Social Enterprise Spotlight – 12 Guitars

Posted: 11 October 2022, in Member Spotlight-News

Our newest Social Enterprise Spotlight is Gerry Thorogood from 12 Guitars. Get in touch with Gerry on 

12 Guitars provide guitars, equipment and access to tuition and support, free at the point of use to ensure that guitar playing is accessible to all young people. 

Gerry Thorogood

What’s your social and/or environmental mission?
We use the guitar as an enabler for providing skills, well-being benefits and opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds across Scotland. We do this by making guitar playing accessible to everyone in the community.

How do you do it? (client group, practical daily work, customers etc)
We re-cycle guitars to provide tuition to individuals and groups of all ages across Scotland free at the point of use. Our broader services include, build your own electric guitar courses, a guitar and accessory shop, repair and maintenance services, an online-learning platform for guitar and a rolling events programme.

What’s your personal motivation for being a social entrepreneur?
I’ve been fortunate enough to have enjoyed a long and interesting business career and have a strong network of contacts. I have a passion for guitar, I’ve seen the joy it can bring and opportunities it can create. I wanted to combine these two things to create opportunities for others.

What are your current projects?
JustPlay is our online-learning platform for guitar which combines face to face tuition with a personalised, space for students to access support and resources tailored to their learning in-between face-to face-sessions. Our Landfill Rescue programme saves guitars from Landfill, refurbishes them, and puts them to good use in the community.

What exciting things do you have coming up?
We are hosting the first Glasgow Guitar Show on November 12th at the iconic Pearce Institute in Govan, Glasgow. We are partnering with Kenny’s Music to deliver the show which will feature leading guitar and equipment brands, masterclasses, sofa interviews and live performances by artists representing most guitar playing styles.

Who do you want to work with more?
Although we have delivered programmes across the central belt and continue to do so, we would like to work with more schools. We will be announcing an exciting initiative for 2023 where we aim to place more guitars and deliver tuition using our on-line learning platform in Scottish Island Communities.

What’s your biggest challenge? 
We have a continuous stream of exciting ideas and initiatives that we would like to deliver, however we need to remind ourselves that we are a small, volunteer-based organisation and have limited resources. So, for us a main challenge is selecting the correct things to deploy our resources on.

What top tips would you give to other social enterprises?
In our experience, you need to focus on what your strengths are and not have too many diverse initiatives that become a distraction. Make sure everyone understands the purpose of your organisation. Celebrate your successes and share your passion for your purpose with people you meet.

Find out more about12 Guitars:

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