William Wilson in the Community
18/10/2023 14:25:08

The event was held at the Lewis Leisure Centre in Stornoway and organised by Western Isles Badminton Association. 

Players travelled from across the Western Isles, some taking two ferries from Barra to get there. 

Players entered from Barra, Uist, Harris, Lewis with around 35 men and 10 ladies taking part in a series of tough events over the weekend. Singles matches were played on the Friday evening and Doubles matches featured all day on Saturday. 

 The event was a great success and the first Badminton Open to take place for several years. 

Jay Moran, Secretary for the Western Isles Badminton Association said: “Thank you William Wilson for your incredible support.” 

Stornoway Branch Manager Jayne O’Gara McKenzie commented: “I was delighted to be able to offer some support to this valuable local community sports association.” 

18/10/2023 14:18:21

Thurso Bowling Club Management Committee member Brian Tewnion said: “Like all other community sports clubs, we recognise the difficult times we are all going through just now, and we are striving to make the efficiencies required to ensure our club survives.  

At Thurso Bowling Club we make ourselves open to the local community.  For instance, at an open day, local people can come along and try playing bowls.  At the end of our season, we attracted 12 new members which will bring our membership to greater than 100 for next season.  

We have also appointed a wellbeing protection officer, and this will enable us to host sessions with schools and other community groups next year.

Brian continued: “We are fortunate to have a few returning sponsors each year, but we are always seeking more contributions.  The more support we get into the club means membership fees and game entries can be maintained at an affordable level.  

Last year was first time we offered advertising boards around the bowling green, and we had a lot of interest including the team at our local William Wilson branch.”

Thurso Branch Manager Stevie Bruce commented: “I was delighted to offer some support to Thurso Bowling Club.  In fact, if my creaking knees can stand it, I might pop down for a game!”

18/10/2023 14:15:43

In January 2023 Orkney Branch was contacted by Steven and Tracy Russell on behalf of Just Dance Orkney.

Just Dance Orkney had received the exciting news that several of their dances had been selected to represent Scotland at the Dance World Cup in Braga, Portugal in July 2023. 

Eight dances were selected in a variety of dance styles including highland, ballet, contemporary, jazz, tap and show dance.

These dances included 19 dancers, aged from 12 to 20, who made the trip.  Entries came in from 40 other countries. This event is held annually in a different country each year.

Traveling from Orkney is always difficult and the only way the group could get to Braga was to fly out and back.  The cost of the trip was approximately £21,000 including travel costs, accommodation costs and the competition fee per dancer.  

Along with other local companies, William Wilson contributed to the overall cost of the trip.

18/10/2023 14:11:54

The Marie Trust is a front-line homeless charity in Glasgow.  The Marie Trust took on the lease for the iconic Café India on Albion Street to deliver their services from, in June 2021. 

After a long and sometimes difficult journey, the Marie Trust celebrated the official opening of the project on Monday Jan 23rd, 2023.

The Marie Trust is focused on supporting people to exit homelessness and move into safer, more stable accommodation to live safer lives.

The Marie Trust approached William Wilson with a request for assistance with toilet, shower and bathroom products.

Marie Trust Chief Operating Officer Frances McKinlay commented: “The donation from William Wilson has been incredible. Without this support, we would have struggled financially to provide 3 individual toilet facilities to the standard that we have. In addition, we have received advice and guidance and benefited from the wealth of knowledge Dave Reid provided us with when we faced challenges in the refurbishment. The support and generosity have been amazing, and we really appreciate the company helping us to provide first-class facilities to people experiencing homelessness.’’ 

30/11/2022 15:10:32

Stornoway branch continues to show their commitment to Macmillan Cancer Support by raising more than £145.00 from donations by customers, colleagues, and suppliers.

In a separate additional donation, Jayne O’Gara Mackenzie contributed £50.00 to the charity Breast Cancer Now.

30/11/2022 15:08:38

Portree branch have made a contribution to the travel costs of the Isle of Skye Pipe Band.

The Isle of Skye band have been invited to play at the Phoenix Tattoo & Highland Games in March 2023.  This is the opportunity of a lifetime for many in the band.

Pipe band Treasurer, Alan Mackenzie, contacted our man Lachie Gillies and Lachie had no hesitation in offering some support.

The trip is expected to cost the band approx. £30,000 (This is with accommodation and transport in America being taken care of by the sponsors of the games & tattoo).

The band are a community group who play at various functions, highland games, agricultural shows, etc, throughout the year and from June to September.  The band play in Somerled Square, Portree every week to entertain the locals and visitors to the Isle of Skye.

The band will be playing at the Phoenix Highland Games for two days and also at the Tattoo on one day.  On top of this, it is hoped the band will play at various locations, including the Grand Canyon.

We wish the Isle of Skye Pipe Band well on their American adventure.

30/11/2022 15:07:38

The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge brings together teams from all walks of life united by the same objective: to take on the unique challenge of crossing an ocean in a rowing boat.

The atmosphere is electric as people help each other prepare for the challenge of the mighty Atlantic Ocean. Teams battle with sleep deprivation, salt sores, and physical extremes inflicted by the race. Rowers are left with their own thoughts, an expanse of the ocean and the job of getting the boat safely to the other side.

