Newsletter


Updated March 2014

Join Clan Macquarrie and help plant trees!
What: Community Tree Planting Event
When: Saturday 8th March from 10.30am
Where: Clan Macquarrie Community Centre, Borve

Clan Macquarrie is looking for people to join them at their second tree planting event at Clan Macquarrie Community Centre on Saturday 8th March from 10.30am. The group recently received their second free pack of 420 trees from the Woodland Trust, and is looking for help to plant them.

The trees, all native broadleaved species, will grow into a flourishing young wood in as little as 10 years. The group applied for a tree pack from the Woodland Trust to enhance their new landscaped area around the centre and enrich the local environment while creating new homes for wildlife. If you’re free on Saturday 8th March, you could join the group, making your area greener and bringing all the benefits trees have to offer to your surroundings. Trees provide oxygen, lock up harmful carbon, trap pollutants to give us cleaner air and water, and provide a fantastic habitat for wildlife.

“We’re delighted to have been awarded this tree pack; the first event was a great success and we really hope to fill in any gaps or replace any trees that didn’t last through the bad weather we’ve been having. We hope you can join us to help plant the trees and have some fun. There will be refreshments provided and please bring a spade if you have one.” Sally Reynolds, Clan Macquarrie Community Centre.

John Tucker, Woodland Trust Director of Woodland Creation, added: “The UK has just 13% woodland cover compared to a European average of 44% and the trees we do have are under increasing threat from diseases and development.

“By teaming up with communities like Clan Macquarrie Community Centre, the Woodland Trust is working to double our native woodland cover and enrich our landscape. It’s also great to get the public out planting trees, hopefully providing people with an experience they will remember forever.”

If you would like to plant a tree with Clan Macquarrie, please come prepared. Wear suitable warm clothing and a pair of sturdy boots or wellies.

The tree packs have been generously funded by lead partners IKEA FAMILY, Biffa Award and Sainsbury’s, also funded by WHSmith, Wilkinson and players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Tree packs are available in three sizes – 30 trees (which schools are automatically eligible for), 105, or 420, and packs
come in eight themes to choose from including trees for year-round colour, wildlife, working wood, wetlands, community
copse, community hedge, wild harvest and wild wood.

To apply for a pack, go to woodlandtrust.org.uk/communitytrees

Notes to editors:

For further information contact the Woodland Trust press office on 01476 581121 or email
chrishickman@woodlandtrust.org.uk

The Woodland Trust is the UK’s leading charity championing native woods and trees. It has 500,000 members and
supporters.

The Trust has three key aims: i) to enable the creation of more native woods and places rich in trees ii) to protect native
woods, trees and their wildlife for the future iii) to inspire everyone to enjoy and value woods and trees.
Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,000 sites in its care covering approximately 20,000 hectares
(50,000 acres). Access to its sites is free.The tree packs have been generously funded by lead partners IKEA FAMILY and Biffa Award, also funded by Nicky and players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Tree packs are available in three sizes – 30 trees (which schools are automatically eligible for), 105, or 420, and packs come in seven themes to choose from including trees for year-round colour, wildlife, future firewood, wetlands, community copse, community hedge, and wild harvest. To apply for a pack, go to www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/communitytrees
For further information contact the Woodland Trust press office on 01476 581121 or email chrishickman@woodlandtrust.org.uk.

Clan Macquarrie gives an even warmer welcome - Draught Proofing & Insulation


The Clan Macquarrie Community Centre (CMCC) in Borve has recently seen completion of insulation and draught-proofing measures which have made a significant difference to the ambience of the Centre. The work was completed under the auspices of the Outer Hebrides Community Energy Fund (OHCEF), which is administered by Community EnergyScotland.

The OHCEF grant scheme is designed to support and fund renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in the Outer Hebrides that contribute to community sustainability.  The eighteen month scheme was managed and administered by Community Energy Scotland, offering communities the opportunity to access a grant of up to £30,000. Partners Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Leader each awarded £125,000 towards the fund. This grant scheme is designed to support:

Community groups that own, manage, and maintain facilities to become more energy efficient and make a lasting difference in the community;

Community groups assessing the feasibility of a renewable energy project and;

Community groups aiming to learn more about energy efficiency and renewables through education and awareness raising.

