I hope you are all keeping well and are managing to stay busy and calm despite the restrictions. We’re all doing new things we maybe thought we never would and learning different ways of living day to day. Welcome to the large number of people who have joined us over the last month, particularly those that live in the Sherburn and Boston Spa areas. I hope this newsletter gives you an idea of what Tadcrafters is all about and what sort of a difference we can all make.
Although it has been an extremely busy month for some of us, it has been a quiet month for donations because the organisations we usually donate our goods to cannot take any deliveries at the moment, and many of their employees are furloughed. Because we are not collecting in what you have all made it’s also difficult to get accurate numbers for some of the items that our team has managed to donate but he’s a summary of what we know as a minimum.
Since the last newsletter we have:
• Made and donated approximately 400 uniform wash bags to frontline workers
• Made and donated 60 sets of scrubs to Leeds and York hospitals
• Made and donated an unknown number of knitted hearts to hospital bereavement services
• Made and donated an unknown number of headbands and ear protectors to frontline workers
The next drop-in session is due to be on Tuesday 12th May.
As we cannot meet in person at The Barn I thought it might be worth trying to meet by Zoom 10.30 to 12.00. Many of you will have tried Zoom, for the first time perhaps, in the last few weeks. As long as you have a laptop, smartphone or similar device with a microphone, camera and access to the internet you should be able to join in pretty easily. If you would like to give this a go and have a chat about what you have or have not been making please email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you the link to the meeting.
Due to the continuation of the lockdown the TadGrafters session will not be going ahead in May and the Sherburn drop-in sessions have been postponed until after the summer. New dates will be confirmed nearer the time.
Keep in touch
I’d love to hear about what everyone has been getting up to over the last few weeks, especially the TadGrafters. Don’t forget that there is a Tadcrafters Chat Group on Facebook. Please feel free to share pictures and ideas of your makes and keep in touch with each other. You can follow the Tadcrafters Page on Facebook, twitter and Instagram (@Tadcrafters).
At one point this month I was receiving 200-300 messages a day from various platforms and for different reasons. If you need to get in touch with me and need a response please use email (to protect your personal details and as social media conversations become lost). I’ll do my best to get back to you but it might not be straight away as I have work and other commitments.
• In the last newsletter I mentioned the Tadcaster Community Action Group and the local helpline number 01937 326010 they have set up. In partnership with the Town Council and other local organisations they are co-ordinating requests for help and a list of volunteers who are willing to do shopping trips and pick up medicines etc for people who need them and are isolating. They are also on Facebook.
• Stay connected. If you or know someone who needs a hand to be able to connect by video, direct them towards this guidance from the BBC https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-51968122
Carry on Crafting
We are still giving out supplies to people (for free so that they can join in our projects and return the things they make for us to distribute to worthy causes), as we usually do. The only difference is that we are limited to what we can supply (to the contents of my garage) and I’m organising the delivery- just for the lockdown, don’t expect this service for ever! Thanks to the Tadcaster Volunteer Car Services Association I can get deliveries out to the north of Selby District including Sherburn, Ulleskelf, and Church Fenton.
As usual, if you decide that you want to keep what you have made or want supplies for your own projects that’s fine but we would appreciate a donation, at some point. (link below). Because of the risk of infection we are unable to donate most of our finished items at the moment. Please hang on to what you make for the time being or follow the distribution instructions specified on the project list (below).
We’re currently able to supply the materials used for our usual twiddlemuffs, snufflemats, and bags projects but we’ve been supporting people to “make a difference” with a number of different projects too.
Since the last newsletter we added some new projects in response to the Covid-19 outbreak to help frontline workers with PPE issues, including uniform wash bags, ear protectors, bereavement hearts and now scrubs.
The uniform wash bags were made for frontline staff to safely transport their contaminated work clothes to their washing machines; the bags and their contents could be washed together. We’ve had a team of 15 people being supplied with fabric to donate over 400 bags to frontline workers in organisations such as St. James, LGI, Harrogate, Pinderfields, Airedale and York Hospitals, GP practices in Leeds and York, a Community Mental Health team, community support workers looking after vulnerable people in their own homes and care homes in the local area. There have also been many more people using our instructions to make and donate any number of additional bags.
