Makers with learning disabilities enjoy worldwide successPosted by: Molly McGreevy
Work Limited now sell Hidden Gem homewares on Etsy
Work Limited at the Hidden Gem café now sells crafts and homewares across the world
A centre which creates opportunities for adults with learning disabilities has achieved worldwide sales of homewares handmade by its staff.
Work Limited opened the Hidden Gem café on Ringinglow Road two years ago. The cafe employs adults with learning disabilities to work in the café, and create bespoke gifts and homewares to be sold in the adjoining shop.
Since the launch of the Etsy store, Work Limited’s products have been despatched to customers all over the UK – popular items include wooden rustic hearts, hand sewn shopper bags, and shabby chic homewares. Students are involved at every stage, from receiving orders, to creating and packing products to posting products out. When somebody receives an order from Work Limited, their product is customised with a label from the student who made it, and any profit from the product is put back into the charity.
Sarah-Jayne Field, centre manager, said: “We know online shopping is big, so decided to launch what the students make and take it worldwide.
“It’s taken off and we’ve had orders from all over the country, which is so exciting. The students are part of the whole process – from making the product to taking it to the Post Office - many of our students don’t do things like that, so the project encourages everyday life skills and helps students lead a normal life.”
Students are involved with every aspect of the online shopping process.
For 22 years, Work Limited has helped to provide a friendly, encouraging and rewarding environment for people with learning difficulties to build confidence and self-esteem through hands-on activities and work. Students have a range of disabilities, with many diagnosed with autism and Downs Syndrome, and are encouraged by staff to achieve their full potential.
Every day, 36 students work a shift at the centre, whether that be in the shop or the workshop. Each student is given the opportunity to try a different aspect of the process, incorporating basic life skills, such as literacy and numeracy.
Sarah-Jayne said: “Everybody gets the opportunity to take part, and students are more than happy to learn new things they’ve never done before. Students get so excited when a customer places an order, it’s a personal achievement because people want to buy what they’ve made, they’re so thrilled, and they want to do more. The students are really motivated, it’s great to see.”
You can purchase Work Limited’s homewares through Etsy, or at the Hidden Gem café on Ringinglow Road. Keep up-to-date with the latest product ranges, and take a look behind-the-scenes on Facebook and Instagram.