Brough Lodge: a remarkable site on the Shetland island of Fetlar Brough Lodge

PeerieMakkers 'Well On Way' To Funding Bairns' Knitting Tuition

21st October 2015

PeerieMakkers ‘Well On Way’ To Funding Bairns’ Knitting TuitionZoom PeerieMakkers ‘Well On Way’ To Funding Bairns’ Knitting Tuition  The crowd-funding campaign to support 5 pilot projects of knitting to Shetland youngsters thanks to experienced volunteers tutors has already raised most of the money needed to run for one year.. The project is backed by the Brough Lodge Trust as part of their vision to support Shetland’s heritage.

The appeal website opened for donations on Monday 12 October and by Wednesday this week the total sum pledged was £3,480, or 77% of the £4,500 target.  Well over 100 donors have supported the project.  The appeal runs until 11 December, so it seems very likely that the target will be exceeded.  If that happens, organisers say that they will be able to extend the project.

Donations, which have averaged around £30, have been received from Shetland as well as many parts of the world. Those who pledge to support the scheme can receive a variety of rewards, depending on their level of support.

The Brough Lodge Trust’s Chairman, Pierre Cambillard, said:

“We are really heartened by the worldwide support that the appeal has generated and we’re well on the way.   Apart from receiving donations, we’ve also had dozens of messages of encouragement.  The amount of goodwill that exists for Shetland hand-knitting is really remarkable and the comments we’ve received have driven home the message that we have a culture here in Shetland that is valued and celebrated wherever knitting takes place.”

One recurring theme in the comments has been the influence of Shetland Wool Week, which a number of overseas donors have attended or hope to join in the future .  According to Pierre Cambillard, there is strong interest in visiting Shetland for knitting.  “In the longer term, that bodes well for our Brough Lodge project; in the near future, we’ll be looking at opportunities to develop that market.   I think that, at present, we’ve hardly scratched the surface”.

Pierre Cambillard also feels that there are lessons in all this for the public authorities in Shetland.  “Knitting clearly has a central role in Shetland’s culture and we really need a strategic approach to securing that for the future. However, the immediate priority for those involved in the project is securing the funding needed and getting the pilot projects under way.  Donations are very welcome and can be made at http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/peeriemakkers-shetland; there are also links from the project’s Facebook page (Shetland PeerieMakkers).

Pierre Cambillard is available for telephone interview on 001 519 442 91 93 (but please allow for the time difference of five hours, as he is presently in Canada).

Comments made on the Crowd Funder website:

A vital part of our heritage - and one of the things that makes Shetland unique! Good luck!”

“I wish you the very best for this project. Traditional crafts are very precious; they remind us who we are and ground us in our culture.”

“Shetland has a rich and inspiring knitting tradition - hurrah for this project and for all ventures which seek to keep it alive for future generations!”

“Wishing you all the best with the project. I loved learning to knit at Bells Brae primary when I was a peerie lass”

“Fantastic project. The volunteers are so dedicated and the enthusiasm of the children is amazing. Here's to the future of Shetland's heritage! Well done!”

“This project is brilliant!!! I'm 100% sure this will go from strength to strength with the sheer amount of support you will receive, our children and grandchildren will thank you all for this in the future.”

“I am honored to contribute to this worthwhile project! I have been twice to Shetland in the past two years, this year coming to Shetland Wool Week 2015! Very magical place - it has a part of my heart. I wish all the success to this endeavor and happy knitting to these peeriemakkers of the future!”

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