We’ve had some really lovely responses, these are just a small selection:
You guys really are brilliant – thank you. Well done to you and the team.
Jenny- frontline worker
Thank you so much for your kindness and time put in to organise for these to be made and delivered. A huge thank you to Su and all the team for supplying my on-site care team with uniform wash bags. What a fantastic idea and greatly appreciated. 👍🌝🌈 Evi Matless, Estate Manager Popple Well Springs.
I gave them out to our Doctors and Nurses today. Without a doubt they are the best ones we’ve had. I’ve been able to give 2 to the people working in the hot hubs which is really important. Paula Morris, York Medical Group
On behalf of Meadow Lodge Home Care Services I would like to say a huge thank you for the wash bags provided by Tadcrafters. They really are appreciated by our frontline workers in this very difficult time. Nikki Prankett, Manager
We were contacted in April by York Teaching Hospital Charity to ask if we would make scrubs. Sandra has very kindly taken over co-ordinating the project and has built up a team of around ten experienced dressmakers who have made an amazing 60 sets in only 3 weeks. We are working in partnership with the Boston Spa Scrubbers and also some of our YorKits friends in the York Scrubs group, both of which are liaising directly with hospitals to ensure a supply of the right design, quality and sizes required.
I just wanted to say a massive thank you for all of your help, now and in the past. Your group have provided so much support to our hospitals and you have really had a huge impact. The staff are all so grateful for your support with scrubs and bags.
Maya Liversidge- York Teaching Hospital Charity
It looks as though the demand is continuing for a little while longer so if you have time, would like to join the team and are confident on the sewing machine, email email@example.com and I’ll put you in touch with Sandra.
Other team members have been making headbands and devices that are used to make frontline workers more comfortable when they wear face masks for long hours as the buttons take the strain rather their ears.
Many in our team have knitted bereavement hearts. These are to give to the relatives of people who have died in intensive care as they are not allowed visitors. One will be kept with the patient in their last hours, another matching one will be sent to their relative from the hospital so they can still share something physical with their loved one after they have gone. Unfortunately as people have been sending these in to hospitals and giving to friends, neighbours and family directly it is difficult to know how many have been donated. We have been informed that hospitals have plenty of both of these at the moment.
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to all of these projects. If you would like to identify yourself and what you have done please do so on the various social media posts.
Work on the Tadcaster Community Patchwork has taken a back seat for a while when the extra projects were being introduced, but I think the time is coming where a more thoughtful and reflective activity will be appropriate. To commemorate this unusual and unprecedented time, with the help of the people who live here, we are planning to create a wall hanging to celebrate the amazing community we live in. We would like people of all ages, and genders, to join in by making a 15cm/6” square that represents themselves, a loved-one, a feature or an organisation in Tadcaster. When the lockdown is lifted, the finished squares are to be made into a suitable display to commemorate this unusual time. If you would like to make your mark as part of our community we hope you will join in, they don’t have to be as complex as the illustrations. Take a little time for some quiet contemplation, remember someone who is no longer with you, join together with friends and family and make your contribution to the project.
I am so pleased to hear about the patchwork project. We are all affected in different ways by this unique and, frankly, scary situation. The wall hanging in the Barn will help us celebrate how the residents of the Town and surrounding Villages came together and looked out for each other in so many ways. The process of making the squares will contribute to the well-being of the members of our community. I look forward to seeing the finished product. Steve Cobb Tadcaster Town Mayor
More detailed instructions are available by email.
Future events and projects
Sadly the Tadcaster VE75 Commemorations have been postponed until 2021. Please keep making all the lovely things you’ve been creating for the stall. They will come in very useful when we celebrate.
The TadCrafters Market will now be on Saturday October 24th 10-4 at The Barn. Please make a note in your diary and if you know anyone who loves a bargain, collects vintage haberdashery, or is on the look out for some cheap fabric to practice making clothes, cushions or curtains, make sure you tell them too. We rely on your support to publicise this event which will help to fund what we do so please encourage people to come along.
