Jangling Space is a social enterprise that uses art and creativity to tackle the issue of loneliness and isolation in the Glasgow region.
Jangling Space is a social enterprise that uses art and creativity to tackle the issue of loneliness and isolation in the Glasgow region. The business does this through providing a unique space in which people are able to connect to each other through making, learning and doing. The doing is important. They aim to make tangible products that have intrinsic meaning. Creating products, such as glass and ceramics, that link back to an older Glasgow.
Brian Morgan, the founder of Jangling Spaces created the social enterprise by identifying the importance of smaller scale programmes when tackling isolation and loneliness. Having personal experience working within big systems and services, Brian saw how the scale of these companies in many ways restricted their ability to make meaningful change. He decided that working sustainably on a smaller scale would mean that you could have a more significant impact on people’s lives.
Working with your hands (and creativity) are things that many people really draw ‘wellness’ from. The social connections made in such spaces also contribute to wellbeing. What is actually made is important – the product has to be something from the heart for the makers – and irresistible to the buyers. We chose stained glass and it works a treat. Being a makers cooperative, people can dip in-and-out of this making process. There are no teachers – we teach other! It is a welcoming, but very productive, space – with the emphasis on the person.
Jangling spaces recently received Firstport’s Build It award to ensure that they could continue to develop and grow sustainably. However, it wasn’t just the funding from Firstport that helped Brian on his social enterprise journey:
Just being there as a constant support. Not pushy, not a push-over either. Professional and honest with me – willing to listen and give advice to help move me (us) forward.
Setting up a social enterprise is no easy task, and almost all social entrepreneurs will face some barriers, challenges and/or problems when getting started. It was no different for Brian who’s biggest challenges was finding the right location for his enterprise.
Getting our own shopfront was really important to our model. In the right space, where we wanted it (in a busy community), at a price we could afford.
Now up and running, Jangling spaces are looking to develop and grow.
With the High Street being hollowed out, perhaps a strategy for filling towns up with Jangling Space’s is needed! People need alternatives to pubs and bookies, something more meaningful than shopping. And not as strenuous as gyms? Mind and soul – as well as body?