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Art for Community’s Sake

Posted: 20th January 2021

Karlyn Marshal, founder of Helensburgh Art Hub, is one of nine social entrepreneurs from across Scotland to secure a share of £225,000 from social enterprise start-up agency Firstport. The social enterprise, which tackles social isolation through creative workshops, received Firstport’s Build It award. Build It awards are part of the Scottish Government’s Social Entrepreneurs Fund, supporting up and coming social entrepreneurs by covering salary costs to help grow their social enterprise.

Karlyn founded Helensburgh Art Hub to tackle social isolation, poor mental health, and barriers to creative professions in her local area. Inspired by personal experience having found respite and comfort in creative activities, Karlyn wanted to provide an accessible space for her community to come together and get creative.

Like many other social entrepreneurs, Karlyn had to adapt her business model over the last year and run creative classes and workshops online, rather than face-to-face. Helensburgh Art hub has already helped over 2,000 individuals and now, with an online workshop schedule as well as an online retail shop, it is looking to expand and grow in 2021.

Karlyn Marshall, founder of Helensburgh Art Hub, said: “The Build It award provides me the breathing space to focus on my management role at Helensburgh Art Hub. The expansion of our online art supplies shop enables us to adapt and grow our online business to complement our in-store experience. Our aim for 2021 is to begin employing a small team of staff to help us grow our business and bring more creative benefits to our community.

Josiah Lockhart, Chief Exec of Firstport said: Congratulations to the nine social entrepreneurs who secured funding in such a competitive round of funding. This round of awards has yet again shown how resilient and adaptive social entrepreneurs can be. Helensburgh Art Hub has gone through an impressive modification to continue to deliver their social impact in times of uncertainty and remote learning.”

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