulation, draught-proofing LED lighting, and improved heating or lighting controls. As well as providing funding, the programme offers professional advice to empower local people through identifying simple, zero-cost solutions.

The Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE), an independent national charity that shares knowledge and experience to help people change the way they think and act on energy, manages the programme for Thrive.

Rachel Haycock, Project Officer on the local and community empowerment team at CSE, says: “Community buildings tend to be draughty and expensive to run. By improving energy efficiency, lighting and heating, communities can save money and reduce their environmental impact.”

Bridge of Orchy village hall – near Beochlich hydro electric site, Argyll

The Bridge of Orchy village hall was awarded £4,000 for roof and floor insulation in the 2016/17 Community Benefit Programme. The work was undertaken as part of wider refurbishment, bringing the hall back into use ahead of it re-opening in Spring 2017.

The refurbished hall provides daytime activities for mums, children and elderly people fighting isolation and offering inclusion in a remote area. The hall will also offer shelter to walkers on the popular West Highland Way.

John Kerr, from the community, said: "There can be no doubt that we have achieved something remarkable that will change the quality of life for a "very rural" community.”

More case studies from the Community Benefit Programme are available here.


Thrive Renewables is a renewable energy investment company. It offers accessible opportunities for individuals, foundations and funds to invest in clean energy projects that deliver financial, environmental and social rewards. Thanks to its community of 6,250 investors – large and small – Thrive has been building and operating renewable energy projects in the UK since 1994.

The company’s portfolio comprises 17 renewable projects with assets under management in excess of £117m, last year, its portfolio delivered a reduction of 97,000 tCO2e greenhouse gas emissions.

Vision: We believe in a clean, smart energy system powered by the investment of many.

Mission: To power the transition to a sustainable energy future by helping people meaningfully connect with clean energy projects.

Sign up to hear about our news and events, the latest energy projects and capital raising:


The course is Emergency First Aid at work. It runs for 6 hours and includes children and baby CPR in this class at no extra cost. The class will be held at VAO in the boardroom and the cost per person is £30.


1.) Minimum age 14 for certification.

2.) Candidates under 16 are able to be certified but cannot be a first aider in a work place.

3.) All candidates must be able to complete all the physical side of first aid in assessment. 


If you would like to book on this course please contact

first aid

walk leader training

Rob McGregor from Orkney Walking Groups will be delivering Paths for All accredited Walk leader Training on Monday 26th August

 The training will run from 10.00am to 4pm at the VAO offices.

After attending this course participants will be able to:

 Outline the main benefits to be gained from becoming more active

  • Recognise moderate intensity physical activity
  • Be able to describe a Health Walk and know what makes a suitable route for a Health Walk
  • Have an understanding of risk assessment and recognise potential hazards on a Health Walk.
  • Outline the roles and responsibilities of a Walk Leader

 Please note: Training includes a demonstration health walk so please come wearing flat supportive footwear and loose, comfortable, weather appropriate clothing. Please bring anything else you may need with you.

 Refreshments will be provided but you will need to make provision for lunch.

 If you would like to book on this training or know more about Orkney Walking Groups please contact

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