Stimulating social enterprise in Argyll and Bute

Vital Spark supported local people in and around Dunoon, Rothesay and Campbeltown to develop ideas into enterprises and provide practical solutions to social and economic issues unique to each area.

We now have 18 active early stage enterprises, 12 of these are actively trading and six have taken on premises.

Twelve new employment and volunteering opportunities have been created, five of these in partnership with a local organisation and over £125,000 of grant funding has gone to these enterprises.

Meet all the Vital Spark social enterprises below!

Takeaway Creative
Takeaway Creative is a roving, portable hobby service offering innovative activities in private homes and care homes. The idea for Takeaway Creative came from founder Fiona Page’s personal experience as a carer for her mum who was housebound yet keen to learn new skills.

ZPL Mobility
Craig Peden is providing service, repair and hire of mobility scooters in the Cowal area along with his partner. He is also moving into bespoke adaptations of aftermarket vehicles to make them fit for purpose and accessible to people with mobility issues.

Inspired by Autism
Duncan MacGillivray provides training, support services and small grants for people with Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) and their families and carers and professionals in the field. Using his experience in the care sector and as a parent living with ASC, Duncan also provides advocacy for families at care reviews, school meetings and benefits tribunals.

Diamond Quadrant Trust
Agnes Harvey is developing an enterprise that supports people to design and achieve the lifestyle they want. Individually designed support programmes focussed on empowerment and building a life of personal choice.

Cowal Play Therapy Service
Rebecca Blanco’s vision is to set up a school and nursery based Play Therapy service with referrals from schools, nurseries, clinical psychologists and other bodies including Children and Family Social Work teams. She aims to offer a child centred, non threatening counselling/therapeutic service to children who are unable to verbalise their feelings.

Ali McCrossan
Ali is developing an enterprise that aims to provide access to skills building to enable local people to feel empowered and equipped to deal with community issues. She is designing a training pack that can be delivered throughout Argyll & Bute.

Triple Aspect Puppet Theatre
Alison Clark has created a puppet workshop space for puppet making and developing puppet theatre productions on Bute and further afield. She also provides workshops and creative opportunities for children and adults. Her work often focuses on Celtic legends and themes, appealing to visitors to Bute as well as the local community.

Gillie Banks runs tapestry and weaving workshops for children, adults and elderly people with dementia on Bute and in Cowal supporting the health, wellbeing, culture and tourism sectors as well as providing skills development. Gillie is keeping the Scottish traditions alive through spinning, weaving, dyeing and old Scots songs.

Brandane Cheese
Alan Peacock is in the early stages of developing a Brandane Cheese for Bute and further afield. He plans to link it with the island's cultural heritage and support tourism to the island as well as providing a high quality cheese.

Liz Adam’s project focuses on providing tasty, healthy and affordable food, including a micro-bakery, event catering, community cookery school and workshops to teach sustainable food growing and healthy cooking to adults and healthy eating to children. Liz initiated her enterprise on Bute and is now currently developing it further afield.

Wee Toon Environmental Solutions
Gordon Allen set up Wee Toon after being made redundant from Argyll and Bute Council’s Employability team to fill the gap in local service provision. He soon secured a council contract to provide garden maintenance, landscaping, joinery work, customised shed design and build. His enterprise has provided employment and training for people facing barriers to work: improving their confidence, communication, social and life skills.

Clean Team
Fiona Lavery is delivering a cleaning business in small villages in Kintyre centred around local community needs including window cleaning, wheelie bins, patios, garden furniture, roofs and gutters. She is particularly interested in supporting vulnerable people.

David Fee organises gigs in people’s homes in Campbeltown and wider Argyll & Bute. This provides accessible opportunities for artists and audiences to come together in isolated areas while supporting community and cultural cohesion.

Keeping It Local Campbeltown
Jason McCallum has opened a one stop shop for Campbeltown based tradesmen and customers, offering a platform for local start-ups to test the market and trade from, without the financial constraints of starting alone or having to deal with logistics such as rent and bills. He offers hot-desking and advertising support where people from around Kintyre can promote their business on screens in the premises, through social media and on a website

Chris Annetts works with young people in Campbeltown on theatre, film and multi-arts projects. He is developing opportunities to work with local schools and support local volunteer opportunities with a specific focus on drama.

Kintyre Cultural Connections
Pamela Galbraith aims to rejuvenate the ceilidh and heritage culture in Kintyre and further afield by giving people of all ages from diverse communities opportunities to share cultural experiences through music, food and the arts. Pamela has secured start up funding and already established links with local Polish, Italian and Bangladeshi communities.

3B Design Studio
Paul Russell is using his skills and background in graphic design to provide training and employment opportunities to local students, giving young people in Campbeltown a way to develop their skills and find employment in their home town. Paul also aims to donate electronic arts materials and equipment and provide training to schools.

Fancy Drawers
Catherine Wilson has created a space for the creation of high end bespoke items as part of her furniture and homewares upcycling enterprise that supports local environmental and social initiatives. A key aim is to share her skills and enable individuals within the community to work on their own upcycling projects.