Is it really 2021?

Well it seems pretty surreal to be entering 2021, I feel like I should be living like the Jetsons and travelling by teleportation! How amazing that would be in the current circumstances. It may not be the start of 2021 which many of us hoped for but I’m trying my best to stay positive and put into action all the things which I have had time to reflect over and think about a little more in the last 10 months. It certainly has been a tough year for everyone no matter your circumstances as its not been the norm for anyone. I hope it’s made people really value the little things in life like hugs and kindness, it has for me.

For Kinlochlovin’ what I have really been able to see is the power of community and how although we haven’t always been able to do as much as we want we have done our best. I think what’s really clear now is how we need to drive forward our aim to support all young people inclusively in their social and emotional development. We have tried to increase our youth workshops and when restrictions allowed we increased to 5 workshops a week, this will return as soon as possible and I hope increase over the next year. The group creative activities support social skills and its been great to see the young people so happy. We saw a good increase in the attendance from our High School Seniors too which was fantastic and we know us adults want workshops back too so virtual classes are coming! To keep the creativity flowing I’ve been doing a wee bit of painting with my family as it really helps calm us all and makes us smile, the picture here is my hallway come art gallery of this weeks family creations.

We are really hoping to increase access to 1:1 therapeutic services for children and young people and offer more sessions. I really believe that funders need to value an investment in children’s mental health especially with the last year and I am committed to trying to find the funds to expand this service.

My personal target this year is to be braver and bolder in trying to make people understand the importance of play and creativity on young peoples mental health and taking a chance on something new and genuine. Not because its profitable but because it matters. It matters to do things the right way morally and ethically, and it sadly  makes things slower but in the long term the value and social impact is much greater.

For the last 5 years I’ve been doing my best to do things the right way for Kinlochlovin’ and at times it frustrating and exhausting but lets celebrate the fact we are still here and still smiling!

Happy New Year everyone!




June 2020 update

The coronavirus pandemic has hit communities across the world and our community is no exception. We have had to suspend all our activities including group and 1:1 work and it’s really difficult to acknowledge the social impact of this upon the young people we work with.

We have tried to adapt our activities and have have created a YouTube site (kinlochlovin live) to try and build online interaction.
We luckily received some funding to support our community. We created over 100 creative packs to help support young people at home.  These were so loved and we are trying to deliver more similar initiatives still.

We have taken the time to try and boost our online selling, through our Etsy shop in an aim to create a sustainable income. We are launching a Young Artists project collection to help our youngsters to keep challenged.

However, the reality is that it’s a really difficult time. We don’t know if we will be able to sustain ourselves financially to the end of 2020, but we are trying and we are very grateful for the support and encouragement we are getting.

Kinlochlovin’ may  look a little bit different in 6 months time but we will still be doing our best to promote positive health and wellbeing for all.

Keep safe everyone.


The South Lochaber Collection

We our super excited to launch the South Lochaber Collection. A beautiful collection of illustrations of Kinlochleven, Ballachulish, Onich and Glencoe. Lilli Rochford-Smith our super talented artist has created these inspired by the amazing community we are lucky to love in. All the profits made from the sale of these products are to be put … Read more

Paint Your Own Pottery Enterprise

We have been considering how to make our income more sustainable to allow us to continue to offer our free youth workshops. So we have done some research and believe a Paint Your Own Pottery Enterprise in the Balla hub could be successful. We could open it to the public with all profits being invested … Read more

Creation Subscription Boxes

We are super excited to announce the launch of our monthly creative subscription boxes targeted at 4-8 year olds. Based on our new developing Kinlochlovin’ characters such as Effie the Scottish Pine Marten each box is themed to follow their adventures. The boxes have been designed, created and planned by our resident creative manager who … Read more

The Adventures of Hamish the Wee Sleekit Mouse

So hopefully as some of you know the book written and illustrated by pupils from Kinlochleven High school which depicts the adventures of Hamish was published last year. We are very excited that we have now had the book translated into Gaelic and French. We hope that Hamish’s adventures can be read far and wide. The Gaelic books have just been printed in Gaelic by For the Right Reasons a social enterprise based in Inverness. We will have them on the online shop soon,

To help with reading and enjoyment or help with translation we are planning on making audio recordings of the books in different languages so watch this space… the first is complete and available to watch and listen to on vimeo right away:

Community Social Enterprise training course launched…

After winning £10,000 from Lochaber  Chamber of Commerce Dragons Glen competition we have designed and just launched our own training programme. The initiative is aimed at people in Lochaber and the Highlands who are thinking about setting up a sustainable community social enterprise. The course is a very hands on and practical approach which has … Read more

Dragons Glen Winners!

Dragons Glen Winners 2017!! So we won Lochaber Chamber of Commerce’s Dragons Glen Competition! After an application process and nervous pitch with question and answer session we won £10,000! We presented against business professionals across Lochaber and to have our Social Enterprise named as the winner was incredible. We could not be prouder and it … Read more

Social Enterprise Exchange Marketplace 2017

So we had a fabulous day yesterday at this national event. The purpose of the event is to bring together social enterprises and supporters to discuss and celebrate the amazing contribution of social enterprises in Scotland. For us it was a fantastic opopportunity to engage with others and recognise how successful social enterprises can be … Read more