We are really pleased that The Gifted has been able to give young women from John Warner, Stewards, Ongar Academy and Lea Valley High schools, who have taken part in our Butterfly Project, a goody bag for Christmas.
Inspired by our Clothmaker’s Wings Project, each pack contained two crochet hooks, two balls of different sized yarn, and an instruction booklet on how to start to crochet. We distributed over 70 packs, some of which were donated to Ongar Academy’s hamper and raffle collection, to help the school PTA to raise funds for further wellbeing projects.
Crocheting is good for you. It’s also an alternative to spending time on a phone – something that we have been told by our Butterflies they are doing much more of, while experiencing different levels of lockdown and restrictions on social activities.
When sitting down to do a craft, you’re making a decision to take some time for yourself. Crochet has also been shown to relieve anxiety, stress and depression, through its repetitive nature. Setting yourself small challenges, such as mastering a new skill, can also help to build self-esteem, as can doing something productive.
Crochet and Hertfordshire women
Did you know Hertfordshire women played a huge part in the creation of the textile industry? In 2018 we took a group of young women on a journey to learn how different crafts and skills were developed in Hertfordshire, through our project – The Clothmaker’s Wings.
The importance of keeping in touch
If we were going to use one positive word to describe our experience of 2020, it would be “adapt”. That’s something that we have all needed to do, whether in our personal or professional lives, and, as a charity, it’s something that’s become even more important in terms of ensuring that the young women we support know that we haven’t left them
“Due to restrictions, we haven’t been able to go into schools to support our Butterflies as we would have liked.” Partnerships and Progressions Manager at The Gifted, Tori Jacovides explains. “Thanks to funding from Children in Need, we were able to provide each of our Butterflies with a goody bag full of mindfulness activities and care products, before the first lockdown. As lockdown eased, we sent another care pack to each of them.
“We were lucky enough to return to some of the schools in September, where we found that the things our affecting our participants’ wellbeing were not the same as the first – they were missing their grandparents. This was an extra motivation for the crochet packs – made possible by funding from The Heritage Fund, The Fire Within and The Gifted – there was the potential that our young women could connect with their families in a different way, through a shared craft or making gifts.”
We hope that all the packs we have created and given to our Butterflies throughout the year have helped our Butterflies know that we are still around to support them.
Would you like to know more about the work that we do and ways to empower young people? We’d love to hear from you!