Local MP, Drew Hendry has raised a motion in the UK Parliament to recognise the work of Highlife Highland employees and management during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Hendry paid tribute to the over 500 Highlife Highland staff who signed up to volunteer during the pandemic and went on to congratulate the team on their efforts to get community facilities reopened, paying particular reference to the safe commencement of swimming lessons for over 3,000 children across the Highlands.

The early day motion, which was lodged in parliament today (Monday 16 November) also refers to the ‘outstanding efforts to support Highland communities by Highlife Highland staff’. Mr Hendry highlights several online programmes that ‘supported the well-being of some of our most vulnerable citizens’, including Macmillan, move more, music tuition, youth work and adult learning as well as leisure; archives and libraries services.

Commenting, Mr Hendry said:

“Groups and individuals in our communities have been nothing short of incredible throughout this pandemic, and the dedicated staff at Highlife Highland are no different. They have been a constant source of support and activity across the region; be that through voluntary work or the many innovative ways they have found to provide health and well-being services online. The fact that they have had over 2 million customer engagements through their online services is a tremendous effort, and I am pleased to have the opportunity to put on record my thanks to the entire team.

“I must also pay tribute to Steve Walsh and his leadership team for the positive way they have approached this challenging time and for the care and attention they have shown to customers and their staff alike. As we have seen with so many Highland businesses and organisations, innovative thinking, and a positive vision really can make such a difference.

“The value Highlife Highland brings to our communities cannot be underestimated, and it’s vital that we continue to support the organisation now and as they develop services and facilities into the future.”

TEXT OF EARLY DAY MOTION (LODGED RISE OF BUSINESS, 16 NOVEMBER 2020)

‘This House commends High Life Highland (HLH) management and staff for their outstanding efforts to support Highland communities throughout the health pandemic, notes that hundreds of staff volunteered in communities across the Highlands with many supporting vital community and key worker hubs, also acknowledges that their online services have already reached over 2 million customer engagements contributing to the well-being of some of our most vulnerable citizens; and further notes that these services include Macmillan, move more; music tuition; youth and adult learning services, access to archives; libraries, and leisure services; also pays tribute High Life Highland’s pro-active and safety-focused Bounceback campaign which has led to the safe reopening of leisure centres; libraries; museums; arts; archive centres; and many other services across Highland communities and congratulates the team on the safe commencement of swimming lessons for over 3,000 children, and thanks to the team for the ongoing substantial contribution they are making to the health and well-being of Highland residents and the continued recovery of our communities now and post COVID.