Wicklow community enterprise is ‘knitting communities together’
Shuttle Knit is a community business based in County Wicklow that manufactures high quality knitwear. The enterprise was set up to provide employment for Traveller women and is a not-for profit-organisation. All the income they generate is invested back into the business and provides ongoing training, upskilling and personal development for the staff.
Shuttle Knit recently showcased their unique products and philosophy at the ‘Knitting and Stitching Show’ in Dublin’s RDS. At the event, demonstrator Kathleen Snell and others from the organisation, showcased their work and explained the role that social enterprises like theirs can play in creating employment and providing services for disadvantaged communities.
They will also be one of the exhibitors at next week’s Pobal national conference which takes place in DCU.
The organisation receives support through the Community Services Programme (CSP) which Pobal manages on behalf of the Department of Social Protection. They have also received a €20,000 grant from the Dormant Accounts Fund which Pobal administers on behalf of the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.
Manager Evelyn Murray said: “Shuttle Knit is a partnership between the settled and Traveller communities, creating a workplace where everyone is treated with equality, respect and valued for their contribution. In fact, our tag line is ‘knitting communities together’.
The Community Services Programme grant enables us to fund the salaries of a manager and four full-time-equivalent staff. Pobal have been extremely helpful in administering the funding, reviewing our business plans and providing development supports. The grant from Dormant Accounts Fund meant that we could purchase a new knitting machine which we used in our demonstrations at the Knitting and Stitching Show".