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Barra children making music thanks to CalMac

Barra and Vatersay's musical culture has been brought to life for the island's aspiring musicians, thanks to CalMac's Community Fund.

A boost of £2,000 has helped to introduce delighted local children to lessons in drumming, piping, fiddle playing and the accordion.

Catriona MacNeil, Feis Bharraigh Adminstrator, said: "Our project was a huge success.  Over the last year we have provided additional opportunities for the children here in Barra and Vatersay, which in turn has developed their music and music playing and awareness of music and culture.

"Monies were spent within piping, accordion, fiddle and we were able to purchase a new drum kit and offer drum lessons through the year.  As we expanded the music lessons on offer, we expanded the number of children engaging in the project.

"Thank you to Calmac, this has made a huge benefit to our charity and has contributed immensely to the children here on Barra and Vatersay. We started drum lessons in January 2020 and hopefully, when restrictions allow, these will continue again and perhaps we will have some little bands in the future!  Watch this space!"

Now in its second year, the CalMac Community Fund is open to non-profit groups across the CalMac network for projects which have made a difference to local communities. Applications for the latest round are now open.

In 2019, the CalMac Community Fund supported 76 groups across the west coast, benefiting the lives of children and young people. Projects included access to swimming, Highland dancing, sailing and video skills.

This year, the fund is seeking applications from organisations which are tackling social isolation, poor mental health, loneliness and/or poverty. They can apply for an award from the fund from between £500 and £2,000.

To apply, visit the CalMac website -

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