The first trainees to take part in an innovative Eyemouth-based social enterprise training course have celebrated completing it.
Six Berwickshire women signed up for the Re-Tweed 11-week pilot craft, design and technology course, learning how to use a sewing machine and create a range of items.
Inspired by tutor Jacqueline Thompson and volunteer Rhonda Noble, they used upcycled textiles donated by the community to manufacture bags, cushions, crafts and fashions, and they will be put on sale in shops around Berwickshire. The money raised by the sales will be used to run more Re-Tweed courses, providing training and business opportunities for local women.
The items will also be available from the Re-Tweed website, www.retweed.com
Re-Tweed director Hazel Smith said: “Re-Tweed is about creating a viable manufacturing enterprise and promoting positive environmental actions using recycled textiles, but it is fundamentally about encouraging positive journeys for our students.
“Over the last 11 weeks, the women have made an amazing range of products.
“The biggest thing for me, though, has been hearing them talk about their own sense of achievement and the way they worked in mutual support of one another.”
Business Gateway, Berwickshire Association for Voluntary Service, Borders College and Connect Berwickshire Youth Project supported the initiative and Annie Watt, social enterprise business adviser with Business Gateway, presented the women with their certificates.
Some of the women on the course are moving into volunteering or jobs – and most plan on buying sewing machines to continue developing their new-found skills!
“Making these cushions, bags and craft things is the first achievement in my life for a long time,” said one.
For details of the second course, which runs from August 23, contact Hazel on 07732014893 or e-mail email@example.com