Portree branch manager Lachie Gillies has become a member of the 500 Club by sponsoring Atlantic R2R in the 2023 Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge.

Atlantic R2R (Rock2Recovery) is a four-man ocean rowing team based in the Highlands, three members are based on Skye, and one based at Fort Augustus, who are aiming to complete a challenge of epic proportions in the latter end of 2023.

Tom Atkinson. 
Plumber/Joiner/Crofter (Ex-British Army Infantry.) 
Isle of Skye.

Richard Parkinson. 
Hospitality industry. 
Isle of Skye.

Jordan Parkinson. 
Yacht crew member. 
Isle of Skye.

Paul Roadnight. 
Serving Infantry Warrant Officer. 
Fort Augustus.

Tom said: “We have set ourselves the task of competing in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge 2023, a 3000-mile rowing race from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua, often dubbed ‘The World’s Toughest Rowing Race’.

We will be completing the row for a veterans’ mental health charity, Rock2Recovery UK. They are a fantastic organisation who provide support to military and blue service personnel when they most need it. We picked this charity due to having served with and known people who are sadly no longer with us after losing their battle with mental health illness.”

We will be following the teams progress closely in the coming months.

30/11/2022 15:06:49

New colleague Sandra Henderson runs the Altens Tuck Shop.  It’s a bit of a hallowed institution in Altens and supplies crisps and chocolate to our hungry colleagues on a daily basis.

Sandra runs the Tuck Shop on a not-for-profit basis, but it does over time build up a surplus of funds which Sandra then donates to charity.

In September the surplus reached a meaningful £250.00, which Sandra donated to the Robertson Road Resource Centre in Fraserburgh.

The Robertson Road Resource Centre provides day service opportunities for adults with disabilities living in Fraserburgh and the surrounding areas. The service provides the opportunity for personal development in the areas of social, physical and mental wellbeing. The centre uses group and vocational activities to help with self-advocacy, confidence building, assertiveness and other social skills experiences.

Former colleague Doreen Porter has an adult son, Alan, who attends and uses the resources at the centre.


30/11/2022 15:05:47

Former colleague Nicola Shaw (nee Summers) will be a familiar name and face to many within William Wilson in the Northeast.

Nicola was our Assistant Manager at Inverurie for some time and now works with her husband Richard Shaw helping to manage their Plumbing and Heating business, Richard Shaw Plumbing and Heating.

Nicola volunteers at the Garioch Heritage Centre in her spare time.

Garioch Heritage Centre opened in October 2017 and houses the collections of Garioch Heritage Society.  The Society has been researching the area’s history and gathering artefacts since 1987.

Housed in the former locomotive works, the Centre tells the story of life in the Garioch from earliest settlement to the present day and sheds light on the domestic and working lives of local people.

There is a gift shop, café, and activities to amuse younger visitors.  It is those younger visitors Nicola called Inverurie Branch Manager Russell Young about.

Russell takes up the story: “Nicola emailed me with a request for some 22 x 19mm Climaflex lagging.  Nicola explained she was hoping for a discounted rate as the Climaflex was for a Halloween themed craft day she was running at the Garioch Heritage Centre.”

Russell continued: “Of course I know the Heritage Centre to be a worthy cause and wanted to support Nicola, so I wasn’t going to take her money and immediately donated eight lengths for their use.

Nicola said: “Hey Russ, just wanted to say thanks again for your kind donation of Climaflex to the Garioch Heritage Centre Children’s Halloween Craft Day. I wanted to show you an example of the tube monsters the kids made on Saturday.”  (See our picture.)

“The kids loved making them and using Climaflex is great as no glue is needed to secure in the tissue paper!  One dad had four kids with him to the craft day and thanked me very much for helping the kids make the monsters and also providing him with extra pipe lagging for winter!”

30/11/2022 15:04:25

The Scottish Government imposes a Carrier Bag Tax in Scotland.  Our accruals for this levy reached £1500.00 earlier this year.

Our MD, Robin Mackinlay, has long being a supporter of using this fund to support charities.  You might remember we went out to our colleagues on a straw poll to ask for donation suggestions.  The note below outlines the results.

To those of you who made suggestions, thank you for your time and effort.  Every suggestion was worthwhile, and it was difficult to arrive at the decision you see outlined below.

After careful consideration, we decided to make donations to the following charities:

£800.00 to the Trussell Trust. This organisation has a network of foodbanks across Scotland which match our location network reasonably well.  Foodbanks received the highest number of suggestions from our colleagues.

£350.00 to Alzheimer Scotland.  Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Parkinson’s were the next highest category of suggestions.

£350.00 to Marine Conservation Society.  We felt this charity, which specialises in care for our oceans and highlighting the damage plastic waste does to them, was particularly appropriate.

We thank you again for your suggestions and wish to reiterate this was a difficult decision to take.  However, the donations were made based on the highest numbers of incoming responses and the appropriateness of each charity.

We also filtered into our decision that it’s best to make relatively substantial donations to a limited number of charities rather than to spread the available funds too thinly.

All three charities sent in letters of thanks.


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William Wilson Ltd, Registered number: SCO 14691. Registered office: Hareness Road, Altens Industrial Estate, Aberdeen. AB12 3QA

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