Opinion: Paying it forward

As highlighted by last month’s Mental Health Awareness Week campaign, for all the methods of communication open to us, loneliness is at an epidemic level in the UK, with isolation leading to anxiety, depression and upset. However where there is darkness there is also light, and many in the greeting card industry are doing their bit to help with a sense of belonging.

Hannah (4th from right front row) shared her story with Ladder Club attendees at the 2016 meet up.
Hannah (4th from right front row) shared her story with Ladder Club attendees at the 2016 meet up.

PG caught up with Hannah Dale, founder of Wrendale Designs on how she is paying it forward.

“When I first started Wrendale, as with many small publishers, I was largely working alone, which was quite a culture shock having previously only worked as part of a team in a busy office environment.

Attending my first Ladder Club seminar introduced me to other publishers going through exactly the same thing as me. It felt amazing to have other people to compare notes with and run things by when I wasn’t sure about something. This was compounded by exhibiting at trade shows where the sense of camaraderie in the greeting card halls is absolutely wonderful – you really feel part of a community and there’s definitely a sense of collective cheer when something goes well, as well as support and suggestions when things aren’t going so well.

Card publishers who had donated a design for the Action Medical Research Christmas packs this year (organised by Hannah Dale of Wrendale, pictured front centre) met up with other supporters of the initiative at PG Live.
Card publishers who had donated a design for the Action Medical Research Christmas packs this year (organised by Hannah Dale of Wrendale, pictured front centre) met up with other supporters of the initiative at PG Live.

Being an active part of the industry is very important to us and can lead to wonderful collaborations – the Action Medical Research Christmas card project is one such thing – it has been hugely successful in raising money for the charity and would have never been possible without the contacts, friendships and connections that result from being part of a community of publishers. I feel very privileged to be carrying on Lynn Tait’s legacy by co-ordinating the project this year, having been wonderfully supported by fellow Ladder Clubbies donating artwork and suppliers taking care of the production.

The schoolroom that Wrendale Designs funded in Kenya is now being put to good use.
The schoolroom that Wrendale Designs funded in Kenya is now being put to good use.

We also feel it’s important to give back to the wider community which is why we supported the charity Build Africa with their work. We were fortunate to be able to fund the building of a new classroom and toilet block for a school in Kenya. In business as in life, it is so important to belong and also to pay it forward.”

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