Case Study: Borders Pottery
In May 2023, Greencoat Drone Hill Fund awarded £7,464.75 to Borders Pottery, a Community Investment Company located within St Abs, Berwickshire.
In May 2023, Greencoat Drone Hill Fund awarded £7,464.75 to Borders Pottery, a Community Investment Company located within St Abs, Berwickshire. The project had two specific aims. The first was to provide free pottery classes for those experiencing long term mental and physical health conditions and those living with addiction. The second part of the project was to purchase new equipment, including a tabletop pottery wheel which would allow greater accessibility for wheelchair users and those with accessibility challenges, to participate in the pottery lessons.
The weekly classes are being delivered in 5–6 week blocks, and people are signposted to lessons through the Scottish Borders Councils Local Areas Co-ordinators. To date, 3 blocks of classes have been delivered, and a further block is planned for early 2024. Attendees are those located within the Fund area, including Reston, Coldingham and Houdwood.
The addition of the tabletop pottery wheel has provided an opportunity for the pottery sessions to become mobile and accessible. Once a month, a Potter attends a local Addiction Clinic monthly drop-in (located within Berwickshire), with the pottery equipment, and provides pottery lessons for those who take part at the drop-in. This has supported community members from the Fund area of Reston.
Border’s Pottery has supported community projects including the St Abs Science Festival, where the local primary schools from Coldingham, Ayton, Reston and Cockburnspath collaborated with the groups to create a mosaic, to celebrate the event.
Coldingham Brave Bayers requested pottery lessons for the swimmers, and Eyemouth High School received work experience at the organisation for its senior pupils.
This project has expanded opportunities for both Borders Pottery and the community within the Fund area.
It has supported employment and self-employment opportunities, confidence building, life skills, social connections, and an opportunity to build support networks, all of which have enhanced the participants quality of life.
Katie, one of the potters, said:
The funding from Foundation Scotland has enabled Borders Pottery C.I.C. to deliver on its social enterprise objectives. We have been able to deliver pottery sessions to a wider range of people signposted to us from professional agencies supporting mental health. They have been able to benefit from a regular interaction in a warm, welcoming, and supportive environment. The funding has also supported us into the future by providing equipment. It has had a wonderful impact on people within our local area. Many thanks.