West Limerick Crafters create positivity in a pandemic

Anita Guinane, Askeaton.

Crafters from around West Limerick joined a unique online remote learning programme during lockdown. resulting in a joyful collection of works which will feature in a video to be launched as part of the Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival 2021. ‘Signs of Positivity’ was an innovative project delivered through West Limerick Resources Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP). The project saw craft groups and individuals from Glin to Adare work remotely on a five-week craft programme.
Aided by weekly YouTube sessions delivered by local facilitator Rachael Grainger, group messenger support, and a specially produced ‘how-to’ booklet, the participants each transformed a kit box of recycled materials into a sign displaying a unique positive message to hang on their front door.
SICAP Education and Training Coordinator Adrienne O’Connell stated, “the ‘The Signs of Positivity’ project allowed us to support 30 individuals to gain new learning in the areas of social media and digital technology, to continue to develop their craft skills and to re-connect with each other as they were unable to meet due to Covid 19.”
“I had never done any online courses before the pandemic, but it was such an interesting way to learn and connect with people while staying socially distant,” said participant Carol Noonan from Athea Craft Group.
Such was the success of the ‘Signs of Positivity’ project that a video has been produced to feature in the 11th annual Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival. Running from this Tuesday, 24th, to next Monday, 30th May, the festival theme this year is ‘New Futures, New Adventures in Learning’ and provides a timely opportunity to reflect on the many innovative ways people have been continuing to engage in learning over the last year.
The ‘Signs of Positivity’ video will be launched on the West Limerick Resources YouTube channel at 1pm on Monday next, 30th May. The Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) 2018-2022 is funded by the Irish Government through the Department of Rural and Community Development and co-funded by the European Social Fund under the Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014-2020