Alison Jones, Isle of Coll

ALISON JONES, COLL

Coll Community Hall and Bunkhouse have gone the extra mile for the community. Coll is different from other islands - our businesses aren’t just seasonal, we are open all year round to serve locals and tourists.

To then experience everything shut down overnight was really strange… the highlight for most of us was going to the post office! We also had the advantage over urban areas, of our beaches where we could safely go walks and watch the wildlife.

I run the community centre, An Cridhe, which is a key hub as you can imagine, and offers all different types of services. We shut the centre throughout lockdown as there wasn’t a need
to use it for local food banks etc. The community looked after
each other in different ways, but the public toilets and shower
remained open. If you were unable to get good broadband service during lockdown you could also come to the centre
to use the WiFi service. We are mindful that we must continue
adapting to the area’s wants and needs throughout the year.

Since lockdown has started to lift, we’ve been able to get the
Saturday Market up and running again in the main hall where local businesses can sell their products. It’s a great way of giving our visitors passing through an idea of what the community is like in Coll - we’re a very resilient community here. The local hotel and pub are at the heart of community, operated takeaway deliveries during lockdown which was a real special service for the community. It also meant you could have a night off from cooking!