Meath Social Enterprises
It is a very important part of the Meath’s philosophy to help dispel the stigma associated with epilepsy and to assist all of our clients to live alongside people from all walks of life, sharing similar experiences and hopes and dreams for the future.
Each one of our social enterprises will be born from that ethos in the years to come. We firmly believe that with a bit of help, people living with epilepsy and associated disabilities can reach their full potential, and using their creativity and given skills, succeed alongside their peers… but more to the point, enjoying every second along the way!
ARTHOUSE Meath was the first of our social enterprises, developed from art classes that were held on site at Westbrook Road as part of training offered alongside our residential and supporting living services, assisting with the holistic care of our clients. Keeping the brain actively engaged in a positive, creative way helps significantly with a person’s overall well-being, their communication and engagement, and in many cases actively reducing the number of seizures.
Under the direction of artist Becky Sheraidah and her creative team, the ARTHOUSE developed further to encourage and support people to explore their imagination and to translate their own concepts into unique and highly original artwork and designs that are exhibited and sold, or made into highly desirable clothing, homeware and gifts. This whole process inspires the artists as they see their creations evolve, developing confidence in their abilities and growing self esteem, but it is also an important way of helping sustain the service for more people in the future as profit is ploughed back into its maintenance and growth.
With the Meath’s focus currently held on supporting people to become full and active members of their local community, it was an obvious progression to move the ARTHOUSE studio and retail outlet into a shop at No 96 Godalming High Street, operating alongside other businesses as part of the local scene. This has not only allowed the ARTHOUSE team to reach out to a wider audience, it has also enabled the artists to meet local people every day and to learn business practices as they market and sell their own artwork.
It has achieved a real following in its inaugural year… it is a beautiful shop and has many loyal customers, coming back time after time to purchase from the highly unusual, very quirky but always original ranges. The shop also attracts many volunteers, keen to help the enterprise succeed. You may want to offer your services, too, once you have visited!
Why not check out the ARTHOUSE Meath website [www.ArthouseMeath.com] to find out more or to view or purchase online. Alternatively, you can call the ARTHOUSE on 01483 411064. And maybe give some thought to becoming a regular volunteer… you can help make a real difference!
Changing Perceptions is the result of a real success story within the Meath’s Skills and Enterprise Centre. For three years, Manager Fiona Collier had been tutoring people we support in a workshop at the Meath’s site in Westbrook Road, Godalming. Their obvious enthusiasm for taking woodwork just a little beyond the norm and using lots of recycled materials prompted Fiona’s thinking (always a little out of the box!), and she saw the potential of establishing an upcycling furniture workshop to further the aims and objectives of the Charity.
The team beavered away at Westbrook Road, taking their finished products onto the street to sell – often at the ‘Pepperpot’ in Godalming. People started to notice and their reputation and sales began to grow. So, too, did everyone’s confidence. So much so that it was plainly obvious that the Changing Perceptions’ team needed to spread their wings.
And fly they did – just before Christmas 2014 – right out of their cluttered workshop and into the wonderful expanses of 133 High Street, Godalming, their current home. From there, Changing Perceptions now offers a whole upcycling experience, plus much, much more!
Learn more at www.ChangingPerceptions.org.uk
Our social enterprises will be a highly effective way to help ourselves in light of the new financial times, enabling us to focus on the incredible outcomes achieved for people as a result. A definite win-win scenario!
Watch this space for more social enterprises in the making…