IT has been nine years since Scottish aid worker Linda Norgrove died after she was kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The 36-year-old who grew up on a croft on Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, was killed by a US grenade in a failed attempt by US Navy SEALS to rescue her from her captors.

She had been working on humanitarian projects for an international development company when she and three Afghan colleagues were seized by rebels.

A charity, The Linda Norgrove Foundation was set up by parents John and Lorna Norgrove who wanted her to be remembered for her contribution to life rather than her tragic death.


John and Lorna Norgrove

They have since distributed more than a million pounds to help women and children affected by the war in Afghanistan. It has funded over 80 grass roots projects.

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Now the Norgroves have found a novel new way to raise new funds making use of byre that hand been lying unused for many years with part being used to house cows and another section a tweed weaving shed.

The couple, who have already created budget accommodation on their croft using an old wheelhouse and successfully built a bothy at Mangersta decided to transform the derelict building into an upmarket holiday cottage for rent.

The couple say they will use the income to cover the running costs of the foundation, ensuring all money donated by supporters goes straight to Afghanistan projects.

The Norgrove said they were encouraged by the support they received in recent years from people using the bothy and wheelhouse who read about the charity and its work when they visited.

As well as donating more than £2000 last year alone, visitors to the bothy have gone on to organise their own fundraising projects for the Foundation, including a jazz concert in Heidelberg.

Mr Norgrove explained 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.

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

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

Other projects have included equipping 80 women with the means to generate income through silkworm rearing, spinning and weaving, the Ascend programme which inspires young women to climb mountains, and two projects in the remote Wakhan valley, one for the planting of trees, small orchards and kitchen gardens, another teaching basic hygiene to remote pastoralists and nomads.

Mr Norgrove added: "Our latest venture is very different from anything we’ve tackled previously as, unlike the wheelhouse and the bothy, it’s very much aimed at the luxury end of the market. The feedback we’ve had from visitors so far has been great, so it’s worked well. ”

The byre which features a round tower bedroom with views across Ardroil beach to the hills beyond is being marketed at £560 to £1155 for a week long stay.

Within two days of Ms Norgrove's capture on September 26, 2010 in the dangerous Kunar province, the Taliban offered to exchange her for Aafia Siddiqui, a 38-year-old neuroscientist dubbed 'Lady Qaeda' by US newspapers. She was jailed by a New York court for 86 years for the attempted murder of US agents and soldiers who were trying to interrogate her in Afghanistan.


The Taliban released the three Afghans during negotiations having been held captive for seven days.

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Twelve days after Ms Norwood was captured it was initially reported that she was killed by an explosion set off by one of her captors.

William Hague, the then foreign secretary announced she was "killed at the hands of her captors in the course of a rescue attempt" by special services. He says "responsibility for this tragic outcome rests squarely with the hostage takers".

Two days later David Cameron, the then prime minister confirms that Ms Norgrove may have died as a result of so-called "friendly fire", and launched a full inquiry.

US commander General David Petraeus had informed Downing Street that a review of the rescue operation had uncovered new information suggesting that a grenade detonated by task force members may have been to blame.

An investigation jointly carried out by the UK and US, later concluded she had died of injuries sustained from a grenade thrown by a US soldier during the ill-fated mission.