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Community / Wool week organisers looking for more involvement from community

There were plenty of Bousta Beanies - this year's signature pattern - on show at the opening ceremony of this year's Shetland Wool Week. Photo: Calum Toogood
Photo: Calum Toogood

DROP-IN events are being held next week to encourage more people, businesses and community groups to get involved in the next Shetland Wool Week.

Information will be on hand about becoming a tutor, putting on an event, volunteering or signing up as a supporter or sponsor.

The first event will take place at the Shetland Museum and Archives between midday and 2pm on Wednesday (5 February).

The second drop-in session will be held between 4.30pm and 6.30pm the following day.

The growing popularity of Shetland Wool Week has seen organisers Shetland Amenity Trust stretched to capacity.

Last September over 1,000 people from across the world attended the 400-plus classes, tours, workshops and exhibitions.

It is estimated that wool week is worth over £2 million a year to the Shetland economy.

This year’s event will take place between 26 September and 4 October.

Shetland Amenity Trust’s head of engagement Sandy Middleton said: “Participants in Shetland Wool Week often tell us that the thing they love the most about it is the community feel and we work hard to maintain this.

“As the event has grown so has the challenge in delivering it. Our small but committed team is under a huge amount of pressure as demand and expectations continue to grow.

“We have been lucky enough to have the support of a small number of key sponsors and committed individuals over the years and the event wouldn’t happen without them. We are also seeing an increasing number of local businesses and community groups getting involved as well and they are reaping the benefits as a result.”

Oliver Henry, who was patron of Shetland Wool Week 2019, added that “we need our local businesses and community groups to continue their support and grow it further if the event is going to be sustainable in the long term”.

“I have been involved in Shetland Wool Week since its inception,” he said.

“I have been involved in the organising of the event, sponsorship, and latterly as patron and it has been an incredibly rewarding experience.

“I have seen more and more people get involved and it is wonderful to see young folk pursuing textile careers as a direct result of the event.

“I am told that local car hire companies are completely booked out during the week and it is great to see local restaurants putting on special menus and opening times for the week.”