The Committee at CMCC is very pleased with the early results evident from the work undertaken and would like to thank sincerely the team at CES and also The Energy Advisory Service ( TEAS) in Stornoway, who undertook the initial assessment and completed the works, for their support with the completion of the project.

 

 

BLIADHNA MHATH UR DHUIBH UILE!

From all at Clan MacQuarrie, a Happy New Year to all our volunteers and friends and to the community as a whole. Too many volunteers to name individually of course (but you know who you are!), but our sincere thanks for your help and support during 2013 and for helping us to have another busy and successful year. The next 12 months promise to be equally busy with 2 weddings booked in and various other events filling up the diary already! Indeed, we are now taking bookings for 2015 (we have already started in fact!).

The festive period saw a busy time at Clan MacQuarrie. A carol service at Clan MacQ was enjoyed by much of the community and even Santa was spotted at the Centre on more than one occasion leading up to Christmas, bringing gifts to the boys and girls attending Airidhantuim Youth Club, Parant is Paiste Bhruigh and the North Lewis Croileagans Christmas parties - hopefully he'll return again next Christmas! 2014 was then welcomed in when the community gathered at the Centre for an excellent ceilidh dance with Stuart Taylor, Sandy and Keith.

The Clan MacQuarrie AGM took place on 5th December 2013. The Chairman (Donald "Ba" Macdonald) welcomed all present. Mr Donald "Ba" Macdonald stood down from his post as Chair. Mrs Agnes Rennie was warmly welcomed as our new Chairperson; and Mrs Sally Reynolds into the post of Vice Chair. Mrs Marion Maclean was re-elected as Treasurer and Mrs Morag Nicolson re-elected as Secretary. Mr DA Macleay resigned from his role as director. All other committee members were re-elected to continue as Directors. Mr Donald "Ba" Macdonald was thanked for his hard work and commitment over the years in the roles of both chair and vice chair and his continued support is noted as he continues to support the Centre in the role of Director. Mr DA Macleay and Mr I Morrison were also thanked for hard work and support during thier time on the committee. The Chair's Report was reported as follows:

Clan Macquarrie Community Centre
AGM 5th December 2013
Chair’s Report

The past year has been one showing “more of the same” – the same commitment and enthusiasm from the committee and the same support from the community at large.  In other aspects of the life of CMCC, it is also pleasing to report consistency – particularly in terms of financial stability, committee membership, user groups, ongoing improvements to the assets of CMCC etc.
While consistency and stability are positives, especially when set in the context of what is continued successful operation of the Centre, one of the challenges we face as a community organisation is to bring in new blood, new ideas and a “succession plan” for the future.  I feel change is good for a group from time to time, particularly if that change can be achieved by bringing on board some of the younger members of the community.  I hope that we are able to meet that challenge in the months and years ahead.
By way of ringing the changes, and as previously advised, this AGM will see me handing over the reins of Chair to someone new.  After 11 years as either Chair or Vice Chair, I think it is time to move aside whilst continuing to support CMCC – whether in a continuing formal Trustee/Director role or from the sidelines will be determined by the formal process of the AGM of course.
It almost goes without saying now, but my sincere appreciation again goes to all of the committee who do so much to make the role of Chair go much easier than it otherwise might.  I have to give particular thanks to our Treasurer and to our Secretary who both carry out much “unsung” work in the background to ensure the steady course of CMCC.  Likewise, our wedding planners and all who devote so much of their time to making these big days individual and special for the bridal parties. Also to DA and Sally who have done so much work around progressing the landscaping project this year. It doesn’t end there of course – painters, fencers, kitchen helpers,  DIY people, clean-ups, stewards, bar persons, doormen, ticket collectors, raffle sellers, sponsored walkers, admin, lighting, stage setting/unsetting, sound effects etc etc.  Everyone contributes as they are able, without exception. Clan Macquarrie truly is a great team to be a part of.
Two Directors have resigned during the year or have indicated their intention to resign at the 2013 AGM. I would like to thank Mr Ian Morrison (resigned Feb 2013)  and Mr Donald A Macleay (resigning at Dec 2013 AGM) for their support whilst serving as Directors of CMCC.
I would also like to thank the various organisations that helped us in our aims this year – for example: CnES; Community Energy Scotland; HIE; Co-op Community Awards; CIB Services; Isles FM; Radio nan Gaidheal; Fios; Martin, our weddings chef; all the regular user groups and others that hired the Centre throughout the year.
It is fair to say that the financial success of CMCC is what allows us to offer attractive facilities and affordable hire charges to users.  To deliver that financial success, of course, we rely on so many people outwith our own committee (as do our user groups when they hold their own events). It is always pleasing to see the strength of the support we all get from the community at large for the various and varied events held at CMCC.

