The Dundee Gift Card can be spent with over 180 shops, restaurants, leisure venues and attractions in the region. Social enterprise Uppertunity used the Scotland Loves Local Dundee Gift Card as part of a research project, Danielle Gaffney du Plooy is the manager and founder of Uppertunity, and said:
“Uppertunity is a non-profit social enterprise working with adults with additional support needs such as learning disabilities, autism and mental health barriers. Our goal is helping individuals to realise their potential, enhancing self-worth and independence. Activities are varied, from creative workshops, group and community work, to mentoring and meaningful volunteering.
“We also have two community spaces. Serendipities is a community café bringing social and environmental change alongside delicious food, in the heart of Dundee. ReBoutique is a creative upcycling social enterprise, with a physical shop in Castle Street, Dundee. The focus of ReBoutique is reinventing, reimagining and reusing unwanted items into usable items.
“An innovation project we’ve been involved in recently is looking at some of the challenges of people accessing volunteering. We’ve held day workshops with various stakeholder groups to understand more about what the voluntary experience is like and to get the views of people that don’t volunteer. We wanted to offer participants an exchange for the benefit of their learned experience, but paying people in cash is difficult. We could have picked any gift card, but chose to give research participants the Scotland Loves Local Dundee Gift Card because support for the community aligns with our ethos.
“Part of the appeal of the Scotland Loves Local Dundee Gift Card was the fact that participants could spend the card with lots of small independent businesses. Buying the gift card means we can put back into the local economy in a way where the money goes much further, positively impacting the people who run small businesses in Dundee, and those who work there.
“We know that using the Scotland Loves Local Dundee Gift Card does the community good, especially our high streets. Serendipities is located on Union Street and ReBoutique is on Castle Street. The reality is that the shopping experience has changed; it used to be about going to the high street brands, but many of those brands aren’t there anymore. People have become blind to what is actually there. When you look though, there is so much choice.
“Being able to give the Scotland Loves Local Dundee Gift Card to research participants is a way that we can show the breadth of what’s actually available on our high streets. When people get a Dundee Gift Card, they can go onto the website and see where it can be spent from their own home. It alters their perception and encourages them onto the high street. Maybe there’s a shop or café they’ve never been into, but with the gift card in their hand, they’ll give it a go.
“I was actually surprised when I looked at where the Scotland Loves Local Dundee Gift Card can be spent. I thought it might just have been restaurants and cafés, but there are lots of other types of businesses too, like shops, attractions and health and beauty. Also those everyday type businesses where you can get your daily essentials like food. The gift card gives people the opportunity to access a whole experience of Dundee.
“Each research participant received a £50 Scotland Loves Local Dundee Gift Card as a thank you for their time. Having the gift card as an incentive no doubt helped us to engage more people in the project. I went onto the Scotland Gifts Local website to do some research and got in touch with Miconex. Julie at Miconex sent me an invoice, which I paid and the gift cards were posted out straight away.
“We were also impressed that the Scotland Loves Local Dundee Gift Card is made of cardboard rather than plastic. As a social enterprise, we’re trying to reduce our use of single use plastic, so the eco credentials of the gift card was a real benefit for us.
“For other social enterprises thinking of using local rewards like local Scotland Loves Local Gift Cards, I think it’s an opportunity to reflect on your organisation and its aims. Most social enterprises are there to support the community in some way, and serve people in the local area, and that’s what the Scotland Loves Local Gift Cards do too. As a social enterprise, the idea of rewards comes up again and again, so we’re certainly open to looking at other ways that we can use the Scotland Loves Local Dundee Gift Card within Uppertunity.”