District News, April 8 2022

There was great excitement when the Furbochs visited Gigha Village Hall. Project organisers thanked Wee Toon Carver John Brown for helping bring them to life.
There was great excitement when the Furbochs visited Gigha Village Hall. Project organisers thanked Wee Toon Carver John Brown for helping bring them to life.

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Creative pupils celebrate island buy-out anniversary

Gigha Primary School pupils shared their favourite parts of the island in celebration of 20 years of community ownership.

Pupils and staff from the school joined islanders and visitors at a flag-raising ceremony on Tuesday March 15, in recognition of the anniversary.

During the event, the children sang the song One More Step Along The Road I Go.

To mark the occasion, pupils and their families created designs which were added to wooden discs using pyrography before being hung up on display.

Pupils also created an island frieze which was shared with visitors at the event.

Each pupil planned and designed a 40cm-wide piece of artwork to show their favourite part of the island, complete with a written description of its importance to them.

These pieces were joined together to make the final collaborative frieze to represent their island.

Gigha Primary School's pupils and class teacher Alex Vipurs with their Gigha frieze.
Gigha Primary School’s pupils and class teacher Alex Vipurs with their Gigha frieze.

Pupil Ella said: ‘The Twin Beaches are the nicest place on Gigha because I like the waves and also the sun. I like the sunlight and the boats bobbing around.’

‘Furbochs’ encourage people to explore nature on Gigha

A family of friendly ‘Furbochs’ is encouraging people to explore and appreciate the wonders of nature on Gigha.

The furry creatures are helping the organisers of the Our Gigha and Me (OGAM) wellbeing project by travelling round the island in their own little shepherd’s hut, full of fun and nature-based activities for the young and not-so-young to enjoy.

There was great excitement at Gigha Village Hall on Saturday, March 26, when the Furbochs – which feature in their own storybook – popped in for a visit before heading out on their adventures.

The Furbochs are travelling around Gigha in a shepherd's hut filled with fun activities.
The Furbochs are travelling around Gigha in a shepherd’s hut filled with fun activities.

The OGAM project is funded by the Wellcome Trust, through the British Science Association’s Ideas Fund, which enables communities to develop and try out ideas that address problems related to poor mental health.

This allows researchers and communities to work together to explore ways of improving mental wellbeing.

‘On Gigha, we are researching whether community-led nature interventions, including the Furboch house and its activities, as well as The Gigha Furboch storybook and an outdoor shelter for young people, can help to improve the wellbeing of children and families,’ said an OGAM spokesperson.

‘Covid has been difficult for many of us, but we know that getting outdoors can really help with our physical and mental health.

‘The OGAM project was designed to help make getting outdoors a bit different, fun and a little quirky, whilst making the most of what our beautiful island has to offer us!

‘The Furbochs have been more than happy to help us and have offered up their shepherd’s hut to be used by whoever comes to visit.

‘Please use anything or everything in there and look after it the best you can for others to enjoy.

‘We would love to know what thoughts you have about our project and there is a feedback logbook in the Furboch house, which we would appreciate you completing after a visit.

‘We know that sometimes things can get lost or broken and if you notice anything, or have any other comments or suggestions, please add a note in the section at the back of the logbook to enable us to make sure things are the best they can be.’

Gigha children are helping with the research but anyone is welcome to visit the Furbochs – there is a map outside the village shop which offers a clue on where to look for them.

‘We hope you enjoy your time with the Furbochs and using the things in their hut,’ added the spokesperson.

‘The project is based on honesty, trust, respect for our environment and for each other and with a shared desire for everyone’s wellbeing.

‘Sometimes life can be tough but a little chill-out time with those we love and with nature can make a difference.’