I am so excited to launch our clothing line for children called Little WayMaker as an income generation stream to raise funds for children to access Play & Creative Arts Therapy.
It all started in a journey of self-employment opening a professional play therapist business in Ballymena. It became apparent to me very quickly that many families fell outside the gap of receiving support as they couldn’t afford to pay for their children.
The stats I knew existed became very real in front of me each day. I felt strongly that every child should access the highly qualified professional help they need regardless of their family’s financial circumstances.
75% of young people with a mental health problem are not receiving treatment
The Guardian 2017
More than 20% of young people are suffering significant mental health problems by the time they reach 18
DHSSPS, 2010; Khan, 2016
Rates of mental ill-health are estimated to be 25% higher in NI than in other parts of the UK
When the first lockdown came, I decided to use my fifteen years of experience working in the public service to set up a not-for-profit organisation. Since its formation in November 2020, the social enterprise has taken off a storm, now offering Play & Creative Arts Therapy in several locations throughout Northern Ireland including Ballymena, Belfast, Newtownabbey, and Antrim.
To help the organisation become financially resilient, I created a new range of clothing called Little WayMaker, which has just launched and aims to help children and families contribute to mental health by purchasing the products. 100% of profits go towards children receiving professional support. I have a huge dream to help rewrite the mental health of children in Northern Ireland, and these products help to start this dream.
I felt it essential to source the products ethically and ensure Little WayMaker products are locally stitched so I was delighted when Sarah Thompson, owner of Ted & Stitch agreed to become our partner of choice for social responsibility. Sarah is also a valued member of the board of directors for the organisation.
I am delighted to launch a range of products to empower families to help contribute to the mental health of children in Northern Ireland. I approached Sarah before the first lockdown and was delighted when she immediately came on board with my idea. Her expertise in retail has been essential throughout the process.”
Sarah Thompson commented, “I am looking forward to seeing the difference we can make to Children’s Mental Health Services in Northern Ireland. I have seen the positive impact play therapy can have first-hand with my own family through the trauma we have experienced. Uniting forces with WayMaker is not only exciting but encouraging as we strive to create a professional service that every child can access.”
To find out more about Little WayMaker products and the services offered by WayMaker Child Therapy, head over to www.waymakerchildtherapy.co.uk/shop
Founder WayMaker Child Therapy CIC