Trust’s farewell as devoted Jenny heads off to the sunset
A local community trust in the Western Isles is bidding farewell to one of its founding members following more than a decade of devotion to their cause.
Local businesswoman Jenny Pain was one of the original members of the Point and Sandwick Trust when it began in 2005.
However, she is now leaving the Scottish charity to begin her retirement on the sunny beaches of the Canary Islands.
At the time of the trust’s establishment, local residents pulled together to create the steering group in time to take on their first large-scale project – to build a turbine on their land.
After 12 years of persistence and hard work, the community now have three turbines, creating Britain’s largest community windfarm located at the award-winning Beinn Ghrideag windfarm on the Pentland Road.
Mrs Pain describes that initial meeting in the old Bayble school in 2005 and how back then a view such as this was seen as a pipe dream.
She said: “There were a lot of people at that meeting and there wasn’t a lot of opposition. We were asked at that meeting if anyone was interested in joining a steering group.
“I’d only been here a year. I just thought, as a local business owner I should support what was going on in the community and so I put my name forward.
“I thought initially ‘it’s a really good idea but this is very ambitious for a small community to set up’. Then gradually, as the meetings took place and more people came on board, it became real.”
Having achieved this historic accolade, Mrs Pain admits that the journey wasn’t easy, following a number of difficulties created by local and land politics.
Despite the obstacles they faced, she admits that persistence conquered and allowed them to accomplish this huge achievement.
She added: “The board were tenacious, to put it mildly. They fought and fought and never lost sight of what they were trying to do.
“They are incredible. They worked hard. It’s been brilliant.
“I’m so proud that I’ve been involved in this,” said Jenny.
“I don’t think that anyone outside the steering group thought that we could pull it off. It’s a huge achievement.
“It’s just been amazing. I still can’t quite believe it happened.”
Along with achieveing what was once seen as the impossible, she said being able to support her local community is what she is most proud of.
She said: “For me it’s about supporting the smaller groups in Point and Sandwick.
“The big donations – like Bethesda, the LED project and the Woodlands – are fantastic but when you see a small group that can continue because they received £500 … all these wee groups like the Brownies struggle away on nothing and suddenly they are given a lifeline. That means a lot.”
Mrs Pain moved into the area in 2004 with her husband Richard to start her Tiumpanhead Kennels business.
They have now handed over the running of the business to their daughter and son-in-law.
Jenny Pains is leaving the Western Isles for the Canary Islands