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SOCIAL ENTERPRISE INSPIRING YOUNG PEOPLE Columba 1400 is based on the founding Celtic principles: warmth of welcome, hospitality and the sense of a shared journey. Since the year 2000, the pioneering charity and social enterprise has been delivering bespoke Leadership Academies aimed at enabling young people coming from tough situations to achieve their full potential. At the heart of Columba 1400 is the Community and International Leadership Centre in Staffin on the Isle of Skye. Young people and the key adults in their lives participate in Columba 1400 Leadership Academies, which include a range of communitybased and residential activities. The residential element takes place in Staffin or in their second centre in Loch Lomond. Central to everything Columba 1400 does, are the Columban core values: awareness, focus, creativity, integrity, perseverance and service. One of the largest employers in the north of Skye, Columba 1400 also runs a social enterprise café in Staffin. The centre is available free of charge for community groups, and all profits are invested directly into Columba 1400’s vital work with young people. HIE works closely with this world-leading social enterprise, through account management, helping it to realise its growth potential.

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“It’s about giving young people the space to discover their own values and how these can help them create a better future,” explains Columba 1400 chief executive, Marie Clare Tully. “They have the opportunity to work out what’s important to them, so they can move on positively and not be defined by any past challenges. We find that as a result of their Columban experience, young people have greater self-esteem and confidence and are therefore in a better place to engage with education or employment. Our graduates embody our sixth core value – service to self and to others – and go on to make a real difference in their own lives and lives of their communities.”

Focus magazine issue 2  
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