Island View: Celebrating the charitable spirit of Bute’s people

Calum's Cabin is one of the many worthy charitable causes on Bute.
Calum's Cabin is one of the many worthy charitable causes on Bute.

Not for the first time, it struck me this week that per head of population, Rothesay (and Bute) must be quite high up the list of the most giving communities in the UK.

Every week without fail I hear of more events organised by tireless coordinators, whether they act as groups or as individuals, in aid of one charity or another be it local, national or international.

More often than not these events are set up at considerable effort and expense by volunteers with the sole aim of supporting good causes, and usually with the by-product being an enjoyable day out for the people of Bute too.

The charity shops throughout Rothesay help raise funds for various worthy ventures too, including the island’s own Calum’s Cabin, the existence of which exemplifies the charitable spirit of the Brandanes.

When faced with tragic circumstances that are unimaginable for most people, the family of the late Calum Speirs raised funds to set up a holiday retreat designed solely to ease the suffering of families in similar positions to their own.

And typically, the support for the charity was so great the Speirs family have been able to set up a cottage to match the cabin and help even more families.

Learning about the story of Calum’s Cabin and the work that the Speirs family and plenty of others do has been a humbling experience.

Also typifying the giving nature of the people here is Fyne Futures, the homegrown social enterprise which supports all manner of good causes including Bute Produce, Car Bute, ReStyle and Zero Waste Bute.

In many ways Bute has been sidelined, but the generosity of the people here is impossible to ignore.