This, in turn, relies on them having the same opportunities – early years, education, work and play – as those living in more central parts of Scotland.

Below are a just some of the ways in which our community partners are making a positive difference:

Photo courtesy of West Coast Photos


Rainbow Child Care in Dunstaffnage near Oban, a nursery for three to five-year-olds, encourages outdoor play but the weather in the area can often prove a dampener.

With the prospect of several rainy months to be endured each year, the early learning group’s team knew what would help – some all-weather gear – but the question was how best to fund the cost of it.

A helping hand

The early learning group approached one of our local farmers, whose wife worked at the nursery.

Understanding only too well what it’s like to battle the elements, our farmer enlisted the support of our Heart of the Community Fund to fund new sets of waterproof clothing for all 60 children and six members of the Rainbow staff.

To help keep the children separate in Covid-secure ‘bubbles’ as per Scottish Government guidance at the time, the waterproofs were delivered in two distinct colours: 30 red and 30 navy.

The difference made

Manager Olivia Morgan said she and the whole nursery were thrilled with the difference made by having the waterproofs: ‘Our staff team aspire to provide excellent outdoor experiences and are often forced to come in early as their outdoor clothing does not stand the test of time. This makes a big difference.’

Photo courtesy of Gordon Siegel Photography


Shetland Girls Football Club has gone from strength to strength in its first four years.

Young female footballers from across the islands can join one of four groups, from the under 10s to the under 16s, with away games as far afield as Orkney and Aberdeen.

In the early days, the under 14s and under 16s competed against the Shetland boys’ leagues but there are now enough girls to set up a separate league.

‘It’s completely different when they play against other girls,’ said Shetland Girls FC chairman and coach Mark Hunter. ‘Their confidence grows and it’s like watching another team.’

The one problem? Until recently, the girls had to wear hand-me-down football strips from the boys’ club – even for competitive matches.

A helping hand

With close to 100 girls to kit out, Mark decided to approach Scottish Sea Farms’ Heart of the Community Fund for sponsorship.

A donation of £4,000 was secured and the club was able to purchase 20 strips for each of the four age groups.

The difference made

‘Before, we had to beg or borrow old strips from the boys’ teams,’ said Mark. ‘The girls will be delighted to get out of those!

‘On behalf of the coaches, committee, parents and especially from all the girls, I’d like to thank Scottish Sea Farms for their extremely kind sponsorship.’

Photo courtesy of Gordon Siegel Photography


A shortage of laptops in Aith Junior High School in Shetland had made online learning in the classroom a struggle, with up to half of children unable to participate in some lessons.

School computers are provided by the local authority but numbers can depend on the school roll, which can mean smaller schools having to make do with fewer resources, despite many classes now being taught digitally.

Aith has around 230 pupils, with four year groups at secondary level, plus primary and nursery provision. Senior class sizes are just under 30, but with so few computers, class-wide online learning was impossible.

‘In a class of say 26 or 28, perhaps half would have laptops while the rest would sit twiddling their thumbs,’ said school dad and parent council representative Jimmy Mercer.

A helping hand

Jimmy had heard about Scottish Sea Farms’ Heart of the Community Fund through its sponsorship of Shetland Junior Football Association and applied for an award on behalf of the school.

Scottish Sea Farms agreed to donate £5,000 and Jimmy contributed a further £2,000 from his own Lerwick-based business, Rearo Supplies.

The combined funds enabled 16 Hewlett-Packard laptops and a charging trolley to be purchased ahead of the start of the new school term.

The difference made

‘This money from Heart of the Community is an absolute game changer,’ said Jimmy.

‘This will double the number of computers per class and means when the teachers want to do a class online, every pupil will be able to access a laptop.

‘The younger bairns can use them too and, with the trolley, they can be taken from class to class, wherever they are needed.

‘It’s a massive thing for our community and for the education of the bairns.’


Comprising players from across the Orkney islands, Orkney Football Club is a member of the North Caledonian Football Association – a league which operates throughout the Highlands and islands, giving ambitious young footballers the chance to play competitively.

However away matches can prove costly for remote island-based clubs given the distances involved in getting to and from the Scottish mainland.

‘Travel costs are our biggest expense,’ said Orkney Football Club vice-chairman Euain Penn, making the support of local businesses such as Scottish Sea Farms vital.

A helping hand

Through its Heart of the Community Fund, Scottish Sea Farms has been sponsoring Orkney Football Club since 2013, steadily increasing its support over the years to help with everything from away strips, home strips, training costs, travel costs, even awards for ‘Man of the Match’ which are now presented in the form of a voucher for a local business – part of Scottish Sea Farms’ wider commitment to ‘support local’.

To date, it’s added up to support worth £43,300, including 2021-22 season funding worth £5,000; funding that Euain describes as ‘an absolute lifeline’.

The difference made

Commenting on Scottish Sea Farms’ continued sponsorship, team captain Wayne Kirkness said: ‘On behalf of the whole squad I would like to say a huge thank you to Scottish Sea Farms for their very generous support yet again this year. We could not do this without them.’

Banner photo: 2021 Champions of the Glasgow Celtic Society Challenge Cup, Kyles Athletic Shinty Club, courtesy of John Fullerton Photography