Where we started

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. It never crossed our minds that dried fruit could be a problem until we watched a carer carefully break apart a fruit scone and feed one of our craftees morsel by morsel. Watching her we 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.

Then came lockdown

If you can’t leave your home you cannot go to a craft group. What do you do now? What many people did was catch up with the “when I have the time then I will…” sort of activities. For one leader that was to update and improve the books she had written. You can find out more about them here What comes after that? Various ideas were tried. What about subscription boxes? The test of working out how that idea would fly was coming up with a series of six boxes. That was not as easy as it looked. This was when the idea of the activity packs was developed. If the idea is to craft a healing journey for people and places then everyone can craft is a movement and movements have T-shirts and mugs with messages on them. OK why not design a few T-shirts and mugs and set it up so that there is a shop on this site linked to a print on demand supplier. That was fine until the supplier started making changes like what colours and styles they offered. them up on a

What we learnt from going to market?

Next stage was taking some of the things we had designed to the local markets to see what people thought about them. Going to the market and talking to prospective customers is some of the best market research that you can do. thing got shook up in 2020 didn’t it? Some things were strong enough to stay standing other things were not. Our craft group got shook up and to be honest it collapsed. The post-lockdown reality was that one leader’s health had deteriorated so much that she could not continue as a leader. When the church did a review of their activities that craft group dropped off their list of current projects.

Everyone CAN Craft CIC

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