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Voluntary Action Barra & Vatersay has a long history beginning in the late 1960’s becoming a charity (SC015602) in 1984 and more 

recently a company limited by guarantee (SC162441) in 1996.

We are committed to developing and delivering activities that contribute to the long term social, economic and environmental vitality of our 


We have a board of 9 trustees drawn from our membership which is made up of local individuals from community groups, clubs & public 

bodies. We currently have 12 members of staff involved in the delivery of our work. 

We recognise that we have the potential to tap into a wide range of public and private funding sources including development grants, 

charity trust donations, lottery funds and private sponsorship.

Our organised costs are kept as low as possible and no profits or dividends are, or can be distributed. This ensures that all funds raised go 

directly towards developing our future activities. 

Barra & Vatersay are the most southerly of the Western Isles. Our islands have a population of approximately 1300 residents. Our 

economy is largely based on the merchant navy, oil rigs and supply boats, fishing (catching and processing) and crofting.

We enjoy a high quality natural environment and a community that is motivated to volunteer to enhance the quality of life for its people.

Welcome To Voluntary Action Barra & Vatersay

Latest News

Please find attached PDF files (in English & Gaelic) of a flyer with details of the Scottish Parliament public information sessions being run in the Western Isles next month. A5 Flier (English) A5 Flier (Gaelic)  A4 SP Flier (English) A4 SP Flier (Gaelic) SNP Group Statement following Budget Choices Seminar Speaking following the Comhairle Budget Choices Seminar, SNP Councillor Rae Mackenzie outlined a selection of services and functions the SNP Group are committed to maintain. Cllr Mackenzie stated “These are just some of the items we are committed to saving, all of which have appeared on the list of choices that most of the other Council members have included in their cuts.” Cllr Mackenzie added “The SNP group wish to ensure that the weakest and most vulnerable in the islands are protected and these are amongst the cuts we will fight to avoid. We are still looking at the overall picture and are waiting on more information on the 90% of the Council spend that is not before us. We want to see £1 million taken from contingencies and the £1.1 million BBCI dividend used over the next 2 years to reduce the level of cuts being proposed.” The Guth Bharraigh asked Councillor Manford why the inter-island air services were not included on the list provided by the SNP?  Mr Manford stated “ this statement is an indication of service priorities within the terms of the information currently available to us, it is not a complete budget proposal.  Air transport connectivity is essential to effective delivery of these services.” For a full copy of the list referred to by Councillor Mackenzie please visit Vouluntary Action’s new website Education and Children Services Retain Specialist Itinerant Teachers Keep Lionel School in self management No Cuts to Special Needs Stop School Closures Avoid Shared Headships Stop changes to Bus routes Retain 2 Learning support Teachers Retain Early Learning Funding Retain training in Department Health and Social Care Maintain Penumbra Maintain Home Care Service Maintain Overnight Services Protect voluntary organisations funded via CHaSHP Continue Exceptional Care Packages Transportation and Infrastructure Maintain Community Transport Funding Continue Grants to Community Groups for Public conveniences Continue enhancement to Concessionary Fares on Sounds of Harris and Barra Retain Community Skips Retain Stornoway Abattoir Environmental Services Retain financial support to Foyer/Alpha Projects Retain Fuel Poverty measures Policy and Resources Retain Trade Union representation Retain Funds for WICAS Retain Community Grants Retain grants to 3rd Sector Barra & Vatersay - A Community that leads  On the 6th of July the Guth reported on an initial meeting with Marine Scotland. The objective is to explore ways in which the  community will lead in securing the effective management of its own traditional resources. The Community Company embraced this initiative by responding instantly to the challenge and has produced an extremely thought  provoking discussion document. “The Management of Marine Resources around Barra and Vatersay” is available here in PDF format  The document highlights crucial points for further discussion: To provide tailored management agreement which should include how to improve opportunity for active fishers within the agreement  area. This might include broadening the species available, enabling a return to a more traditional approach to fishing such as allowing  fishermen within the managed area to fish for herring or mackerel by traditional methods. Opportunities could be developed to  encourage the marketing of a distinctive heritage product with catch and geographical provenance.  Issues surrounding the structure of any management group, board or committee, where the primary stakeholders must be well  represented to ensure local interest is fully considered. Addressing issues such as the management of resources should allow new practices that are not damaging and that can encourage  and take advantage of opportunities that might develop to diversify income from agreement areas.  It is the proposal to designate areas which has forced the issue of control and management of local resources to the fore. It must not  be considered that aspiring to manage our own affairs is in any way supportive of designations.  I also believe that the selection of SAC’s was not justified by the science produced by SNH but consider that it was agenda led using  the meeting of EU Quota as justification. It is for that reason I have requested the Minister commission an independent review of the evidence process for selecting East  Mingulay Ridges Marine Special Area of Conservation. This request can also be found here in PDF format.  Donald Manford, Councillor, Barraigh, Bhatersaigh, Eirisgeigh agus Uibhist a Deas