New candle business supporting those with learning disabilities
Homes in the North West have been smelling sweeter recently as a new social enterprise ‘Aroma by Iona’ continues to see great demand for its unique candles designed and produced by Iona Houses, a supported living scheme for people with learning disabilities.
Located in Strabane, Iona Houses offers accommodation, support and care for adults with mild to moderate learning disabilities and is owned and managed by Apex Housing Association (Apex).
The candles are made by the tenants of Iona Houses each month as part of their activity programme; with all profits going towards the scheme’s comfort fund, with a total of £500 raised since July 2022.
Establishing the social enterprise was a team effort with tenants and staff members voting to select the ‘Aroma by Iona’ name and the five candle scents – Clean Linen, Watermelon, Unstoppables, Baby Powder and Rhubarb & Pear.
Amanda Ferris, Manager of Iona Houses, commented:
Since joining Iona Houses in November last year, I have focused on developing and sustaining an activity programme to ensure tenants’ lives are fulfilled, stimulated and active. This has been supported by the fantastic staff team here in Iona who are excellent at sourcing events and activities on an ongoing basis.
The creation of Aroma by Iona has been a real team effort, with both staff and tenants playing a crucial part in its success. Tenants are really enjoying the process of making the candles and selling them locally; and we’re all delighted with the positive feedback we’ve received about the candles.
Deirdre Walker, Apex’s Director of Supported Living, said:
The last few years have been extremely challenging for both staff and tenants in our supported living schemes; with so many planned activities being put on hold due to the pandemic. So, it’s even more wonderful now to see the success of this new venture by Iona Houses.
I congratulate the staff and tenants who should all be very proud of themselves.
Aroma by Iona candles, priced at £12 each, can be ordered by phoning Iona Houses on 028 7138 3400 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.