Who we are
We are a group of 10 volunteers running a shop on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. We run the shop to promote reuse, repair and the sale of local craft. Our low cost clothing, books and brik a brac helps to provide a lower cost of living, whilst our support of local craft offers artisans a platform to sell and showcase their work and talents.
What we are hoping to achieve
We hope to be able to soon sell coffee and ice-cream at the Old Shop in Bayble, in the Western Isles. Since opening a second hand shop to encourage resource sharing and foster social capital networks in Autumn 2020, and after having received a sizeable amount of funding from Scotland's Crown Estates to support work contracts for the upcycling and repair of textiles coming into the shop, we would now like to expand operations to include coffee and ice-cream selling, which we think will help promote interest in our zero waste/make do and mend operations. The shop is located close to a beach that is popular with walkers, and we think being able to sell coffee and ice-cream from the shop will really help to keep the shop self reliant, with potential to create a couple jobs locally. We also think it will attract even more people to the shop and help to promote the zero waste practices being encouraged through our eco shop and repair interests.
Why is our project important?
It will help tackle social isolation in the village. With a population of around 400 locally, and 2,600 in the wider region, Point is currently only served by one shop and café, which is not close to the beach area where many people like to walk. By developing coffee and ice-cream selling through the shop we can support tourism, with the provision of an alternative visitor spot, as well as local people through a couple part-time jobs. We support local crafts people, that sell their craft through the shop. We support local networks as the space of a common meeting area has helped people get to know their neighbours. It was noted that the area was becoming just like a commuter region, with people driving in and out to the centre, with no where local to go to. By developing a café space we can help to encourage more local visitation, and support social networks in the community.
How the funding will be spent
We will use the funding to contribute towards a good coffee machine for the shop. We think this may help encourage even more repeat visitation to the shop, and perhaps even the creation of a local job or two for young people looking for work on the island.