A Hospice for the Hebrides

machair, sea and blue skyThe Outer Hebridean Isles of Lewis, Harris, Uist, Benbecula and Barra lie off the northwest coast of Scotland in the Atlantic Ocean. Rugged and wind-swept, they are characterized by stark beauty and great contrasts, peat moors and rocky mountains, white sandy beaches and steep cliffs.

Scattered throughout the countryside are villages and crofting townships. Although most of the crofts are no longer worked, the crofters retain the traditional way of life, conversing freely in the rich Gaelic language. Working at home, they weave Harris Tweed and have time to grow potatoes, raise sheep and cut peat. Stornoway, the administrative capital, has a fine natural harbour and is the centre of the Harris Tweed and fishing industries.

The harshness of the land has motivated a high rate of emigration. Over successive generations, many young people have left the island in search of economic opportunities. As a result, families are smaller and there is a large population of elderly people. This has had a profound effect on the ability of relatives to cope with the needs of the sick and the aged.

Useful Links:

Churches:
The Free Church of Scotland
The Church of Scotland
The Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland
Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland
Associated Presbyterian Churches
Local Authority:
Comhairle nan Eilean (Western Isles Council)
Health Board
NHS Western Isles
Gaelic:
BBC Alba
Gaelic Psalm Singing
Sabhal Mr Ostaig