Done by Declan a huge success

Done by Declan a huge success

Declan Chamberlain with his support worker Dan Bishop met with Minister for Disability Services Stephen Dawson last week as part of the state’s celebration of World Autism Awareness Day. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

Declan Chamberlain is hoping that by selling his handmade planes and homebrewed non-alcoholic ginger beer he can raise enough to buy himself a remote-controlled speedboat. 

Mr Chamberlain, 22, has autism and other intellectual disabilities and works with a support worker one day a week at the Armadale Community Men’s Shed to make the goods, which he then sells at the markets. 

Support worker Dan Bishop has worked with Mr Chamberlain for about four years. 

“The challenge has been to try and produce something that is useful or valuable to somebody other than himself,” he said. 

He said Mr Chamberlain had previously sold his handmade goods dubbed Done By Declan at Perth Makers Market in Applecross but he hoped to one day expand to the online marketplace. 

“The company Valued Lives which controls his funding have a reserved section at the markets to sell goods like Declan’s,” he said. 

“It went really well.” 

Mr Bishop said Mr Chamberlain’s involvement with the men’s shed has been a positive experience. 

“His social skills have improved so much over the years and I think a part of that is the older contingent talk to him very much like a normal guy and they don’t sort of dumb things down too much and that really helps him expand his vocabulary and confidence to hold a conversation with people,” he said. 

“These guys have been incredibly supportive and friendly, inviting and engaging with him.”