The economic impact of a project tackling poverty across Wigtownshire has once again been recognised on the national stage.
The Furniture Project, Stranraer, was named as runner-up in the Enterprising Communities category at the Scotland Loves Local Awards.
It is the second year that the impact of the social enterprise’s work has been recognised at the event – it having won the Climate and Net Zero category for the environmental impact of its work last year.
Those at V&A Dundee for the ceremony last night (Tuesday) learned how The Furniture Project is extending its premises to offer better support to the community.
Its wide-ranging work includes a cafe which provides free hot meals to those feeling isolated or struggling with mental health issues and teaching employability skills to vulnerable people.
Work is made possible through a 20-year agreement with Dumfries & Galloway Council to deliver reuse services across Wigtownshire.
Its nomination stated: “The Furniture Project operates the Community Reuse Shop, which receives and collects donations of items of household and office goods for reuse and recycling across Wigtownshire.
“By doing this, it alleviates the effects of poverty by providing affordable homeware for families in receipt of a low-income and the wider community. The social enterprise also provides therapeutic volunteering opportunities, employability skills and employment for young people, and reduces waste volume going to landfill.”
Dumfries and Galloway has a strong track record in the enterprising communities category, which as last year won by another local social enterprise, The Guild Dumfries.
Organised by Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP), the Scotland Loves Local Awards reward remarkable work taking place to improve communities, from tackling the climate emergency and encouraging enterprise to transforming streets and creating great places to live.
Television presenter Sean Batty, who hosted the awards, said: “The dedication and drive shown by all of our finalists to deliver for their community is simply amazing. The difference they make – day in, day out – is incredible.”
STP Chair, Professor Leigh Sparks, added: “Everyone nominated for a Scotland Loves Local Award is playing their part in creating a better future for their community.
“We should be proud of them all, as we should of all the unsung heroes working every day across the country. Their vision, determination, entrepreneurship and creativity is exactly what we need to create a stronger Scotland with more sustainable places in which to live, work and visit.
“Thanks to all of our supporters and sponsors for making these awards possible.”
STP is the organisation spearheading the Scotland Loves Local campaign, supported by the Scottish Government.
For more information about the awards and the wider Scotland Loves Local campaign, go to www.lovelocal.scot and follow #ScotlandLovesLocal on social media.
Scotland Loves Local Awards 2023: Roll of honour
Climate and Net Zero Community, supported by Business Stream and Green Action Trust
- Winner: Dalrymple, Skeldon and Hollybush Steering Group
- Runner-up: Gauchalland East Community Gardens, Galston
- Runner-up: Ibrox Commons, Glasgow
Creative Community, supported by Creative Scotland
- Winner: Vibrant Gala Project, Galashiels
- Runner-up: Art Night, Dundee
- Runner-up: Scene Stirling
Digital, supported by Commsworld and Miconex
- Winner: Forres Local, Moray Media CIC
- Runner-up: “Like a Local” campaign, Forth Valley Food and Drink
- Runner-up:shop, Inverurie
- Winner: GALE Centre, Gairloch
- Runner-up: Include Me 2 Club, Barrhead
- Runner-up: The Furniture Project, Stranraer
Judges’ Special Award for supporting the Scotland Loves Local Gift Card (joint winners)
- Ewan Eccleston and Ivonne Hamilton, Glasgow City Council
- Kirsty Shand, Moray Council
Place Leader, supported by Message Matters
- Winner: Diane Brown, Alloa First
- Runner-up: Ross Grant, Aberdeen Inspired
- Runner-up: Dr Michael Gray, Energise Galashiels
Streets and Spaces, supported by Sustrans
- Winner: Craigie Street Pocket Park, Dundee
- Runner-up: Gateway to Strathclyde Country Park, Bellshill
- Runner-up: Inchyra Park, Grangemouth
Town Centre Living
- Winner: Almondvale Court, Livingston (West Lothian Council and The Wheatley Group)
- Runner-up: Merchant House, Inverness (Highland Housing Association)
- Runner-up: Simon Square, Edinburgh (Fraser / Livingstone Architects)
High Street Hero
- Winner: Gordon McDonald, Buckie Action Group