We at Everyone CAN Craft believe that doing crafts can help people to heal and that doing crafts together can bring healing and reconciliation to communities. Not only that but we believe that given the right support everyone can craft. But who supports the supporters. That is where Everyone CAN Craft can help.
How did we discover this idea?
The roots of Everyone CAN Craft lie in a church-based craft group for people with learning disabilities. We had nothing to offer other than love and a willingness to learn what people needed. Well, that is not quite true we had led craft activities for other groups such as people with a mental health drop-in and for children. When the doors opened we had one craft idea ready for that week that had been used in the mental health drop-in and were waiting to see what people needed the following week.
The people who came were not what we expected. They came in wheelchairs. Many struggled to talk. Persuading them to do anything was not easy given their limited understanding. Not all of them had the full use of their hands. Somehow we managed to think on our feet and adapt that first activity to suit their needs. We learnt a lot during the four years that group ran. It was a casualty of the first Covid lockdown.
One of the best things about that craft group was that it enriched the lives of people who on the face of things did not have much of a life. Coming to arts and crafts was a time when they could get out of the house meet with people and do something different.
We learnt so much just from watching and listening. I never thought dried fruit could be a problem until I watched a carer carefully break apart a fruit scone and feed one of our craftees morsel by morsel. Watching her I soon realised why there was a small pile of currants on the table. After that, we avoided anything with dried fruit in it and stuck to safe things like small soft cakes without fruit. Sometimes it is just the little things that make all the difference.
I learnt enough about the experience of running that group for four years to write a book and indeed I made a start on it before lockdown.
It ends on a cliff hanger as no one knew what the future held, That future has now become the present, if you know what I mean. Everyone CAN Craft has become a social enterprise. It is officially a community interest company.
Everyone CAN Craft CIC
Everyone CAN Craft has three main objectives.
- Promote the idea that crafting is good for the health and wellbeing of everyone .
- Encourage and support those who want to start up or run craft groups for adults with additional needs.
- Provide activities suitable for adults with additional needs.
My dream is to help set up many similar projects and support those who run them. The beauty of crafting is that it is an amazing tool that can be used to support both those who are facing challenges and those who support them. In other words, everyone can craft.