The ultimate aim is to craft a healing journey for people and places. Err what does that mean? These definitions will help you work this out for yourself.
- To craft is to make something with your hands. It is a skilled occupation. We talk about yarncraft meaning making things with yarn using a variety of tools including knitting needles and crochet hooks. Paper craft is obviously making things using paper. Each craft or even craft within a craft like knitting has its own jargon and set of skills.
- To heal is to become healthy again.
- Health is a state of physical, mental and social wellbeing accompanied by freedom from illness or pain.
- A journey is the process of travelling from one place to another.
Where do you start with that?
Where we started was with a face to face craft group where we worked with people with a variety of special needs. The original intention was to start a craft group for people with learning difficulties. What we ended up with was a craft group that attracted people who did not just have learning difficulties but a variety of special needs as well.
We learnt how to bring them a greater sense of physical, mental and social wellbeing. This was despite them being people with some of the most extreme needs we were likely to meet in the community. All of that from starting a craft group.
Sadly that group collapsed due to Covid and after a year there was no sign of it being possible to reassemble it
What was investigated next?
The next stage of the journey was trying to find some physical products that we could sell to cover the costs of what we were doing online. Not as easy as it sounds. I tried books hence the bookshelf page.
I tried activity packs for people with similar needs to those who attended the face to face craft group. These are not the easiest of things to sell while covering your costs. On top of that advertising is difficult as it uses words that are sensitive.
With a background in teaching and the ability to set up online courses coming up with ideas for course materials that help fulfil our aim of crafting a healing journey for people and places made a lot more sense. The problem was had I travelled far enough on my own healing journey.
There are people who say that God puts you through a specialised training plan to do the things that He wants you to do. Part of my specialised training plan has been surviving and recovering from a variety of abusive situations including financial abuse. Another part is a substantial amount of experience of mental health issues both within the family and while doing voluntary work. This includes recovering from the ravages of being a carer.
I looked back and realised that over the years I had used dressmaking, knitting and crochet to help me survive and thrive during hard times. On top fo that I had learnt more about working with other things like paint and salt dough when running the offline craft group.
What our advisors said?
One thing was you are trying to do too much at once. The best thing to do is to start small and build up. Starting small means starting with one craft and one group of people. Choose a craft and chose a group of people and start there.
That was easy enough. I remembered the lady I met buying card-making materials who had a patient who used to knit before she had a stroke. I was able to share an idea for another yarncraft that she could do despite having limited use of her hands. That was where the idea of running a series of taster sessions for people with a particular need who were interested in particular crafts was born.
That is the journey so far. Watch this space for updates.