Inspired by a profound awe of the outdoors, a love of watersports, and a deep interest in emotional wellbeing, Jon Lloyd set up Bendoran Watersports. The social enterprise will provide sea kayaking and sailing opportunities, to enhance the wellbeing of the people of the Ross of Mull and Iona.
Jon hopes to use watersports as tool to allow people to have fun and be sociable. He aims to foster curiosity and encourage connection with ourselves, others, and the environment, to help his local area flourish.
We caught up with Jon to talk about his experience setting up Bendoran Watersports.
What inspired you to set up Bendoran Watersports?
The distinction between physical and mental health has always seemed strange to me – it is all interconnected. So, being able to work with people to enhance wellbeing, in a holistic way, is a fantastic opportunity.
The purchase of the perfect spot- Bendoran- by the local community, through the Scottish Land Fund, was the catalyst to think about how I could create something that I thought was worthwhile, satisfying, and would enhance the sustainability of the community in this isolated and remote spot on the South West tip of Mull.
How will the Social Innovation Competition Award help your social enterprise?
Without funding we would not be able to get Bendoran Watersports going, so we are incredibly grateful to all the funders, particularly Firstport, for giving us the opportunity to start this programme. It’s a real privilege.
What are your plans for the future of your social enterprise?
In the future I would like to be able to do 3 things: Employ local people to work in the centre and have a great experience delivering watersports. Increase the number and variety of watersports we offer. Run more courses based on watersports and wellbeing for groups with specific needs from all over Scotland.
Do you have any top tips for other social entrepreneurs?
Read Kouses and Posner ‘The leadership challenge’ – it’s got a great structure for developing yourself as a leader.
Get coaching support from the Social Enterprise Academy!
The amount of positive support for social enterprises available is amazing. When energy has flagged there has always been someone to encourage and get me going. I think social enterprises are the way forward for Scotland. We just have to get out there and have a go!
Check out our Social Innovation page for more information on the competition!