Fermanagh virtual market gives charity a festive lift

A FERMANAGH virtual Christmas market and craft fair has proved to be a tremendous success.
In the absence of traditional craft fairs this year thousands of local people have got behind a virtual market that uses social media to advertise products for sale. 
From cute knitted characters to fragrance gift sets or Christmas baubles there’s definitely been something for everyone. 
The sellers posting photos and videos of their products have donated £10 per slot with donations in aid of Fermanagh based charity Ellie’s Retreat. Located at Castle Archdale Ellie’s Retreat offers free respite breaks for families who have suffered the loss of a child.
The brains behind the virtual event is Michelle McGee. Speaking about where the inspiration for this came from Ms McGee said, “The idea came into my head as I thought so many people are missing out on doing the craft fairs this year. I was going to do it on a smaller scale but once I put it out there it just flew. I had hundreds of people message me looking for places on it. The way I had left was, originally one type of business per slot but this had to be extended.” 
Commenting on why Ellie’s Retreat was chosen as the charity to support, Ms McGee said, “A lot of the charities have missed out massively on fundraising this year. There’s so many charities out there that I would love to help them all but I would follow Ciara and Billy a lot and I thought, we’ll do it for them. Each seller pays £10 to be able to sell their products.”
The virtual market and craft fair is due to wrap up this weekend, 6 December. To date hundreds of pounds has been raised and sellers have also donated a prize for a raffle. 
With a wide range of products available from a variety of sellers, Ms McGee added, “Even if it is not craft you are still supporting a home based business even if they are selling a product. It’s not just about crafts and no matter what you sell it takes a talent to sell it.”

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