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Shetland Wool Week needs your support

Published: 28 January 2020

Shetland Amenity Trust who run the annual Shetland Wool Week are encouraging more individuals, businesses and community groups to get involved and support the event.  The Trust will be running two drop-in sessions next week at the Shetland Museum and Archives where you can come along and find out more about becoming a tutor, putting on an event, volunteering, or becoming a supporter or sponsor.

Shetland Wool Week is run by a small team at the Shetland Amenity Trust but this growing event now involves businesses, community groups and individuals from across Shetland to make it happen. The nine day event - now in its 11th year - attracts textile enthusiasts from across the globe.  Last September over 1,000 people from all seven continents came to Shetland with over 75% visiting Shetland for a week or more.  The event includes over 400 classes, tours, workshops and exhibitions with the vast majority of them delivered by the Shetland community.   From designers, knitters, spinners, crofters, weavers, yarn companies, community halls, charities and more, the benefit of the event is felt throughout Shetland.  Wool Week is now estimated to be worth over £2 million to the Shetland economy as year-round textile tourism and interest in all aspects of Shetland wool grows.

Sandy Middleton, Head of Engagement at the Shetland Amenity Trust 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, Patron of Shetland Wool Week 2019 added, “I have been involved in Shetland Wool Week since its inception.  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.  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.”

The two drop-in events are happening this coming week at the Shetland Museum and Archives from 12:00-14:00 on Wednesday 5th February and from 16:30-18:30 on Thursday 6th February.  Members of the team, tutors and some members of the Wool Week Committee will be on hand to discuss the event and how individuals, groups and businesses can get involved.  Find out more about the drop-ins at  https://www.shetlandmuseumandarchives.org.uk/events.

This year’s Shetland Wool Week takes place from 26 September – 4 October 2020.