Real Stories: Meet Helen

Meet Helen, the star of our new TV ad! Helen’s journey started when she joined a few months ago to meet new people. She runs her own kite surfing business, is an accomplished potter, loves dancing, plays guitar and even has hopes of being a pilot one day. All this and she’s only 26! Read on to find out more about Helen …

Kite surf teaching

“I set the business up in 2010. From April to November it takes up most of my time, for example I took a booking yesterday for three people in August who want me to teach them for the whole week. It’s the best job ever because I get to be on the beach every day. Obviously there will be the days when it’s cold and raining but even then it’s good fun, I love teaching. The best thing for me is when I get someone who can’t surf at all and then by the end of the week they can really do it.”

Government teaching scheme

“About every 5 weeks I visit different schools in Argyll and Bute and teach them about healthy living. It’s a really interesting project set up by ex Scotland and British/Irish Lions rugby player Gregor Townsend in support of the Olympics and the Commonwealth games in Glasgow in 2014, and it’s basically a curriculum that we can work through with the kids. For example the first visit is about goal setting so the kids have to set themselves a goal, go off and join a club or take up a new activity. It’s basically to get them to do a bit more sport outside school. And the second one is about diet and healthy eating so that’s about recipes they can try and make at home.”


“I really enjoy pottery. I’m doing an apprenticeship at the moment in a pottery. I started out doing small jobs around the place but now I’m making pretty much everything – lamp bases, plates, round pots with lids, clocks. None of it’s thrown, I tried twice and the first time was a Generation Game- type mess. All the stuff I make is from a mould or a flat base that is cut out.”

Social life

The social scene on Tiree is different to anywhere else I have ever been. They have these ceilidhs that go on at the local community hall. A band came over from Oban the other day, that was quite good. And then other than that I suppose that we just socialise around each other’s houses so somebody will have a BBQ or we’ll go down to the beach. There’s always someone organising something. We’ve got a girly night happening and I’m the only one who hasn’t organised one yet, so it’s my turn next. In the summer sometimes we go over to Tobermory which is 2 hours in a boat and we’ll go there and have a drink or we’ll sail a yacht around Coll island.”


“I grew up  near Loch Lomond. We used to come to Tiree on holidays to wind surf. Gradually we spent more and more time here until my mum built a house here, then one day she had the crazy idea to buy a hotel. And now I have a house. But my parents go away a lot so I’m the only one who lives here all year round!”