In the beginning, there was a craft group that served those who lived in community-based projects who wanted a reason to leave the project and do something that met their needs. The idea was to serve those with learning disabilities who they could see in the community. The strange thing was that the people who came were those who were not so visible and that we had forgotten about. It opened our eyes to a whole group of people who had needs that few outside their world were even trying to meet.
But were there others?
One day I was looking at the packs of blank cards for sale and got talking to a nurse. She was trying to help a lady who once enjoyed knitting but after having a stroke she was struggling to make anything with yarn.
That was a so-called chance meeting, although you could say it was a divine appointment. I had the opportunity to share the ideas about using yarn at the craft group. Well, you see some of those who came to that offline group had limited use of their hands so it was a challenge I had met before,
What could we do for people like that?
What is on my doorstep?
A third group that presented itself was when I realised that one of my neighbours was an unpaid carer for her parents. Her father had physical health problems and her mother had some kind of dementia. There were times when being able to do things to keep her mother occupied would help them both.
What does a pandemic do to people?
One of the concerns of 2020 was the impact that lockdown was having upon the mental health of just about everyone. I started hearing more about how crafts had been included in activities that helped people heal.