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Crafty plan created Made in Tain


By Jackie Mackenzie


St Duthus School pupils and now Made in Tain staff, from left, Ryan Stewart (18) from Tain, Darroch Grant (18), of Invergordon, and Steven Fraser (17) from Dornoch.
St Duthus School pupils and now Made in Tain staff, from left, Ryan Stewart (18) from Tain, Darroch Grant (18), of Invergordon, and Steven Fraser (17) from Dornoch.

A NEW local social enterprise selling handcrafted cosmetics and crafts has opened its doors on Tain High Street.

Keen shoppers hoping for some early Christmas bargains can pick up delicious-smelling soaps, chic teacup candles and trendy tweed handbags and cushions at Made in Tain – a new shop opened by enterprising students from the town’s St Duthus special school.

All the products are handmade by the students as part of the DIGIT schools group (Dornoch,Invergordon, Golspie and Tain in Transition) which works with young people with support needs to develop social skills and prepare for life after school.

Made in Tain originated as a soap-making project set up by Alison Paterson, support assistant at Dornoch Academy, for the DIGIT group. Student Leah Ashpool-Miller (17) from Invergordon suggested turning soap-making into a business back in 2011. The Digit group seized on the idea and got to work setting up the social enterprise and charity to provide work and life skills for young people.

Before the shop opened, the business operated from a classroom. Now, the new shop at number 1 Bank Street provides a manufacturing base, a social area for students and staff and a large retail space.

Jan Maclellan, teacher at St Duthus, said: "We’re thrilled with the support we receive from the local community.

"People are really behind the idea that people with support needs can have purposeful employment and a place at the heart of the community. Another very important aspect is that it gives the students the opportunity to keep in social contact with their peer group".

Darroch Grant (18), of Invergordon, a student at St Duthus School who works at Made in Tain, added: "It is good work.

"I like to work with my friends and I like that I can go up the street by myself from the shop."

Fellow student and worker Ryan Stewart (18), from Tain, added: "I love the work. It’s easy for me. I like making bath bombs and Christmas wreaths and the candles and the soaps."

The shop is open Monday to Friday from 9am-4pm and Saturday from, 11am-2pm.



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