Crawfordsburn-based Loaf Pottery – part of the NOW Group, a social enterprise working with people with learning difficulties and autism – is benefiting from an increased number of local and global businesses buying corporate and team gifts that give back to society.
Fully stocked for the Christmas period with its largest-ever collection, the extended range of Loaf Pottery includes espresso sets, hug mugs, jugs, butter dishes and vases – individual pieces that are handcrafted and unique.
“Instead of being a ‘nice to do’, businesses are now actively gifting with purpose, and this is having a wider benefit to organisations, such as the NOW Group, where for every £1 spent with us, we can generate £20 in social value,” explains CEO of the Now Group, Maeve Monaghan.
Just some of the companies who are gifting with purpose this year include gold JAM-card partner, Galgorm Collection and businesses including Harbinson Mulholland and Honeycomb Jobs.
Maeve continues: “Purchasing beautiful gifts from Loaf Pottery that don’t compromise on style benefit more than just the recipient. All profits from Loaf Pottery are reinvested into our work in supporting people with learning difficulties and autism into jobs with a future. In the first 8months of this year, we’ve supported 1347 people, including 72 into sustainable paid work, have supported our participants to achieve 418 formal accreditations and we’ve engaged with 145 employers.
“It’s thanks to the incredible and thoughtful businesses in NI and beyond who are gifting with purpose and supporting our organisation that we’re able to continue this valuable work that truly impacts and benefits people in every county.”
Each piece of Loaf Pottery takes form on a potter’s wheel, before being hand-glazed and kiln fired with care. Over the past few months, potters at Loaf Pottery have handcrafted hundreds of pieces of pottery to prepare for the festive rush.
Diane Hill, Director of Business & Organisational Development of the NOW Group adds: “When all of our hospitality outlets were closed last year, we really focused on elevating the brand of Loaf Pottery and this translated to a sales uplift of 300% and an increase in profile for Loaf Pottery.
Over the past year, both Maeve and I have been on so many virtual calls where we’ve spotted our Load mugs in people’s homes. This gives us an immense sense of pride, and is just an example of how there’s been a definite shift in people’s buying choices to buy local and buying social over the past 20 months.”
NOW Group is an award-winning social enterprise, who are also behind the JAM card – Just a Minute – which is now used by almost 100,000 people across Ireland. The NOW Group focuses on supporting people into employment, training and volunteering.
For more information, or to view the Loaf pottery collection, visit: www.loafcatering.com/shop.