Harris Voluntary Service was set up as Harris Council of Social Service in 

January 1964 and has continued to serve the community of Harris until 

now.

Its first task was to encourage the Tourist Industry, which was seen by the members at the time as an opportunity for development. It was involved  in setting up to the Western Isles Tourist Association, started the Bed &  Breakfast industry in Harris and published a tourist information guide. In  these early days the emphasis was on economic development and the  Harris Craft Guild was set up followed by Co-chomunn na Hearadh, which  is still operating a very successful shop in Leverburgh. HVS took the initiative in setting up Harris Development Ltd, a community company who concentrate on the economic regeneration of the area. This left HVS free to concentrate on the other needs of the community. Harris has had, of necessity, a tradition of voluntary effort. With two main centres of population, Tarbert and Leverburgh and the remaining  population being distributed sparsely among the 3 rural villages and  Scalpay, the provision of variety of services is expensive and therefore  restricted.   Over the years this has been compensated for by voluntary effort. The  concept of community involvement and co-operation is not new to crofting townships in Harris where most of the crofting activities were carried out  on a township basis, i.e. peat cutting, sheep gathering, dipping and  shearing. However, while it is relatively easy to find volunteers to carry out work on  the ground, they are not so keen on becoming members of the  committees and this is an area where we have to constantly encourage  members of the community, to participate.

HARRIS VOLUNTARY SERVICE

History 
Harris Voluntary Service ~Room 15 ~ The Old Primary School - West Tarbert ~ Isle of Harris ~ HS3 3DB - Tel: 01859 502171  Scottish Charity Number: SC000788  
Working in partnership for the Western Isles
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