Everyone CAN Craft is a Community Interest Company or CIC. What on earth dioes that mean?
In the UK we use a variety of different legal structures for organisations. Some are registered with the Charities Commission as charities. Others are registered with Companies House as companies.
A community interest company has some of the features of a charity in the sense that it cannot be used to make someone’s fortune. It also has some of the features of a business in the sense that it is expected to pay for itself rather than go round asking people for donations.
We expect most of the work done by a charity to be carried out by volunteers although some do employ people. On the other hand we expect those who work for a business to be paid. The rules surround a CIC mean that those doing the work can get paid, but not excessively.
A community interest company therefore has some of the features of a charity in that it is designed primarily to serve the community. On the other hand, it also has some of the features of a business in that it is supposed to support itself from trading rather than be dependent upon donations.
I know that does not sound quite right but that is the term used in our founding documents for the list of things that Everyone CAN Craft is supposed to be doing.
- Promote creative activities such as knitting and card-making (but not exclusively these creative activities) as a means of improving the well-being of individuals and hence the communities that they are part of.
- Facilitate the setting up of craft groups that enhance the crafting experience of everyone while aiming to support them as they face additional challenges. This includes providing specialist training and support to those who desire to set up and run such groups. These additional challenges include but are not limited to
**Cognitive challenges, e.g. profound learning disabilities or dementia
**Medical challenges, e.g. recovering from a stroke, a mental health diagnosis
**Social challenges, e.g. domestic violence, caring for a relative, bereavement, family breakdown
- Support those using crafts as part of a care package for an adult with additional needs by providing them with ideas for activities and access to materials.
Yes that is a lot but we don’t have to do everything at once. The realit is that we have made progress on all three objects. The shop with it’s mugs and T-shirts that share a posivie message about crafting help meet the first one. Susan has been beavering away in the background to develop some course materials which will help meet the second object. The activity packs we have sold wehn we have attended artisan markets and which we want to be able to sell online help meet the thrid object. As I write this Everyone CAN Craft CIC is only a few weeks old days but we are making progress.