Central textiles student Jessica Boateng found herself being interviewed on BBC Radio Nottingham recently, after her final college project involving a special bear called Albert attracted the attention of a local charity.
A project on her Level 3 Fashion and Textiles course tasked students with designing and making textile items to help raise awareness for several charities, and led Jessica to create a bear that could help people with autism.
19-year-old Jessica has autism herself, and decided to design a brightly coloured bear with accompanying fabric ‘lollipops’ to help inspire others who are on the autism spectrum. Albert was displayed at the college’s end of year art and design shows this summer and that’s where he started attracting attention, leading to a spot on the radio for Jessica.
I made Albert because I think it can be difficult for autistic people to make friends. I’m autistic and it wasn’t always easy for me, so that’s why I wanted to help. I think teddies can help make people less lonely, and they’re suitable for people aged from four to 100!- Jessica Boateng
The special lollipops that go with Albert are decorated with faces depicting different emotions.
The lollipops are educational, so that people who struggle with their emotions can use them to communicate.- Jessica