£44,000 boost for social enterprise

Pictured are Alison Oliver, Aileen Gallagher, Owen Fielding, Suzanne McMinan, Robert Stewart, Louise McDonach, Shannon Greig, Carolanne Turner, Kim Walker and Amy Farrell.
Pictured are Alison Oliver, Aileen Gallagher, Owen Fielding, Suzanne McMinan, Robert Stewart, Louise McDonach, Shannon Greig, Carolanne Turner, Kim Walker and Amy Farrell.
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Young people at a Glenrothes-based project are celebrating after receiving £44,100 from the Big Lottery Fund.

The money from the Young Start programme will be used by the Scottish Christian Alliance’s Gilven House project to develop its social enterprise company over the coming months.

Aileen Gallagher, social enterprise co-ordinator, said everyone involved was excited about the new funding.

She explained: “The money will go into the social enterprise that we have created, called So Funky.

“The girls have been making soft furnishings and putting them up for sale.

“They have also obtained the machinery needed to print on to items like t-shirts and mugs.

“They are all doing the artwork themselves.

“We have been piloting it for the last three months.

“We’ve made Christmas decorations and that has turned into profit for the girls.

“The funding will help us to get a van, which would let us attend more events to sell products and we could have a member of staff.

“We’re looking to take it out into the community.”

All those involved in the project are aged between 16 and 24.

Aileen explained the social enterprise has provided many opportunities for those who have got involved so far and, as the social enterprise develops, more will benefit.

She said: “They have learned new skills, including how to use sewing machines, and their skills have been growing.

“It’s not just about the making and selling the products, it’s enabling the young people to build their confidence and to gain more skills.

“They absolutely love it and are really excited about So Funky.

“We have the funding for 12 months and, hopefully, by the end of the 12 months, So Funky will be self-sustaining.”