A YOUNG Cork woman has been inspired to design Christmas cards in aid of the Sexual Violence Centre Cork.
Emma Fleury, 26, who lives in Cork city, studied graphic design at CIT and worked in the field for a few years, before setting up her new company, The Little Chickpea Company. Now she sells chickpea products, from burgers, to falafels, brownies and cookies, all vegan and gluten free.
After a number of high profile cases this year, involving allegations of sexual violence against women, Emma felt compelled to give something back to those supporting victims. A total of 413 victims of sexual violence attended the Cork support centre in 2017.
“I was so angry and upset and feeling helpless,” she said.
Emma decided to resurrect her graphic design skills and designed Christmas cards, which she could sell at her stalls, as well as online. There are five cards for €5, they are A5 in size and blank inside.
The sayings on the cards are inspired by some favourite festive songs and feature animations of animals and fruits. The message include: “It’s penguin-ing to look at lot like Christmas ….” and “Santa Jaws is coming to town”, as well as “All I want for Christmas is Ewe” and “Avo self a Merry Little Christmas.”
Emma said she decided very recently to sell the cards, so it was a quick turn around — they are simple, but funny and quirky in their design.
She added that Designs and Signs in Bantry helped her massively with the project, for which she is extremely grateful.
“You are one person, so I thought, what can I do? It is my little attempt to raise awareness and attention and hopefully raise some money,” she said.
From Schull in West Cork, Emma admitted she doesn’t usually send Christmas cards, but they are a tradition in her family.
“I don’t send them, but my mum sends them and our family gets loads. It might be the only contact we have with people every year.”
She agrees that it would be a shame if the tradition died out. The young woman says she usually just sends messages to people on Facebook for birthdays, etc, however, this year she will be popping some of her cards in the post, especially to friends in far flung corners of the world, like Australia.
“It is a nice physical thing to receive, rather than just a post on the internet.”
She says her fundraising efforts were not inspired by any personal experience or particular case, but she says it is an issue that always upset her.
“I think it is something all women can relate to. I don’t think people in Ireland actually understand the extent.”
She referred to a report which says that in their lifetime one in five women is raped.
“That completely blows my mind, yet we are not talking about it,” she said.
She praised the Sexual Violence Centre Cork, not only for offering one to one support to victims, but also for organising protests and campaigns and going into colleges and schools to talk about consent.
Emma will be selling the cards from her Facebook page and Instagram account, The Little Chickpea Company, as well as her stall at Skibbereen Farmers’ Market every Saturday.
She will be at the Christmas Market on Emmet Place in the city on December 21/22 and 23.
You can also make a donation to the Sexual Violence Centre Cork on their website sexualviolence.ie.