 

Looking back, we have seen the following events successfully delivered since the last AGM:

  • New Year Celebration
  • Annual Burns Supper
  • Volunteer night held in September
  • Weddings celebrations in March, June and October
  • Mull Theatre event in September
  • UOG Celebration Ceilidh

On a sadder note, this year marked the passing of Alex Blair who previously served for a period on the CMCC committee.  It was good, and somehow fitting, to be able to help by providing the use of the facilities at the Centre to assist with the funeral arrangements.  Alex is very much missed in the community and our condolences and thoughts are with Sue and Jamie in their loss.  
Aside from our events as listed above, we have successfully achieved a number of improvements and works within and around the Centre.  Examples that readily spring to mind are:

  • Improved loft access within Garden room
  • Landscaping
  • Polytunnel and protective fencing
  • Kerbing of car park
  • Tree planting
  • Fitting of new external canopy to kitchen extractor fan (in course)
  • Additional skirting boards fitted
  • Painting days held – both external and internal
  • New lights purchased for stage events
  • New safety ladders purchased
  • New blinds fitted in Garden room
  • Additional cupboard spaces and shelving created in Garden room
  • Thermal imaging completed re heat loss assessment and grant secured for addressing some of the main heat loss areas
  • Various minor works completed – respatex; sealing gaps etc 

As is evident from the above lists, there is plenty to look back on positively for 2013.  Well done and my thanks to everyone involved. It will come as no surprise however when I state that there are several areas I feel need to be assessed/actioned for 2014.  For example:

  • External fascias
  • Completion of all landscaping and finishing works (planting etc) by community
  • Boundary fencing works
  • Draught-proofing measures
  • Car park resurfacing
  • Window blinds/curtains

In conclusion, a successful year has just passed for Clan Macquarrie.  We will all look forward, I’m sure, to the challenges and tasks that 2014 brings us.  Also, of course, to the friendship and general camaraderie we enjoy in accomplishing the various duties our volunteering presents us with - that is the glue that makes us strong I guess. In the meantime, thank you once again for your significant contributions over the last year.


Donald Macdonald
Chairperson
5th December 2013

 

 

 

 

Clan MacQuarrie Community Centre

AGM 18th December 2012

Chair's Report

It is my pleasure to report the detail of another successful year at the Centre. The pleasing financial viability and stability is reported elsewhere of course and it is equally satisfying to see the Centre and its facilities remain at the hub of the whole community.

When reflecting at the end of the year, it is sometimes easy to forget how much has actually been achieved. It often takes a review of the diary and of the Minutes of our regular meetings to remind ourselves of just how busy we have been and of the good work that the committee and community volunteers have undertaken.

Some examples of practical improvements to the fabric/facilities of the Centre are:

  • New website built and launched
  • Broadband/Wi-Fi installed
  • New front doors purchased and fitted
  • Redecoration commenced
  • Additional shelving fitted
  • New bar counter fitted
  • Water meter fitted
  • Car park signage erected
  • External timber treated
  • Loft ladder and safety rails fitted
  • Car park repairs carried out
  • Regular cleaner employed
  • Wind turbines insured re breakdown and loss of income
  • Blinds ordered for Garden Room
  • Laptop purchased to assist with running of website/Facebook page/twitter page etc.

Our activities to raise funds for the Centre continued in a similar vein to prior years - regular community bookings; theatre group bookings; birthday parties; wedding receptions/buffets/dances; sponsored walk; community car wash; New Year Ceilidh; Burns Supper etc.

