The Link started in 2015 as a Friday morning volunteer placement for men, initially carrying out manual work on site that developed and grew into a successful kindling and log production social enterprise with daily placements for individuals in the local community.
The Link is a voluntary work placement running over 4 full days within the Link Logs social enterprise where men engage in manufacturing firewood (kindling and logs production lines), warehousing stock, managing sales, distribution to trade, retail, the public and home deliveries. Individuals who engage in the programme experience meaningful use of time by volunteering on a regular basis and positively contributing to the local community. As individuals engage in the programme they grow in skill and confidence through training, one-to-one mentoring and peer support, preparing them for the world of work as they set goals and work towards sustaining employment.
Since 2015 we have seen many individuals engage in the project, some participating for a short length of time whilst completing their probation hours, to others who have engaged for a number of years as they establish a rhythm of work and use the project as a stepping stone to employment.
In 2020 we have seen our production increase through the installation of a new log cutting machine and we have been able to extend our sales through outlets throughout Northern Ireland. We plan to continue to expand our capacity to engage with men in the local community, as well as through our partnership with Probation Services and day release through the local prison.