independent

Friday 19 September 2014

Janet creates 'dream home' for charity

Fiona Magennis

Published 12/11/2013 | 05:32

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Janet Dunne with the doll’s house she made for a special raffle in aid of the Samaritans’ Drogheda branch.

A BALBRIGGAN woman is doing her bit for charity by creating a bespoke, handmade doll's house to raise funds for the Samaritans.

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A BALBRIGGAN woman is doing her bit for charity by creating a bespoke, handmade doll's house to raise funds for the Samaritans.

Janet Dunne, who works as a volunteer with the Drogheda branch of the organisation, has spent months building the intricate doll's house.

The once-off piece is sure to attract a huge amount of attention and will be raffled at Christmas to raise funds for the charity.

Janet explained: 'Building doll's houses is a hobby I got into about ten years ago. My sister was always into it and she asked me to go to a fair in London with her and once I went that was it, I was hooked.

'It's a very absorbing hobby and I'm on the fundraising committee for the Samaritans so I thought it would be a good idea to make one for the centre.'

Janet said creativity runs in the family, as her mum was always into arts and crafts, and said she finds her hobby therapeutic.

'Obviously, you build the house first but then I also make the dolls themselves out of fymo, a type of modelling clay, and I also make the furniture as well so there are loads of different skills involved. You never get bored of it. You have to be good with your hands, there are a lot of intricate pieces involved and you have to have your glasses up to date that's for sure!' laughed Janet.

Janet first worked with the Samaritans as part of a Community Employment Scheme last year and was so enamoured with the work they do that she decided to train as volunteer.

'You get a bit sucked in by them, it just feels like a family and everyone is so dedicated to what they do. When the CE scheme finished up I didn't want to leave so that's when I started as a volunteer.'

Janet hopes her doll's house, which she started building last June, will generate lots of interest and funds for the charity.

'It is something unique and hopefully people will like it,' said Janet. 'The very first one I built took over a year because I wouldn't have devoted as much time to it then I built one for my granddaughter, Laura, about two years ago as a Christmas present. She was six at the time and was absolutely thrilled with it. She still plays with it all the time and if anything ever gets broken I'm summoned to to fix it!'

Janet admitted her hobby has started to take over the house but luckily she has an understanding family.

'I'm running out of space so I will have to downsize a bit or someone will have to move out!' she laughed. 'My family just leave me up in my little room doing my crazy things. My partner actually helps me to build the houses. He can be helpful when he's in the right humour but he wouldn't be as fanatical as I am about it.'

The doll's house will be on display in the Laurence Town Centre on Friday and Saturday, November 22 and 23, and tickets can be purchased at the time.

Tickets for the raffle are also available from Janet herself, any members of the Drogheda Samaritans or from the office at 3 Leyland Place, Drogheda between 10.30 a.m. and 2.30 p.m.

The raffle will take place on December 18.

Fingal Independent

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