One booking worthy of being highlighted here is the hosting of the Convention of the Highlands and Islands in June 2012. That event has arguably been our highest profile event to date and it was fulfilled in a most professional manner by a relatively small group within the committee. In terms of feedback received from CnES (the hosts of the Convention), this was hugely positive and the whole event and its delivery should be a matter of pride to all concerned.

Receipt of Feed in Tariff from the electricity generated by our two wind turbines continues to be a main source of net income for the Centre. With due regard to the importance of this cashflow, we have now taken out appropriate insurance cover, at a comparatively low cost, to mitigate the risks of any loss of income and/or costs of repair in the event of turbine breakdown.

One of our main targets this time last year was the progression of landscaping around the Centre. It is particularly pleasing to report that the effort around that aim has paid off. Thanks in large part to the commitment and hard work of Sally Reynolds, grant applications have been successful. Along with the grant funding, we have a significant contribution of our own available and we are therefore presently going out to tender with several contractors to ensure we drive maximum practical benefit from the finance available towards the project. We currently expect to have the majority of the project completed by 31st March 2013.

Another highlight of 2012 for Clan MacQuarrie was the awar of Voluntary Organisation of the Year by Voluntary Action Lewis. Elenor and I were delighted to attend the Awards ceremony at UHI and were very pleasantly surprised when CMCC emerged as winners of our category. This award is welcome recognition of the dedication of all on our committee and all the volunteers from the wider community who are ready, willing and able to assist us when we need them.

It will be no surprise that we already have a number of things planned for 2013. For example:

  • Aforementioned landscaping project
  • Ongoing internal paintworks
  • Fascia/soffit assessment
  • Installation of extractor fan canopy
  • Additional stage lights
  • Flooring repairs/maintenance
  • Formal heat loss audit (and compensatory measures as appropriate)
  • Community Skips to be re-sites, under CMCC management

It is appropriate at this time to thank a number of organisations and individuals who help us during the year - CIB Services; CnES; HIE; local Councillors; Isles FM and Fios are all examples of these. In addition, my thanks to all our volunteers, to the local community for supporting all the activities that take place in Clan MacQuarrie and especially to the hard-working committee who always give of their best. Particular thanks must go to our Secretary and to our Treasurer who conduct so much unsung and unseen work to help the smooth running of this particular ship throughout the whole year and yet also contribute fully and practically at every event we run. Likewise, the wedding team who demonstrate huge commitment to ensuring that all these "Big Days" do so fantastically well. The reputations of CMCC as a wedding venue clearly continues to grow and is evidenced by the fact that we already have a full quota of five wedding bookings for 2013. Indeed, we are now seeing enquiries and bookings coming in for 2014.

Clearly, there is much success and achievement to look back on in 2012. Now, as we look forward again to a new calendar year, I think we can already see the positive signs of further progress and of CMCC remaining as a force for good for the whole area. My thanks again to all those who have worked immensely hard towards ensuring that has indeed been the case in the last year.

Donald A Macdonald

The AGM was brought to a close with the Committee offering thanks to the Chairman for his own unstinting hard work and leadership for the last year.

FORTHCOMING EVENTS

Plenty to do at the Clan MacQuarrie over the next few months - See Events Page for info

 

 

 

 

VOLUNTARY ORGANISATION OF THE YEAR 2012 GOES TO CLAN MACQUARRIE

At the Volunteer Awards 2012 hosted at Lews Castle college on Tuesday 5th June, the Voluntary Organisation of the Year Award went to the Clan MacQuarrie Community Centre.

 

Donald Macdonald (Chair) and Elenor Macleay (Vice Chair) attended the ceremony. Donald expresses thanks on behalf of the committee "Clan MacQuarrie were delighted just to have been nominated for this Award. Winning it was very much unexpected but, reflecting on it now, it's fantastic to get recognition for the hard work that the whole community puts into making the Centre a focal point for bringing people in the area together on a regular basis. We would like to thank those who nominated us for the award. Our thanks also to The Volunteer Centre for the recognition".

award2012


THE CLAN MACQUARRIE COMMUNITY CENTRE

 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
14th December 2011 at 8.00pm

Download a copy of the 2011 AGM here [PDF]
Download a copy of the 2010 AGM here [PDF]

Present:                     

Mr Donald Macdonald (Chair Person)
Mrs Marion Maclean (Treasurer)                 
Mrs Morag Nicolson (Secretary)                  
Mr Norman Smith
Mr Peter Macdonald
Mr D A Macleay
Mr Murdo Nicholson
Mrs Margaret I Macleod

 

  1. Welcome and apologies

Apologies were received from Mrs Elenor Macleay (Vice Chair), Mr Donald Vann,  Mr Iain Murray, Mr Calum Macdonald, Mrs Sally Reynolds, Mr John Mackay, Mrs Agnes Rennie,  Mr Calum I Maciver and Mr Iain Morrison.

