A new social enterprise has been established to benefit all the young people of the Kinlochleven catchment area.
Called Kinlochlovin’, the social enterprise is a not-for-profit organisation which aims to ensure that, faced with a range of challenges including rural isolation, the young people of Kinlochleven have access to the same opportunities as young people elsewhere.
Kinlochlovin’ will act as an umbrella for a range of different companies allowing both the pupils and the community to generate income themselves to pay for projects such as Rock Challenge, a performing arts competition which promotes healthy lifestyles, or making Duke of Edinburgh free at the point of entry so that every youngster can take part, regardless of their background. Increasing participation in these types of events and awards has been identified as a major aim because of their recognised value to future employment prospects. Anna McBride, Chairperson of Kinlochlovin’, said ‘The Duke of Edinburgh scheme is a good example of a project that was designed with equity in mind but too few young people have had the opportunity to participate. Our aim is to robustly address the barriers which have traditionally stood in their way.’
The social enterprise has already brought several businesses under it’s umbrella. Buzz Buzz, a reference to the Kinlochleven Midge, makes textile crafts such as cushions, hats and felt accessories, while Scents has started by making soaps and candles and Turtle, an eco-craft upcycling company, is focusing on Eco crafts and jewellery. These projects already have a number of youngsters taking part, gaining greater engagement in the community as well as valuable life and entrepreneurial skills. The young people plan to showcase their contributions and are already planning a Christmas Fayre. We applied to the Rotary Club of Lochaber for a start-up fund and they very kindly gave us £500.