The New Year wish of a newly established crafting group in County Durham has come true thanks to funding from North East housing association, Karbon Homes.
The Crafty Ladies volunteer group from St. Patrick’s Hall in Consett, a group of women which make crafts and donate them to various worthy causes across the area, is celebrating gaining a £500 grant donation from Karbon Homes, money which will enable the group to continue running and growing throughout 2019.
The group, which currently consists of up to 15 members, was established in February this year as a way to maintain and improve health and wellbeing amongst women in the community and help tackle the problem of social isolation.
The group applied for the funding to cover essential costs such as craft items, wool and materials as well as contributions towards room hire costs. Previously they relied on donated craft items and materials and held a small weekly raffle to cover other essential costs.
Jessica Wray, Community Investment Officer at Karbon Homes, said: “The Crafty Ladies is a brilliant group that plays a really valuable part within the community. Not only does it help those who attend to socialise and participate in activities, the project, which also includes Karbon customers, helps those who suffer from social isolation to meet new friends and receive support from members of the local community.
“The group has made wonderful crafts for a number of worthy causes and members of the groups have said that being able to create and donate crafts, has given them a real sense of purpose and pride – because they know that the items make a real difference to the cause that receives them.”
The group has already donated handmade items such as Twiddlemuffs (a hand warmer with bits and bobs attached inside and out designed to provide a stimulation activity for restless hands for patients suffering from dementia) to the Alzheimer’s Society and to residential care homes in the area, knitted teddies for children affected by trauma and domestic abuse which they donate to the emergency services, and baby clothes for the Special Care Baby Unit at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle and the heart unit at the Freeman Hospital.
Volunteer member Margaret McArdle, said: “We are a group of women who started Crafty Ladies after funding from a previous group came to an end. We wanted to continue our friendships but at the same time, make crafts and donate them to the wider community. Some of the ladies have even found confidence to attend other groups.
“We are a mixed group and always keen to welcome others to join us. We also rely on word of mouth for craft items and materials to be donated so we can make the crafts so this donation by Karbon Homes is very much welcomed by all our members.”
The Crafty Ladies meet every Monday morning at St. Patrick’s Hall in Consett between 10am and 11.30am and would welcome new members.