Link Logs is a successful kindling and log production social enterprise that is part of the amazing work of our Partners Vineyard Compassion. Link Logs is produced via Link+, a structured work placement program aimed at increasing employability, offered two days per week in a supportive, mentor-led environment. Link+ is part of Vineyard Compassion, a Coleraine-based charity that exists to tackle poverty in the local community, and is a partner of Green Pastures.
The Link began in 2015 as a Friday morning volunteer placement for men, initially carrying out manual work on site. It then developed and grew into a successful social enterprise with daily placements for individuals in the local community. Since then, the project has impacted many lives, from short-term probationary placements to individuals 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.
Link Logs gives people the opportunity to gain skills and expertise through participation in a working production line, producing wood kindling and blocks. The enterprise produces seasoned and dried logs and kindling on site supporting people towards employment. Every purchase or donation helps support Vineyard Compassion projects that tackle food poverty, problem debt, unemployment, and addiction.
In 2020, the project saw an increase in production through the installation of a new log cutting machine, which enabled them to expand their sales outlets throughout Northern Ireland. The plan is to continue to expand their capacity to engage with men in the local community and empower them towards employment.
The Link is a voluntary work placement running over four full days within the Link Logs social enterprise. Men engage in manufacturing firewood (kindling and logs production lines), warehousing stock, managing sales, distribution to trade, retail, the public, and home deliveries. As individuals engage in the program, 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.
Green Pastures supported Link Logs as recipients of one of their social enterprise grants, enabling them to get started and continue their successful operations. Link Logs is a powerful example of how social enterprise can tackle poverty and unemployment in local communities, empowering individuals towards sustainable employment and a brighter future.