Taurus Crafts is a community thriving with creativity and individuality. Based in Lydney, the site is home to fourteen artisan businesses, as well as both an independent gift shop and cafe. Taurus prides themselves on their incredible team of mixed ability individuals, they look beyond a persons disability, allowing their real personality and character to shine through. They recognise that work is a crucial part of adult life, therefore through work placements and supported employment schemes, Taurus Crafts provides a community of equality and citizenship. Where everyone’s unique individuality is valued and important responsibility and social skills are developed, a job at Taurus Crafts provides more than just role, it provides friendship and a sense of self worth. Well resourced and financially sustainable, with a team of dedicated and motivated people, Taurus Crafts is a successful self sustained community.

Through my series of eight images, I am documenting a day in the life of three employees at Taurus Crafts; Brian, Cathy and Susie. I have explored their roles within the community, where they work, what they do and what they love and enjoy most about their jobs. My focus looks past their disability, and looks instead at how the community has helped and encouraged them. I spent time with Brian and Susie in both the cafe and gift shop, experiencing the fast pace atmosphere of the Taurus Cafe that is almost always busy. Only serving sustainably sourced, fair trade food it is a popular choice with the customers. Brian and Susie work hard in providing customers with excellent service. The gift shop provides a much calmer atmosphere, selling unique and interesting gifts from jewellery to pottery to candles and cards which are sourced both locally and worldwide. Roles in the gift shop include serving customers, pricing and putting out stock, and setting up displays. The ‘Paint Your Own Pot’ workshop is run solely by Cathy, who passes on her passion by “showing people how from a ball of clay you can make a pot, or different methods of decorating pots”, she runs workshops on throwing your own pots and helps children release their creative side through painting their own designs.

By simply asking each of them what they value or enjoy most about working at Taurus Crafts, I have discovered that it is the simple things that stand out most to them. “Having a job”, “meeting new people”, and “working with a friendly and helpful team” are the most significant aspects of working within the Taurus Crafts community.

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