AsIAm: Commissioner Mairead McGuinness Shares A Treasured Object - The Gloss Magazine

AsIAm: Commissioner Mairead McGuinness Shares A Treasured Object

What is precious to you, for one reason or another? What object would you never want to lose? Our treasured possessions are often an expression, sometimes an extension, of our very selves. AsIAm, Ireland’s National Autism Charity, has been working on a series of stories of famous people and their special possessions. From Colin Farrell to Sebastian Barry to Rachael Blackmore, (and many more) everyone AsIAm invited to participate entered into the project with gusto, and THE GLOSS is proud to partner with AsIAm and bring you a story a month …

Mairead McGuinness is the European Commissioner for financial services, financial stability and Capital Markets Union. Before joining the Commission in October 2020, Ms McGuinness served as an Member of European Parliament from Ireland for 16 years, and was the First Vice-President of the Parliament from 2014. Prior to becoming an MEP, she was an award-winning journalist, broadcaster and commentator.

The Yard Brush

“What’s special isn’t the object itself, it’s the feeling it evokes every single time I put it to use. And those feelings are magnified when it rains, preferably heavily. It started in my childhood, sweeping the front yard and watching the world go by. And it has continued over the years. Sweeping (outside) isn’t for everyone, but for me it is addictive and therapeutic.

You can’t sweep and text. But you can sweep and think. It’s my time to reflect or sometimes just to feel the rhythm of the brush, enjoy the clean yard behind me and the job ahead. The rain helps clean the yard and clear my head. And once I’m done, I can see what I’ve achieved – just me and my yard brush. Sweeping lifts my energy levels and my spirits. Sometimes it is the little things…”

AsIAm, founded by Adam Harris in 2014, has a vision for Ireland as a place where every Autistic person is accepted “as they are” – equal, valued and respected. AsIAm provides community support through advice, advocacy, support and special interest groups for children and adults with autism. AsIAm provides training programmes in autism awareness and inclusion, and supports businesses to successfully recruit and employ autistic candidates. The charity operates an information line (0818 234 234) and provides support via instant messaging and email (

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