Parents of aid worker Linda Norgrove turn bothy into fundraiser for Afghan women

Aid worker Linda Norgrove, from the Isle of Lewis, was killed in Afghanistan in 2010 during a rescue mission following her kidnap. PIC: The Linda Norgrove Foundation.
Aid worker Linda Norgrove, from the Isle of Lewis, was killed in Afghanistan in 2010 during a rescue mission following her kidnap. PIC: The Linda Norgrove Foundation.
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Visitors to the Isle of Lewis will be able  to support the legacy of the late aid worker Linda Norgrove after her parents found a new way of raising funds for the charity set up in her name.

John and Lorna Norgrove have transformed a derelict byre by Ardroil beach at Uig to let out to holidaymakers, with the income being used to cover the running costs of the Linda Norgrove Foundation, which has donated more than £1m to projects that support women and children in Afghanistan.

The bike and boot room at the bothy. PIC: The Linda Norgrove Foundation.

The bike and boot room at the bothy. PIC: The Linda Norgrove Foundation.

READ MORE: Aid worker Linda Norgrove added to dictionary of Scottish women

Linda, who was raised on Lewis, was kidnapped with three colleagues in Afghanistan in 2010 and died during a failed rescue attempt by the US Navy Seals.

Opening up the byre means that all money donated by supporters of the foundation will go straight to projects that benefit ordinary people affected by the war.

Visitors to the Norgroves other holiday properties in Uig have gone on to donate and raise money for the foundation after learning of Linda's work and legacy.

Income from the Norgrove's new holiday bothy at Timsgarry on the Isle of Lewis will cover running costs of the foundation, meaning that money donated by supporters will go straight to projects in Afghanistan. PIC: The Linda Norgrove Foundation.

Income from the Norgrove's new holiday bothy at Timsgarry on the Isle of Lewis will cover running costs of the foundation, meaning that money donated by supporters will go straight to projects in Afghanistan. PIC: The Linda Norgrove Foundation.

More than £2,000 was raised for the foundation by visitors last year, with one guest organising a jazz festival in Heidelberg, Germany, for the cause.

Mr Norgrove said: "We’ve always liked to keep busy creating things and we thought this would be a great way of covering the overhead costs of the foundation.

"We’re already pretty lean as charities go but we do have some outgoings - for example to cover design and printing of our newsletters.

"But we thought by using the holiday rental income to cover those costs people can be reassured their money is going directly to help women and young people in Afghanistan.

The Timsgarry bothy. PIC: The Linda Norgrove Foundation.

The Timsgarry bothy. PIC: The Linda Norgrove Foundation.

"And who knows – maybe some of our visitors will be inspired to help the cause in other ways."

The ruined byre at Timsgary now renovated by the Norgroves lay unused for many years. Previously, it housed cows with part of it used by a tweed weaver.

The byre has a large open plan living and kitchen area and a round tower bedroom with views across Ardroil beach to the hills beyond.

Linda was kidnapped while working for a charity in Afghanistan where she was overseeing development projects such as road building and irrigation.

Her parents wanted Linda to be remembered for her contribution to life rather than her tragic death and established the Foundation to help women and children affected by the war in Afghanistan.

Since the Foundation was established in 2010, it has distributed well £1m to help women and children affected by the war in Afghanistan and funded more than 80 grass roots projects.

The long term projects the Linda Norgrove Foundation support include a home in Kabul for children with disabilities, a school and university scholarships.

Meanwhile, 80 women have been equipped with the means to generate income through silkworm rearing, spinning and weaving.

Two projects in the Wakhan valley have also proved successful. One supports the planting of trees, small orchards and kitchen gardens while another teaches basic hygiene to pastoralists and nomads.