New Christmas ‘Crafts & Creations’ shop opens at autism charity iCARE

A young person from iCARE creating a piece for the shop.
A young person from iCARE creating a piece for the shop.

A wonderful new ‘Crafts & Creations’ shop has opened at the iCARE centre in Buncrana in the run up to Christmas offering a wide range of unique festive gifts made by young adults with autism.

The new ‘Crafts & Creations’ shop will be open on Mondays and Tuesdays 11am to 3pm and Fridays 2pm to 3pm at the iCARE premises on Looking Glass Brae, Ballymacarry, Buncrana.

One of the items on offer.

One of the items on offer.

iCARE Manager Angela Tourish said the new shop is an excellent showcase of top quality products made by the young people themselves with the help of arts facilitators – and is a real treasure trove for anyone looking for a special gift for friends and family this Christmas.

“At the beginning of 2019 we started a project for young adults with autism who for various reasons didn’t have an adequate school placement or day service after leaving school,” she said.

“During the course of the year, they’ve all been involved in a number of very different activities – including growing plants in our polytunnel which they’ve then potted in some amazing containers that they’ve decorated themselves!

“Our young adults have also been up-cycling furniture such as chairs and other household items like bottles & cans and transforming them into beautiful items great for any home.

“Indeed, it’s been wonderful to see the young adults motivated to carry out the process of making different products from start to finish.

“In the run up to Christmas, they have also been making cards and craft items to sell in our newly opened ‘Crafts & Creations’ shop.

“Our young adults have also been counting the money at the end of the day and this experience has really helped them to feel valued members of the community. Indeed, they’ve all learned such a wide range of real-life skills – whether in terms of making arts & crafts or running a shop – and have been delighted to talk to members of the public about their creations!

“Importantly, the money we make from the new shop – and from our Christmas Craft Fair at 2pm - 6pm on Sunday December 1st – will all go back into helping sustain the project and our centre.

“I’d therefore encourage as many people as possible to ‘shop a little, help a lot’ this Christmas by visiting the new ‘Crafts & Creations’ shop and show their support for the centre and our wonderful young crafters!”

Shauna McClenaghan, Joint CEO of Inishowen Development Partnership (IDP), commended the work which ICARE does with young people and their families since its inception in 2000 saying: “It’s fantastic to see the opening of the new ‘Crafts & Creations’ shop at iCARE which is a welcome addition to this excellent facility. The creativity and quality of the products on offer at the new ‘Crafts & Creations’ shop is of an amazing standard”.

“This exciting project is also providing the young adults with opportunities to learn, engage socially and participate in meaningful work like making and selling products.

“Indeed, it is also helping to provide them with transferable business skills as they produce their wonderful products for sale and prove their capabilities and value in the community”.

“Importantly, this project is not only showcasing the talent and skills of the young adults and arts facilitators themselves but is also encouraging people to buy local!

“It really is a great place to buy that special gift for friends and family this Christmas whilst also supporting the iCARE centre – and I have no doubts it will be a huge success!”

For further information on iCARE please visit www.icare.ie find us on Facebook or contact Angela Tourish on 0749362226 / email centremanager@icare.ie