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South Armagh artisan craft maker Gretta (89) proves age is no barrier

Gretta Kieran South Armagh

At just shy of 90, Gretta Kieran, from south Armagh, is proving that age is no barrier to making a difference.

With a keen eye for natural beauty, Gretta has been crafting bespoke cards, each one a unique piece of art, to raise mental health awareness through AWARE NI.

Gretta’s journey into card-making began with a simple stroll through nature.

“I just loved how beautiful wildflowers were and how pressing them enabled these wildflowers to continue to live,” she said.

“I started turning the pressed flowers into cards as a way to share their beauty with others.”

For many years now, Gretta has been dedicated to arts and craft, and within the last six months she has created over 200 cards.

Starting with friends and family’s birthdays, Gretta then decided to funnel her efforts into supporting local mental health charity, AWARE NI.

“I wanted to see if I could raise some funds, thinking any amount would be useful.”

With support from her community, Gretta’s cards quickly gained popularity, raising £500 to date.

“I soon realised that I had under-priced them,” she reflects, “each card is truly unique; you can’t get them anywhere else!”

Gretta’s choice to support AWARE NI stems from a deeply personal connection.

“Mental illness affects everyone in one way or another. Over the years, I have become more and more aware of so many people, young men especially, who have died by suicide,” she shares.

“It can be difficult to talk about our feelings, and you can feel very isolated, so it’s very dear to my heart, and I wanted to support an organisation that works to help tackle this.”

Caroline – Gretta’s daughter – also shared her thoughts on her mother’s endeavour.

“Mum has always been a very creative person especially since retiring from teaching many years ago.

“Whether it is painting local landscapes or making these unique cards, she continues to find an outlet for her creativity in a meaningful and fulfilling way.

“As a family, she inspires us beyond words, and we are thrilled that she is now using her talents to support in her own small way a cause that means so much to her.”

Lesley Wright, Community Fundraising Officer at AWARE NI, commends Gretta’s efforts.

“Gretta’s dedication and creativity is truly inspiring,” she said.

“Her commitment to raising funds for mental health awareness through her beautiful hand-made cards is making a tangible difference in our community. Every card sold not only spreads awareness but also provides much-needed support for those struggling with mental health issues.”

As Gretta continues her card-making journey, she hopes to inspire others to find joy in simple acts of kindness. “It’s important to always have something to think about, to have goals,” she shares. “And if I can help even in a tiny way, that would be fantastic.”

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