Workshop Leader – Chantal Shiels

Chantal employee stories photoHi my name is Chantal Shiels and I’m the “Textiles” Workshop Leader.

In the past I have worked in the production of textiles for Jaeger Tailoring, Coats Viyella and Marks and Spencer. However, in the last 15 years I have worked firstly as a Support Worker and then for the last 5 years as Textile workshop leader. My interest in working with people with learning disabilities started around 8 years ago and this is what brought me to Camphill Blair Drummond. It was while working as a 1:1 Support Worker that the opportunity of Workshop Leader arose. To me this was my ideal job, bringing together my love of textiles and that of working with people with learning disabilities. Have I found my vocation? I think I may have!

The workshop, which is situated in a bright room, has been running since February 2009. It offers an opportunity for the students to socialise and learn new skills in a therapeutic, non-pressured environment. These are skills which can be transferred to home life such as learning how to do minor repairs and alterations. We are presently working on a ‘Bags’ project. Each student, no matter what their ability, has had the chance to make a bag (or 3!) using their own designs and ideas on how it should look. This has been an extremely successful project and the individual ideas and quality of work has been fantastic!

This workshop will continue to develop and evolve along with the students, and we hope to continue making products that are both beautiful and practical.
Chantal Lowe, Workshop Leader

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    • “I worked as a relief worker at Camphill then became a permanent member of staff. Camphill are my extended family and I have made some really good friends both with the residents and staff” Lynsey Strang (1:1 support worker)