Trust’s farewell as de­voted Jenny heads off to the sun­set

The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands) - - FEATURES - BY MICHELLE HEN­DER­SON

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

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