We are called “Ironic” because our equipment are like big irons…
We are 8 students and we all have additional support needs, so it’s a bit of a challenge to get our feet through the door gaining work experience; lots of employers would prefer to take on young people without any needs! We realised that we could gain some discipline, skills, business experience if we set up our own company, so we bought the kit to do this (Heat press, big colour printer, transfer paper, t shirts) and started our own t shirt printing business at Christmas time.
The first venture was festive themed t shirts because everyone gets really hot in their jumpers round the Christmas dinner table “We think the turkey should be roast, not you” was our catchy campaign which lasted for just 12 days. WOW! The t shirts flew off the shelves and we made enough money to buy a mug press, more t shirts; black ones (They’re a bit more expensive than plain whites) as well as transfer sheets/inks and we even donated £150 to a local learning disability charity.
We needed some more ink for the press by the end of January, so to raise some extra cash we printed a range of Valentine cards – “80p – Cheap enough to send one to yourself” – we sold out in a week and raised over £80 to buy the stock.
Doing this is brilliant because we do loads of work, meet lots of different people, we love selling things and we have a great range of goodies now (Yep, t-shirts, mugs, badges and cards!). We’re very proud of what we have managed so far.
We’re thrilled to bits to be working with fashion designer Henry Holland (“Hi Henry”!). Henry has designed the “Official” festival t-shirt and we are printing the design on to t shirts, mugs and cards. We’ll be in The Making Rooms in in the PVS Printing Studio, with Paul Voegt in his real life t-shirt company (in Room 101– which we think is ace!). Come up and see us, we’ll even show you had we work the magic and how you could too!
“Ironic” – OFFICIALLY- is the ‘Get Set’ supported internship programme at Blackburn College. Called a supported internship as the programme is specifically designed for young people aged 17-24 with special educational needs to gain tangible skills for employment. Our Job Coaches support the young person (and employer!) through their internship, tapering off, as the young person grows in skills, competence and confidence. Further information is available from Gabby Houlihan (Programme Manager) firstname.lastname@example.org