Island at the Edge

Island at the Edge
The Gathering, Cable Bay, Colonsay

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Stop Press... Danger Mouse the Lonely Shepherd becomes mobile.

Stop Press...
Danger Mouse the Lonely Shepherd becomes mobile!!
What a busy few weeks this has been and a detailed update will follow very shortly.
However, in the meantime, it is very nice to report that Danger Mouse is all weather proofed, up to speed with twentieth century technology and is raring to go with his new business venture.
It’s great that we are able to retain a young person on the island and all we need now is to find him a wife so he can start to re-populate Colonsay. So girls, if the photograph of Danger Mouse makes you weak at the knees, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with him!!

Kapitein, I and many others on the island wish him every success. Feel free to contact Danger Mouse if you wish to commission his services.

The press release that will appear nationally over the next few days reads as follows:

The Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust and the weather-proof shepherd
The Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust (PSYBT) has once again demonstrated its support for young people in the more remote rural parts of Argyll.

After receiving a business plan from Jamie Stringer (24) from the Isle of Colonsay (population 110), who described himself as a ‘Young, fit, experienced and weather-proof shepherd and (farm) labourer wishing to set up in business as a freelance agricultural contractor, the panel of experienced business people, originating from the Isle of Harris to Lochgilphead on the mainland, were so impressed that they decided there and then to provide Jamie with the loan and grant support that he had applied for.
And all of this was achieved without Jamie leaving the island. In what was a first for both Colonsay and PSYBT Argyll a video conference link was set up for the panel interview, with Jamie out on a wet and windy Colonsay and the panel assembled in Lochgilphead.

With no employment opportunities on Colonsay and facing the prospect of having to leave the island permanently, Jamie decided to set himself up as an agricultural contractor based on Colonsay but travelling and providing labour support to the crofts, farms and estates of Islay, Jura, Mull and the mainland of Argyll.

With his new fully-equipped vehicle he will now be able to utilise the Calmac ferry services to Islay and Oban (the gateway to the isles) to transport himself, his dogs (2 collies and 2 gun dogs) and the equipment and supplies he needs such as a mobile sheep handling and shearing system, to clients throughout the area.

Experienced in all aspects of sheep, cattle and pig husbandry, from hill gathering to lambing, calving and shearing, and with experience of tractor work from ploughing to seed drilling and silage cutting, Jamie believes that there is a large and increasing demand for this type of flexible farm labour throughout Argyll and especially on the islands. And if he’s only needed for tractor work then he can simply pack his bags and take the flights operated from Colonsay by Hebridean Air Services.

Commenting on Jamie’s new business, Sharita Padaruth, Dunbartonshire and Argyll Regional Manager for the PSYBT said: “The panel and I were very impressed with Jamie’s business plan and his presentation during this very first video conferencing panel interview. His plan, qualifications, experience and dedication are everything that we look for when supporting young people and the fact that we can we can do this for those more remote and fragile communities is a real added bonus. Having assisted another fledgling business on Colonsay, Cholasa Hospitality Services, in the last 12 months - which has gone on to create further employment opportunities for young people - we hope that this will encourage others to come forward and contact us with their ideas and plans.”

And for Jamie?
“Well, it’s back on with the waterproofs and up the hill to gather in some sheep. But the real benefit for me is that I can now determine my own future and wherever I travel to work I can still continue to live on this beautiful island”.

If you would like a helping hand down on the farm, or up in the hills, then Jamie Stringer can be contacted on 07979 607393.

And if you’re a young person with an idea then conract PSYBT on 07917 305 553 or visit

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