Welcome to your Livability Spring News

Read on to find out more about our newest volunteer, Louis, at Corner Patch, our online shop launch for Maesbury Metals and Alison’s volunteering story.

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Maesbury Metals launches new online shop

The webshop will sell handcrafted metal and wooden items such as house signs and bird boxes. “Dog bowls are one of our bestselling lines, with a metal bowl in a wooden holder and a handmade badge for the pet’s name,” says John Roberts, Locality Manager Shropshire.

Maesbury provides 15 placements per day for disabled people with a range of needs. Staff, trained in metalwork and disability support, work with each individual to build and refine their skills. John also says, “As well as teaching practical skills, a very important part of working here is learning to be part of a structured work day, taking breaks at a given time and working together.”

Livability’s Alice Morris, Enterprise Manager, says this first online venture could open up possibilities for Livability’s other social enterprise schemes: “we hope this is the beginning of something bigger, expanding these businesses and raising the profile of the amazing products made by disabled people we support, who tell us they are very proud of their work.”

Maesbury Metals online is due to launch spring 2020. Visit our website www.livability.org.uk for the latest news.

Shopping for independence

Livability Corner Patch is a shop based in Oswestry, Shropshire, selling a range of unique handmade items such as jewellery, gift boxes, cushions and bunting.

But these items aren’t the only things which make Livability Corner Patch unique. All these crafts are made by a talented team of disabled people.

They are encouraged to try new things and new ideas. It also means more to our team when a product is going out of the shop to a customer when they’ve actually played a part in making it.

One of our volunteers, Louis, came to Corner Patch last summer, after he graduated from college.

Louis explains the difference Corner Patch has made for him, “I’ve learnt how to use a sewing machine. I started with patches of material and keeping my lines straight and have gone on to make cushions and other items that have sold at the shop.”

Louis especially likes making things that other people would like to use. He tells us, “I love coming to work. It can be fun and is best when the shop is busy, I meet with customers and take money for the things we’ve made. I need help with the till and the staff support me to ring in the amount and give change when needed.”

Corner Patch manager, Janet Anderson, says, “We’re an active part of the community and we need to grow – to get better premises, better machinery and more volunteers – so others are getting the opportunity too.”

From flower arranging to cookery – it all adds up!

Alison was unable to continue her work following a back surgery. This gave her time to think about volunteering at Livability Netteswell Rectory, our residential home in Essex. Alison tells us how she felt about working with disabled adults for the first time.

How did you get in touch with Livability Netteswell Rectory?
My son Michael works here and he asked if I’d like to volunteer. I’d never done anything in a care context before, but I came in and had a look around.

What did you think of it?
It was lovely and homely – a really nice atmosphere. I did various online training courses to get started and everyone made me feel really welcome.

What did you get involved with?
I did a flower arranging session with Roberta who is one of our residents here (see photo below). Together, we chose flowers to arrange. She enjoyed it and it felt very natural to me when I got going. Now I volunteer once a week and we do a variety of sessions, including cookery.

Are you glad you tried volunteering with Livability?
Yes, I’ve been surprised that I can do it and that I really enjoy it! It’s lovely to have new company and I’d encourage others to give it a go.
Our volunteers help make the life changing work we do possible. If you’d be interested in joining with us to volunteer please visit livability.org.uk/volunteer

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