For anybody looking to find a unique gift this Christmas, head down to the Start Creative stall at the bottom of Brazenose Street at the Manchester Christmas Market.
Start Creative is the trading arm of Start in Salford, a charity that strives to rehabilitate people with mental health issues by helping them to learn different crafts such as pottery and woodwork. The artists are then supported in selling the products which they have made.
Not only do the members study a craft, they also acquire fundamental social skills and get involved with the trading, providing them with valuable experience which supports the transition to working life.
This is Start in Salford's sixth year on the markets, and given the notable success of previous years, they are doing a five week stint, their longest yet. Each week, the stall will feature the work of a different artist, handmade kitchenware being a forte. Wooden chopping boards and attractive ceramics are just some of the items available that would make unique gifts. All of the goods are produced with great care and attention, designed and created by Start in Salford members.
Ben Thomas, creative manager of Start in Salford says, "It really gives our members a feeling of self-worth to see people admiring and buying things which they have created, things that they have made.''
So, avoid the department stores this Christmas and treat somebody in your life to a one off piece, handmade by these talented artists. And welcome the season of good will by supporting this worthy cause. All proceeds go back into the charity to continue Start's great work…
Start Creative Stall
Manchester Christmas Market
Open 10am – 7.30pm seven days a week until December 20th
8th – 14th Dec: Daniel Moore: Digital Photography and Emma Broadhurst: Ceramics
15th – 18th Dec: Mike Carswell and Twiggy - Coppice crafts
19th - 20th Dec: To be confirmed
For further details of the stall and Start's work click here.