Leeds, Leeds Star
The Lady Mayoress Miss Lynne Scholes and the Lord Mayor Cllr Gerry Harper and library staff with some of the young people who have opened a design and crafts shop in Boston Spa Library.
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New student-led design and crafts shop leading the way in Boston Spa Library

The Lord Mayor Councillor Gerry Harper has met with pupils from a north east Leeds Specialist College who have opened a design and crafts shop in a city library.

Working in partnership with Leeds City Council’s library service, young people aged 16+ from West Oaks SEN Specialist School and College are selling a range of fantastic gifts in their ‘WeCanDoCo’ shop which is situated in the confines of Boston Spa Library. Items available for purchase include mugs, coasters, shopping bags, aprons and cards. Other pieces of merchandise which can be personalised with a design or photograph are also specially made by pupils in the WeCanDoCo workshop situated behind the library, with gifts also now available to buy at Otley Library.

Undertaken as part of West Oaks vocational learning programme which supports young people with severe and complex learning disabilities from 2-19-years-old, products created by the students have already proved to be a big hit with the public, other schools in the city and local organisations. Amongst their many fans is the Lord Mayor himself, who requested to meet with the young entrepreneurs at the library after being very impressed with the design of a mug which was given to him as a present from his sister in-law.

To find out more about the ‘WeCanDoCo’ shop and wider project, please see: www.westoaksschool.co.uk

The Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Gerry Harper said:

“It was fantastic to be able to meet the students from West Oaks SEN Specialist School and College, who are producing some fantastic merchandise in their ‘WeCanDoCo’ workshop and selling it in their shop, which is situated in Boston Spa library.

“I was really keen to find out more about the project and the work of the young people, after being given a mug from their shop as a present from my sister in-law which was really impressive. It is great to see the council playing their part and working closely with West Oaks on such a great initiative as this one, and it is no surprise that it has proved to be a success given the tremendous enthusiasm and creative skill displayed by the students.”

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