The strongest man in the world supports an educational initiative of a bird rescue center in Sutherland.
Tom Stoltman of Invergordon, gave the stamp of approval to a “flying school” set up by Blue Highlands Raptor Rescue and Avian Conservation Center in Brora.
The project is running as a pilot this year and sees the center providing local youth with after-school work experience and learning opportunities.
Mr Stoltman, whose nickname is ‘The Albatross’, visited the centre, located in the former Bayview Hotel in Golf Road, last Saturday when he had a close encounter with Asher, a screech owl in white face.
Speaking about his autism, he said he thought the educational program on offer would be a particular boon for young people who might find mainstream school difficult.
“When I was diagnosed with autism, it meant that I finally started to get the support I needed to learn in a way that was right for me,” he said. “What flight school will offer young people like me is great.”
Blue Highlands Founder, Hadassah Broscova-Righetti, said: “In addition to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of birds, I truly believe that education is Blue Highlands’ responsibility – to inspire young people. excel and reach their full potential.
“If we can play a small part in that, then we’re happy to do so. The young people in our region are very special to us and we welcome any opportunity we can provide to supplement their mainstream education.
“A successful flight school pilot project means the center can apply for funding for a classroom building, a space dedicated to learning, working and experiencing through hands-on care.”
Center director Jayne Wilson said: “We want to be able to share our passion with these young people – they are the wildlife guardians of the future.”
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