Belfast Telegraph

My Inspiration: Nichola Harley

A decision to get involved with a good cause helped this Northern Irish entrepreneur launch her own craft business

My inspiration is a man called Michael Holmes, whose work involves raising funds for children who have been orphaned by AIDS in Ethiopia and Haiti.

I first met Michael through my church, and quickly became affected by his enthusiasm for the work he does. The cause itself is a very depressing one, and after Michael explained the situation to me, I felt I had to do something to help.

I had begun making handmade cards and decided to use my own skills to raise funds for these children who have been orphaned by AIDS. Other members of my family soon joined in, with my husband helping out with making bath bombs and my eldest daughter makes jewellery, so they both encouraged me to set up a craft page on Facebook which has been so amazing and successful that I have now set up a website. With the encouragement of my family and close friends, I now make sock monkeys and other crafts.

As a family we felt so blessed that we have everything we need to keep us healthy and happy so we all wanted to work together to help out these less fortunate kids.

This initial venture led me to establish my own craft business, which would not have been possible without the inspiration of Michael and his support and encouragement. In such a busy world with so much technology it is great to pass on old school craft and techniques and raise awareness for a great charity too.

I still work with Michael to provide regular support for his fundraising projects, as well as to raise awareness about Kids Alive.

I had no idea that my initial support for Michael’s project would lead me to establish my own business and his work is truly inspirational. He gave up his former job as a director in a design and PR consultancy to establish Kids Alive in Northern Ireland.

Sometimes I think we all need to take a step back from what we are doing, and give some thought to those who are struggling to stay alive.

Belfast Telegraph