Mr Donald Macdonald (Chair), extended a warm welcome to all present.

2          Appointment of new members

Ms Donna Morrison became a member.

3          Minutes of previous AGM

Minutes of the AGM 8th December 2010 were approved by Mrs Marion Maclean and seconded by  Mr Peter Macdonald.

4          Chairperson’s Report

Mr Donald Macdonald (Chair) presented the Chair Person’s Report:

Clan Macquarrie Community Centre

Chair’s Report 2011

 Here we are at another AGM, they seem to come around faster every year – a reflection perhaps of the busy lives we all lead.  That of course includes being busy with the varied activities involved with being close to CMCC and the demands that places on us all.  For that reason, I would like to start by recording my sincere thanks to all on the committee for the continued hard work and commitment shown to CMCC and to our community during the last 12 months.  This year, I do not intend to single out any individuals however I well know many of you contribute vital time, energy and effort  that is not always readily apparent to the rest of us.  That commitment is acknowledged and genuinely appreciated.  

In addition, it is important to acknowledge the ongoing support the Committee has received from what I’ve previously referred to as our “army” of local volunteers, support also from all local user groups and from the local and island-wide community as a whole.  Without the support they give to CMCC events and to events run by our user groups,  the viability of the various groups (and therefore the viability of and contribution made to the community by CMCC) would be significantly and seriously diluted. It was pleasing to be able to acknowledge in a more tangible way the support of our volunteers in February when we were able to lay on a meal event by way of thanks.

I need to also recognise the links established or enhanced with and the support we have received and continue to receive from various agencies and groups based throughout the island and beyond including (in no particular order):

CES; CnES Councillors; Fios; Theatre Hebrides; Isles FM and BBC; Hebridean Celtic Festival; Ness Funeral Society; CIB Services; Anderson Macarthur &Co.

My apologies now to any groups or individuals that I may have missed there.

 

  Some of CMCC’s achievements, improvements and contribution to the community in the last year were:

Achieving registration with Feed in Tariff subsidy scheme for renewables;
Generating circa £7,500 income annually from the above;
Plant room door ventilation system improved;
Assuming responsibility for management of community skips;
Shelving fitted in loft area;
Exterior lighting has been improved;
Landscaping improvement plans commenced;
Benches for garden area contributed/purchased (albeit not yet installed);
Handymen appointed and commenced maintenance of Centre;
Website and Facebook site consolidated and delivering benefits;
Renewables system has delivered a warmer and more welcoming venue, with reduced energy costs;
Financial viability further improved with good build-up of cash reserves during the year;
Enhanced reputation as a performance venue;
Further investment in assets – e.g. chairs, kitchen equipment etc.

It was pleasing to have had several wedding receptions and wedding celebrations in the Centre during 2011 – and particularly pleasing that we were able to help with the marriage celebrations of Committee members or their close family – Angela and Craig (MI’s daughter); Janice and Owen (Norman’s sister) and Sally and Toby (Sally!) all allowed us to share their Big Days.

Last year, I suggested we had perhaps over-burdened the Committee with wedding events that fell too close together on occasion.  I am pleased to say that matters eased off somewhat in 2011, with a more even distribution of major events throughout the year .  I feel it is important that we continue to be cautious in this respect, balancing the need and desire for income generation against the risks of exhausting the committee and our volunteers.  One solution may be to consider “outsourcing” of catering for major events at any time where we feel acceptance of these may be too much for our volunteers to take on.  In that respect, it is pleasing to report that a good initial relationship has already been established with a proven commercial caterer.   Any events to be outsourced will of course be decided on a case by case basis and via negotiation of an agreeable financial return for CMCC.

