ARTY Kathleen Dixon had a very personal reason for accepting the Hospice Business Challenge having lost her sister to cancer. Kathleen, who comes from South Africa, has had a passion for pottery since she was six, but only set up Make! Ceramic Studios in September. She said: “I was working in marketing and am also a graphic designer, but I have always been thinking about setting up as a potter. After I lost my sister Caryn it was a bit of a wake up call for me about how short life is and so in September I set up the business.”
At the Rossendale Business Awards she was delighted when Make! Ceramic Studios was announced as the winner of the Rossendale Hospice social media trophy. Kathleen, from Newchurch, said: “I never realised that there was also an overall trophy and was shocked when they announced I had won the Rossendale Free Press Award too.”
Kathleen came to Rossendale in 2004 swapping the beach for the hills. She said: “I love it here. I was hooked on pottery after the after school club at primary school and I have done lots of courses with relevant potters and evening classes at college.”
Kathleen now delivers pottery painting sessions at different locations across Rossendale in schools, libraries, St Mary’s Chambers and at The Boo Theatre in Waterfoot. At the pop up sessions people get the chance to paint ceramics and she also runs clubs where participants get to make items out of clay and decorate them. The £50 she received from the Hospice Business Challenge was used to buy hearts that she got people to decorate in memory of a loved one or to give to a loved one. She matched the donation and all the profits went to the hospice.
Kathleen said: “It was a good way of raising awareness of the hospice. People that came along to the sessions found them really relaxing and it promoted mindfulness. I would urge more businesses to get involved with the challenge next year – it is a great way of giving back.”
Story by Catherine Smyth Media