Latest News


December 2010


Successful Cothrom Re-Store project to move home


Early in 2006 Cothrom Re-Store opened as a furniture re-use and restoration project, the main purpose of which was to offer their students real work placements whilst providing a worthwhile and innovative service to the community.

All students have access to a two strand approach which includes mentoring and practical skills development. This increases confidence and self-esteem, creates a sense of pride and achievement, increases interpersonal skills, provides routine and stability and develops a sense of sense of responsibility.

Premises acquired at the Crossroads, Bornish in 2005 were subsequently renovated to make them fit for purpose, providing both a shop for the display of furniture alongside a small workshop. Funding was also obtained to purchase the Re-Store van which can be seen throughout the islands delivering and collecting furniture.

The project relies on the donations of furniture from members of the public whose response to this over the past few years has been very much appreciated. A further benefit to the environment, of course, is that less furniture has been sent to landfill.

But the project has grown arms and legs since its inception and now has many different strands: The donated pieces of furniture are restored and then sold at a low price in the shop.

Items can be viewed on the website and this is updated regularly with new stock. For a small charge all items for sale can then be delivered throughout the islands.

A repair and return service is available too. Customers may want a favourite piece of furniture sanded down and revarnished, or their dining room chairs recovered to give them a new lease of life. We have an upholstery service, please contact Re-Store for a quote.


Sideboard before

Sideboard after


Recently Re-Store received a commission to make its first henhouse to order – both hens and customers are said to be very happy! Other items such as bookcases, picnic benches, bird boxes, coffee table can also be ordered.

Textile banks have been in place for nearly a year now, there are four situated throughout the island, at Iochdar Hall, Isle of Benbecula House Hotel, Clachan Houses and Sollas Co-op. The textile banks are designed in line with Health & Safety to take smaller bags rather than larger bags. A half bin liner will fit but a full bin liner will not. Clothing, towels sheets, blankets, curtains, and also handbags, belts, hats and paired shoes are all gratefully received. Since January this year a total of five and half tonnes of textiles, 600kg of shoes and bags and over one tonne of books have been collected from the banks.

Once emptied, all contents from the Banks are taken to the Blythswood container situated near the Re-Store shop at Bornish before being forwarded to the Blythswood Care depot at Evanton. Proceeds from the donations will allow Cothrom and Blythswood Care to provide practical help at home and abroad and at the same time reduce the amount sent to landfill.

There is also a book swap project within Re-Store where at no cost, avid readers may swap their books which can be returned or exchanged. Alternatively books can be purchased at a nominal cost. Old books and catalogues can be deposited at the collection point at Cothrom Centre, Ormiclate.

Over the years many students and volunteers have benefited from raising their skills while contributing to the community. However, in order to facilitate further growth and improved services, Cothrom now wish to take the project one step further and plans to develop custom built premises consisting of a good-sized furniture store, a variety of workshops and shop, alongside a textile and a garden store, office and staff accommodation, on land adjacent to the Cothrom Learning Centre at Ormiclate. Re-Store wishes to respond to customer and community needs at all times, and will gladly consider any suggestions for new recycling initiatives. An Open Day will be held in January when everyone is welcome to come along and visit the project at Bornish. Plans of the new build will be on display for your comments.

Images below of proposed new Re-Store Building courtesy of Fraser Architecture


The proposed new Re-Store building viewed from the entrance to Cothrom Learning Centre, Ormiclate

The new building viewed from the Ormiclate road,

looking east


Cothrom again wish to extend their grateful thanks to all who have supported Re-Store



September 2010


A development programme for a Uist-based business

kickstarts Cothrom’s new Business Development Partnership Service


In September Cothrom is running a development programme with its first client under its new Business Development Partnership Service. The Service provides a business development package which can be tailored to suit your needs and assist you through the processes and stages of, for example, recruitment and selection, managing performance, developing people, managing change or continuous improvement , etc.


“Our service aims to improve the effectiveness of Uist businesses in a changing environment”, says Martin Davies at Cothrom.



September 2010

Enterprising Young People’s workshop generates national interest


Creating new Harris tweed designs, reviving a community shop, setting up a Harris Riding School , restoring an old building as a ceilidh house, and setting up a tidal hydro-power scheme … these are just some of the many enterprising ideas that young people on Harris are proposing.


The ideas emerged from a dynamic enterprise workshop attended by all the S5 and S6 pupils at the Sir E Scott School in Tarbert. The workshop was organised by Cothrom and the Skills & Enterprise Team (Department of Education and Children’s Services) in partnership with the school.


“Everyone in the community agrees that we need to engage with and support young people. But we often struggle to find effective ways of doing this”, says Thomas Fisher from Cothrom. “The process we launched at this workshop provides an answer.”



August 2010

Cothrom launches its new Mentoring and Coaching Service


Mentoring is … the support given to you by another person to help you to explore opportunities in your life.


Cothrom staff have received training in mentoring through the Scottish Mentoring Network. Cothrom is now offering mentoring and coaching to:

  • all its trainees
  • individuals in the community interested in personal development, for example a change in career or developing new interests
  • individuals or groups wanting to set up a new community venture or business – coaching will guide you from your vision to a business plan and on to action
  • any business on Uist wishing to improve their effectiveness
  • all Cothrom staff


Mentoring at Cothrom provides you:

  • tailored one-to-one support from a mentor with varied life experiences and a positive attitude
  • a confidential service
  • opportunities to explore new developments and change
  • a skilled listener
  • on-going support


“Everyone can do with a mentor,” says Thomas Fisher at Cothrom. “Mentoring support provides you a chance to explore and take forward opportunities in your work or life.”





Cothrom Staff were delighted to have 35 students being awarded certificates at the Celebration of Learning on Tuesday 29 th June. It was an extra special evening for the MacKay twins, Shona and Sarah, who both completed Level 3 SVQs. Shona was presented with a Modern Apprenticeship in Children’s Care, Learning and Development and continues to work in Cothrom Òg as a Nursery Assistant. Sarah, who had worked at reception since 2009, was awarded a Modern Apprenticeship in Business & Administration.

Congratulations to all the students on their hard work.



Graduation 2010



Congratulations to the children who graduated from Cothrom Òg in June, they all go off to school in August and we wish them good luck. We would like to thank Peggy Ann for her hard work with the pre-schoolers over the past year.


Thank you Lorna!


On the 5th June Lorna MacLeod, one of our mums ran the Benbecula Half marathon in a time of 1hr 58mins and raised a total of £560.50 towards Cothrom Òg Nursery funds. We would like to say a huge thank you to Lorna for her donation and well done for completing the run (the first she had done!!) in such a great time.