How are we supporting our local communities?

Make to Make Craft Café – sewing, skills and socialising St Ann’s style  

There are some amazing things going on in our communities and we support as many of them as we can through our Community Grants scheme. The small grants of up to £500 are available to local groups and organisations in St Ann’s, Sneinton and Mapperley and can be used for a whole range of projects. Best of all, local groups and organisations can apply for a Community Grant every year!

Here’s how Make to Make used their Community Grant to help run a weekly Craft Café for local people at Hillview Community Centre in St Ann’s from January-July this year…

Make to Make workshop participants

Make to Make founder Kim Errington explains: “The aim of the Craft Café was to give local women a safe space to come, meet other women in a social environment and learn new skills. As with all our workshops, we wanted to bring people together from all backgrounds to build vital social networks, especially for local women who may be single mums or new to the area. We never exclude everyone from any of our workshops and we also had some wonderful crafty gentlemen that attended, who benefited just as much.

“At the Craft Café, people learnt how to make a variety of sewn items, some making clothes for themselves, others making gifts or goods to raise funds for various charitable causes, and some practicing their skills in order to set up their own business.

“Many people told us that coming to the Craft Café gave them more confidence in their practical skills and that it was lovely to get out the house and meet friendly, like-minded people on a regular basis. It gave them structure and a routine to their week which in turn improved their happiness and wellbeing.

“Friendships were formed and some people have stayed in touch, sharing other local groups and activities with each other since the Craft Café finished at the start of the summer. We’ve also signposted people onto other activities, courses and community groups and linked everyone up with our social media, so they can keep up to date with any future courses we may have coming up.”

What did local people think of the Craft Café?

“Overall the experience has been a really positive one. The Craft Café gave me something to look forward to each week and motivated me to be more creative and make things. Everyone was very friendly and open, which has been lovely to experience too. It allowed me to socialise and gave me something positive to do each week.”

“I’ve really enjoyed the whole experience. Kim and her team were lovely and helpful and there was a really cooperative and supportive atmosphere. The Craft Café was a good place to forget outside problems as the creative process was fully engaging. It enabled me to feel more connected and gave me new skills and confidence to try new things. Time spent being creative rather than in isolation has improved my mental health.”

“When I first attended I was very shy and not very sure of my own skills. Over the weeks my confidence in my own ability grew. I’ve now found my sewing mojo again so thank you to everyone involved.”

We can’t wait to hear what Make to Make has in store next!

Find out more about Make to Make
Find out more about our Community Grants

Share your community story with us – email sarah@renewaltrust.org.uk