Securing three grants totalling £64,250 will enable Eyemouth-based social enterprise Re-Tweed to expand its work.
ReTweed runs 11-week training programmes for women to help them back into the workplace, teaching them sewing skills and using upcycling material that might otherwise have been destined for landfill.
A series of recycling and upcycling workshops can now be developed to encourage local people to reject our throwaway culture and return to a make-do-and-mend philosophy, thanks to grants from the Robertson Trust (£48,000), Blackhill Community Windfarm Fund (£15,000) and the Unltd Foundation (£15,000).
The new workshops include creative upholstery, rag-rugging, patchwork and wool crafts using donations of textiles from Berwickshire and through Borders textiles companies, including Hawick Knitwear and House of Cheviot.
“Without the generosity of local people, community groups and local businesses we wouldn’t have achieved the success we have – women reconnecting with their communities, making progress in their lives and careers and going on into other creative learning and volunteering,” said ReTweed founder Hazel Smith.
“We are especially chuffed to get support from the Robertson Trust since it was three Berwickshire women who founded the trust to support social justice and common good.”
The latest ReTweed graduates, presented with their certificates at Foundation Scotland’s Edinburgh headquarters by Sue Robertson, chair of the Women’s Fund for Scotland, brings the number of women to complete the courses to 29.
Sue said: “It was an inspiration to give the ReTweed women their graduation certificates. I’m impressed with what the project has achieved in such a short time.”