Co-owners of Glass by Design Angelina Hall and Cathy O’Doherty have always had a passion for their community and have taken up many different projects to do just that. “We have always wanted to be community minded, to make a difference in the community.”
Both have been holiday classes and workshops for over eight years from their shop on Station Approach, and have always received very positive feedback. But one student in particular highlighted just how beneficial these could be. Cathy told a story of a young boy who had to spend many months in hospital. Bored of the play therapy on offer, his mother asked Glass by Design to create a glass kit they could work on together in hospital. “It was a big hit, and kept them occupied for hours! It was our lightbulb moment for taking our workshops out into the community, to those who couldn’t physically get to us, and sharing the joy of creativity with glass.”
Angelina added, “We realised that everyone should have an avenue for creativity. Everyone should have that facility to be able to create, because it’s so good for health and wellbeing.”
So they put in an application for the National Lottery Community Fund, which was accepted. They received just under £10,000 to take their workshops to local communities and organisations who perhaps need it the most. “Overall, we had enough funding to marry up with six partners, and deliver six three-hour workshops.”
Angelina is working with Woody’s Lodge, who “after their first session, they couldn’t wait for their next one. We’ve done hangers and coasters with them so far.”
She has also worked with the Cardiff Breast Centre at University Hospital Llandough, who say “it gives their patients time and space during such a difficult time.” Her third will be Rondel House, which will start later in August.
Cathy is working with Horatio’s Garden at the Spinal Unit and Marie Curie Hospice. “The other side of running these workshops, of being there with patients, which I wasn’t expecting, was seeing the physical benefits. Using the tweezers and tools has become part of their rehabilitation.” Cathy also plans on working with Ty Hafan later this year.
The feedback they have received so far has been astonishing:
“It’s made all the difference to me being here.”
“I feel a sense of accomplishment. I feel like I’ve been creative and it will be a good day.”
“It made me feel happy again.”
And Angelina and Cathy don’t plan on stopping there, “the second stage of our plan is to re-apply next year for the Community Fund grant and then try and bring groups in and reach other demographics.”
It is great to report that this initiative by Glass by Design has made a difference and brought joy to so many people.