Clydesdale Community Initiatives (CCI) is celebrating again, after winning the class for enterprising organisation category at this year’s Voluntary Action South Lanarkshire third sector awards.
The Lanark-based social enterprise was recognised for the unique contribution aspect of its business model, involving people who face significant barriers to employment and inclusion.
Participants include people with mental or physical health problems or learning difficulties .
With CCI, they work on a variety of commercial projects, to build community ties and achieve personal goals.
Now, CCI is preparing to launch a crowdfunding campaign for its latest endeavour – to furnish a new kitchen at its Langloch Farm headquarters.
Since moving to the farm in late 2015, CCI has been able to increase the range of activities offered and the number of participants involved.
In addition to working in soft and hard landscaping, horticulture and woodwork, about 70 volunteers a week have had opportunities to learn crafts, business planning and how to develop calendula oil cosmetic products.
The landscape side is now a company in its own right, with contracts across Scotland, employing some of the young people who were volunteers with CCI, and there are now hopes that the woodwork side could follow suit in the future.
The addition of kitchen facilities will expand the company’s range and enable new groups to take part in its award-winning programme.
Once completed, the kitchen will also be made available to other voluntary organisations, training providers, schools, community groups and local businesses.
“It will give people the opportunity to learn about healthy cooking,“ said director Niall McShannon.
Eventually, food grown in local projects could be collected and cooked there.
The total cost of fitting the kitchen out will be around £40,000, and CCI is turning to crowdfunding for part of that.
The crowdfunding campaign will go live this month. It is being run by Biggar High pupils, and its target is £15,000,
“That is quite ambitious because if we don’t get that, we will not get a penny,” said Niall. “It is all or nothing, but we are very optimistic because we think this is a really good idea.”