Are you having difficulties paying your energy bills? Do you want to use lockdown as a chance to review your energy bills and look for a cheaper supplier? Kate, the energy doctor who visited one of our sessions a few months ago, is offering free one-to-one advice for anyone in Selby District, this can be done via Whatsapp, Zoom, Facetime, Skype or over the phone. Alternatively you can email her and she will answer any energy-related questions you have. Book an appointment: https://energydoctor.zohobookings.eu or contact Kate on 07738 818391 or firstname.lastname@example.org (Yorkshire Energy Doctor CIC is a not-for-profit organisation based in Riccall and is completely impartial.)
List of Current projects
As you know, we pride ourselves on the high quality of the items we donate. We are able to supply certain materials for you but are focusing on a few projects so we can support people new to Tadcrafters to maintain our standards. If you need help, please ask.
Please stick to our projects if you are making at home as other items can be hard to find homes for. Please note deadlines where applicable. We will not be making facemasks for hospitals because it is not possible to make them to the required standard, but as there is a demand from people who want to make them for themselves we’ve identified a design and can supply some instructions.
• Personal effects bags for St. Leonard’s Hospice. Please email for instructions.
• Tote Bags for York Teaching Hospital Charity. Please email for instructions.
• Patchwork. Learn how to make patchwork from clothes you no longer need, or maybe you could use clothes that are special to you for some reason and you’d like to make a keepsake. Please email for instructions or have a look at all the different types you could do on the internet. There are lots of guides on line but this is quite an informative way to start: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h94sXqEqt4E&t=12s
• Tadcaster Community Patchwork. Create your own 15cm/6” square with an image that represents yourself, a loved-one or feature of Tadcaster, and should include your name. Email for an instruction sheet. Deadline TBC
• Face Masks. Please email for instruction or follow this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inJQexwK8Yg. NB these are not for hospitals just for personal use only.
• Twiddlemuffs for people with dementia. https://www.rdehospital.nhs.uk/docs/trust/pr/2015/Twiddlemuffs_Instructions_24-01-15.pdf
• Cot-sized blankets for HomeStart York- supporting young families. https://www.homestartyork.org/
• To learn how to crochet we recommend Bella Coco on YouTube where you can follow the instructions, stopping and starting at your own pace. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npIsh-o9AM0
We are unable to supply materials for woodworking at home but if you can continue anyway please share your ideas on our Facebook group chat. See the pictures above for an example of a bug hotel one of the team has been making in the last few weeks, and an owl box from nick, below.
• Tombola: We are always on the look-out for suitable tombola prizes, especially crafty ones.
• This is a great time to learn a new skill.
Wish list and how to help
We are currently unable to accept donations of fabric/yarn etc. Please hang on to what you’ve got as we will be grateful for them at a later date and will collect them when drop-in sessions start again at The Barn
• Please share our social media posts and encourage others to join in.
• If you would like to make a financial donation to help us do what we do you can do so on the Local Giving website which can be found at: https://localgiving.org/tadcrafters
• Sign up to Easyfundraising to raise money for us at no extra cost to you when you shop online, https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/tadcrafterscic/
• New or clean, nearly new polyester/cotton or other lightweight woven fabric
• New or nearly new knitting yarn. Any colour or weight.
• Fleece fabric, or sweatshirts ideally cut into 2.5 x 20cm strips for snufflemats
• Items, especially hand-crafted ones, suitable for our tombola stalls
• “Gently worn” bras and new pants for “Smalls for All” http://smallsforall.org/
Have a Look
For more pictures of the lovely things we make please have a look at the “What we do” page of the Tadcrafters website http://www.tadcrafters.org.uk or follow us on Instagram
To be put on the emailing list (wherever you live) please request it by emailing email@example.com
See you soon (hopefully), Su.
Directors Tadcrafters CIC:
Su Morgan, Lynne Howard and Sandra Levitt