A BARRY woman is helping the Sully-based Ty Hafan children’s hospice celebrate National Volunteers Week after, as a child, being described as “life-limited” herself.

Lauren McSheehy, 20, has often visited the hospice to receive medical treatment, support and care, but now she helps out in the centre's Handcrafted studio.

Handcrafted by Tŷ Hafan is an upcycled range of gifts, accessories, crafts and furniture, all sourced from donated stock and materials.

Medical advances and extensive treatment enabled Ms McSheehy to recover from Hyperimmunoglobulin-E syndrome - a rare illness which made her extremely vulnerable to infections - but the support continued.

Her illness and recovery time meant she missed a lot of school and developed anxiety, and going to college or looking for a job was difficult for her.

She said: “I spoke to one of the care team about my anxiety and she suggested volunteering as a way of overcoming it.”

“She knew I enjoyed crafting and making things so she arranged for me to meet with Penny, the project manager at the Handcrafted studio.

“It was this first meeting that made me feel comfortable and eager to volunteer.”

Five month later, Ms McSheehy is one of Handcrafted’s most regular volunteers, coming in for at least two days per week.

She paints, sands and uses her new found skill of sewing.

“Meeting all the groups and telling them my story helps me with my confidence and also gives them more of an understanding to what Tŷ Hafan does,” she said.

For her, Handcrafted’s creative nature is one of its biggest selling points as it lets her use her crafty skills while also doing something different every time.

She said “There’s always some new project to work on. You might be sewing up Woofachiefs in one session and sanding a table in the next. You get a great sense of achievement when something is completed.

“It’s nice to see something come full circle, to see a product go from start to upcycled completion to being sold and money being raised.

“Tŷ Hafan has helped me so much through the years so for me it’s a way to give something back to the hospice.

“It has allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of the work that is done here.”