“It doesn’t matter that my legs don’t work”: Handmade Studio making a difference

Sarah Kerr is a creative at heart.

The 25-year-old has cerebral palsy, which affects body movement and co-ordination – but her condition doesn't hold her back at Handmade Studio Charitable Trust.

Handmade Studio is a craft co-operative shop where people with disabilities can weave, loom, stuff and sew to create a variety of items – and 90% of the money from each sale goes back to the person who made it.

Sarah has been working at Handmade Studio since 2015, and says she loves it because it doesn’t matter that she has a disability

“It doesn’t matter that my legs don’t work, because it’s all hand stuff,” she says.

“It’s varied and interesting, and you look at something and go ‘wow, I made that’.”

Sarah works four-and-a-half days a week and spends a lot of her time turning wool into fabric using a loom.

“It’s mostly hand stuff, and any leg movements are big movements, so I can do that,” she says.

“I can’t do sewing on the machines, and if I do hand-sew it has to be rough stuff. But I can tack – you can be the worst sewer in the world and still make it work.”

And Sarah says it’s more than just work – she met her best friend at Handmade Studio.

Supervisor Toni Parker-Adams says there’s often up to 12 people coming to work in the studio each day, and the friendships that have formed are just as important as the work itself.

“They feel safe here, and they have a good group of friends. Some of them have been coming for 20-odd years. It’s sort of like a coffee group on a bigger scale.”

“It’s a great place to be, and we’re very proud of them. We’re proud of what they achieve, and the way that they achieve it. They take their time and they learn a lot of patience which is great because that goes on into their normal daily life.”