“Would you like to participate in the Woolly Wellbeing Research project?”

Following on from our initial meeting at The Craftivists Garden exhibition in January of this year, I would like to introduce you all to Alison Mayne, a PHD researcher at Sheffield Hallam University. She is researching wellbeing in women who knit or crochet.

This would contribute to a PhD study into the ways women share their knit and crochet online. Do you post to ask for advice or to show images of what you have made? Does it help you manage feeling lonely or to connect with other crafter-friends? Lots of these questions will be the topic of posts as we share together.

To take part, you’ll need to read the Participant Information document. I will create a seperate post including this later in the week. Alternatively you can join the ‘Woolly Wellbeing Research Group’ on facebook and find the document there. This is a closed group and all posts are confidential between group members. All material will be made anonymous in writing up research.

Just search for ‘Woolly Wellbeing Research Group’ or click to connect: https://www.facebook.com/groups/771190779613397/

Feel free to share!”

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LUArts Happy Mondays – Social Sewing

Calling all students.

Do you fancy spucing up your sewing skills, or perhaps learning to sew for the first time? Why not join in with LU Arts Happy Mondays Social Sewing Workshop on 16th February at Loughborough Students Union, Cognito.

Join textile artist Ruth Singer and create your very own recycled wool felt phone case or purse.

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The workshop is free but there are limited places so please book in advance. You can book your place by following this link: http://www.arts.lboro.ac.uk/calendar/event/happy_mondays_-_social_sewing/

Official Press Release from the Craftivists Garden Project

“Craftivism brings people together and gives us purpose”
Craftivists #wellMAKING Garden demonstrates public’s desire for meaningful activity

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More than 750 knitted, crocheted and stitched flowers made an eye-catching focal point at the Craftivists #wellMAKING Garden exhibition on Tuesday, the culmination of a six month project that saw over 50 stitch-ins held across the UK.

Funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council and run jointly between Craftivist Collective, Falmouth University, Arts for Health and Voluntary Arts, the aim of the #wellMAKING project was to encourage people to think about the nature of wellbeing using craft as a reflective tool.

With the World Health Organisation including “contributing to society” as one of their paths to wellbeing, organisers encouraged people to think about how they could be the best version of themselves in order to make the world a better place.

Feedback gathered via a dedicated app and at events around the country was overwhelmingly positive, with participants reporting numerous benefits from their craftivism experience:

“This project has helped me to engage other people in crafting and with activism. It’s helpful to have a ‘thing’ to do whilst you talk. It gives you reflection time.”

“Creating gave me confidence to make change in myself and society around me.”

“Crafting encourages me not to buy cheaply made sweatshop clothes because I value the time and effort that workers have put in more than the low prices charged for some fashion goods.”

“Before this project I didn’t think about how crafting contributes to society. Now I realise the many different levels that it can impact on and how we communicate with each other through craft. Crafting, art and making can break down social barriers.”

“While I was making the flower I thought a lot about the connection between flowers or plants and human development. We’ll only realise our potential if we are in the right soil type.”

More than 70 people attended Tuesday’s sold out event in Aldgate East, London, to see the floral exhibition and hear talks from project supporters including John McMahon, Head of Learning & Talent at Crafts Council, and George McKay, professor of media studies at East Anglia University.

The evening ended with a group discussion where many of those gathered expressed an interest in seeing the project continue. A number of events have already been planned, which will see the floral installation tour the UK, as well as groups creating their own versions.

Organiser Sarah Corbett, founder of Craftivist Collective, said: “Craftivism brings people together and gives us purpose. We’ve had all sorts of people involved, young, old, male, female, bloggers, crafters, activists, NGOs, galleries, community groups. It shows that people really want craft with meaning and purpose. They love craft, but they also love to use craft as a tool to reflect critically on how they can contribute to making the world a better place. People took up the project in their own way but still with that ethos of critical thinking. It will be exciting, now that people have the tools, to see how they continue to grow and develop what we’ve started.”

Notes for editors

Founded in 2009, Craftivist Collective brings together craft and activism in order to make a difference to individuals and society, exposing and tackling issues of local and global poverty and injustice through provocative, non-violent creative actions. You can find out more at www.craftivist-collective.com.

For details about the Craftivist Garden’s partner organisations, visit www.arc.ac.uk, www.falmouth.ac.uk, www.artsforhealthcornwall.org.uk and www.voluntaryarts.org.

Logos and campaign imagery, additional participant quotes, and interview opportunities with key project figures, are available on request – please phone 07772 925 523 or email press@craftivist-collective.com