Dromore’s new social enterprise, ‘Canvastone’ has picked up a £1,500 cash boost at the Social Enterprise Northern Ireland Conference and Awards.
Presented at the recent awards event in the Dunadry, the money will pay for new equipment.
Canvastone’s Development Manager Frazer McCammond said he was delighted with the win, after first being shortlisted as one of five Northern Ireland social enterprises in the running.
Mr McCammond pitched for the money to fund the purchase of what he described as essential equipment for a new workshop.
The cheque was handed over by Phelim Sharvin, Associate Director of event sponsors, the Ulster Community Investment Trust.
Mr McCammond said after receiving what he called a “very valuable financial contribution”, that all who had pitched for the prize were equally worthy and the event itself had been “most enjoyable”.
Canvastone was launched earlier this year as what was believed to be the first self-financing social enterprise in Northern Ireland to help unemployed young people.
Mr McCammond, a businessman with extensive experience in the community and voluntary sector, said he aimed to recruit unemployed young people to put iconic photographs from across the island onto special stone-like canvasses, primarily for the North American market.
“We are aiming to provide an opportunity for disadvantaged young people who ordinarily find it difficult to find jobs, ” he said at the time.
“. . . We want to create a business that will be profitable from its own trading activities which will in turn provide a link to employment for them.
“Any further profits we make will be made available into other community youth projects.”
Some months on, Canvastone continues to seek to provide training and ultimately full-time employment for disadvantaged young people in Dromore and the surrounding area.
“The business is wrapped around a unique arts and craft product - made from reclaimed timber and other materials - which make ideal Christmas gifts,” said Mr McCammond.
“In addition the social enterprise undertakes printing on photographic paper, canvas and roll-up banners.
“Canvastone invites you to visit its gallery at 18 Bridge Street, Dromore or online at www.canvastone.co.uk, FB & Twitter.”