I also highlighted last year that I felt we should have held more events for the community rather than being overly focused on “commercial” bookings.  I remain of the view that there may be scope to improve our offering slightly in respect of community meal/ceilidh type events.  Of course, in considering dates and events of that type, care must be taken not to clash with fundraisers arranged by our user groups.  Much will depend in the future again, I expect, on the popularity of CMCC as a venue for wedding celebrations etc and our ability to keep making added demands on the Committee and on our volunteers.

Looking ahead to 2012, I hope it will not come as a surprise that we have plans to further enhance the facilities at CMCC.  Specifically by way of (but not restricted to) the following:

            Landscaping improvements (currently progressing grant applications);
            Main Door replacement;
            Installation of benches in “garden” area;
            Improvements to loft access;
            Additional storage via loft and cupboard shelving;
            Ongoing maintenance to interior and exterior of the entre

Of course, we as a committee will aim to continue to provide our traditional events such as New Year Ceilidh, Burns Supper, Summer BBQ; Halloween party etc.  And maybe even some new ones as the year progresses!  User groups will also no doubt contribute their own mix of ceilidhs, plays, soup lunches, fundraisers etc – all these activities in the Centre help cement its place at the heart of the community.
           
In summing up, I’d like to thank everyone who has helped us to deliver another successful year.  Thanks again to all on the committee for your enthusiasm, dedication and hard work and for the unstinting support you give to CMCC.   It has been a pleasure and a privilege to have been Chair of CMCC – the role is made easy as a direct result of the wholehearted support given by the Committee and by the wider community.

Donald Macdonald
14th December 2011 

5          Financial Report

Mr Donald Macdonald circulated Draft Financial Accounts for the year 2010/11, prepared by the Auditors, and gave a brief rundown of the figures for the benefit of those present.  The accounts  were approved in their draft form by the Directors of the Board who were present.  It was agreed that the Board would be happy to approve the final version subject to no material changes;  if any material changes, Financial Report will be presented at a future Board Meeting for further approval.

Mr Donald Macdonald sought the agreement of the Directors to sign approval of financial documents for the Auditor.  This was granted.

Mr Donald Macdonald discussed the benefits and revenue generated from the wind turbines and also  highlighted new water charges and their likely impact on financial status for the forthcoming year.

 
6          Retirement of Directors

Mr Iain Murray, Mr Calum Iain Maciver, Mrs Morag Nicolson, Mr John Mackay, Mrs Agnes Rennie and Mr D A Macleay tendered their resignation from the Board of Directors, as longest serving members on the Board and in line with the requirements of the Memorandum & Articles of Association.  All of the afore-mentioned Directors were willing to stand for re-election.

7          Election of Directors

Retiring Directors were all re-appointed, all proposed by Mrs Margaret I Macleod and seconded by Mr Norman Smith. Ms Donna Morrison, proposed by Mr Donald Macdonald and seconded by Mrs Marion Maclean, agreed to become a Director

 

8         Appointment of Chairperson

In the absence of the Vice Chair, Mrs Morag Nicolson (Secretary) presided. 

Mr Donald Macdonald, proposed by Mrs Marion Maclean and seconded by Mr Norman Smith, was re-elected as Chairperson. 

Mr Donald Macdonald resumed as Chair Person for the remainder of the meeting.

Mr Donald Macdonald proposed that Board members remain in Office for a further term, seconded by Mrs Margaret I Macleod and agreed by all members present.

Mr Donald Macdonald intimated that he intends to retire from the post of Chair Person at the next AGM (2012).

                                                                                                           
9          Appointment of Auditors

All Directors present agreed to the re-appointment of Mr Calum Macdonald of CIB Audit until the next AGM.

10        Big Lottery Fund

CMCC is required to seek BLF approval before undertaking any significant alterations to the building, transferring ownership, using the building as security against any loans, or changing the legal status of CMCC.  It is also important that future CMCC committees inform BLF of changes of the main contact so that future correspondence will be sent to the correct person.  BLF have suggested these matters are added as a standing item to the agenda of each CMCC AGM as a reminder for future committee members.

11        Any other competent business

No other business was raised.

The meeting was declared closed at 8.50pm.

 

 

 

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