Even though our numbers were a little (but only a little) lower than normal at the last drop-off session, we are still amazed by the amount of beautiful items our volunteers still make each month. It’s lovely to still be able to see some of our regulars who have been with us since we started in 2016, as well as some people who have only just started to be part of the team. If you’ve not been down to see us for a while, please get in touch to let us know you’re ok.
Since the last newsletter we have:
- Given 10 personal effects bags to St. Leonard’s Hospice
- Given 50 drawstring toiletry bags and 5 shawls to York Teaching Hospital Charity
- Given 1 Quilt, and 10 cot blankets, to Martin House Children’s Hospice.
- Supplied lots of face masks to the local community
- Been awarded, as part of the York Scrubs team, the York Press award for Community Project of the Year.
- Had a Drop-off/ Pick-up session indoors at the Barn
- Had a TadGrafters session indoors at the Barn
- Had our first Sherburn Drop-off/ Pick-up session
- Had a chat on Radio York with Anna Wallace
- Been presented with our runners up Award from Selby District Council for Social and Environmental Business of the Year 2020
With the recent announcement of the national lockdown we are reverting to a similar arrangement to the one we had in spring until the restrictions ease. We would like you to take lots of supplies to keep you busy (and make some space in my garage/Lynne’s house) and will try to deliver them to you when we can. We will be making up plenty of kits for the different types of sewn bags and masks on the list of current projects and can put together supplies of yarn etc for the knitted projects. Let us know, by email, what packs you require and the best delivery address. Please don’t use messenger or Facebook; this is to protect your personal details and because conversations on social media become lost. Supplies are only available to people with addresses in the Tadcaster and Sherburn and surrounding villages area although instructions can be sent to anyone.
Tadcaster Community Patchwork
2020 has been a funny old year. Indulge yourself in some quiet contemplation of a favourite local shop, or organisation that has struggled or done exceptional work in 2020, or perhaps represent yourself or remember a loved-one that will not be with us in 2021. We don’t supply kits for this project because each square is very individual so if you need any materials just ask but read the full instructions are on the website first. Sew-on badges and knitted motifs etc are fine. The deadline for the community patchwork project won’t be until after Christmas so there’s still plenty of time to get round to making yours. We have some really lovely ones already but there’s no limit to how many we can make use of. Notably missing are patches representing the charity shops, churches, pubs, hairdressers, swimming pool, leisure centre, schools and local characters. If you want to avoid duplication just check to see if we have already got one.
Knitted Baby Clothes and toys
Please have a break from making baby clothes and toys for a while. Unfortunately the organisations we are sending them to cannot cope with the quantity you are making! Due to the restrictions, many organisations, such as HomeStart York and Leeds Baby Bank, are not functioning how they usually do and are not able to distribute as many as normal. We will be happy to collect in what you have already made after the lockdown.
Shawls for York Teaching Hospital Charity
Instead of blankets and baby clothes we are asking our volunteers to make shawls to wrap around patients’ shoulders to keep them warm. We’ve already had a few beautiful examples but they can be as simple or complicated as you choose, and basically a wide scarf will be absolutely fine.
Scarves and hats sets for Selby foodbank
If you have heard about the really important work the foodbanks are having to do at the moment you will appreciate that there are many families that might also welcome something practical and attractive as a Christmas present. We will be supplying Selby District Food Bank (which supports people in Tadcaster) with hat and scarf sets in the run up to Christmas, as well as Christmas stockings for them to fill. Child or adult sizes are fine.
If you have poppies for the British Legion appeal, please deliver them directly to the collecting boxes around town, but tell us how many you have made. The November session will be too late for us to collect any in.
We could really do with a few more people who can sew as we have quite a few sewing projects and lots of really gorgeous fabric from Vanilla Interiors (Tadcaster) and Elaine Johnson Interiors (York) to work our way through. We will be supplyling a new charity called Second Chance Ostomy Yorkshire with tote bags (basic flat bags with long handles). These will be used by people being supported by the charity to carry a change of clothes as they get used to living with their ostomy.
Thank you to everyone who took away kits and templates to make Christmas stockings. Please remember to get them back to us at the November session to go to Spirit of Christmas and the Selby District Food Bank. Spirit of Christmas is a registered charity dedicated to providing family Christmas events in Yorkshire and beyond. They give children what sometimes turns out to be their only Christmas present. https://www.spiritofchristmas.info/
Drawstring Bags- Dementia forward
In addition to the toiletry bags for York and Selby Hospitals, and the bags for the Yorkits feminine hygiene kits, we will now be making bags to go to Dementia Forward. This North Yorkshire charity normally hosts well-being cafés across the county for people learning to live with the early stages of dementia. Because they are unable to do this at the moment, they are planning on sending out activity boxes which will include games etc. The bags that we make are to hold pieces such as dominoes, dice and Jenga and can be in a wide variety of sizes. https://www.dementiaforward.org.uk/ we will also be making crocheted buttercups for them soon.
All our drawstring bags are being supplied to volunteers cut and ready to sew or ready to have drawstrings added. Please email for the instructions to help you achieve a good quality finish.
Please help us to reduce the amount of waste created by the use of disposable face masks. The system of dropping off at The Barn (and Sherburn Library when open), and picking up kits of masks to sew throughout the month has worked well and demand is still high so please keep making them. We are happy to supply masks free to anyone struggling to afford to comply with the law concerning their use, although the donations we have received from people who can afford it has been very much appreciated.
Smalls for All
We have now managed to send off over 2000 “gently worn” bras to charity “Smalls for All” collected and donated by Tadcrafters volunteers. The exact total was 2375 at the last count in addition to 651 (new) pants. Smalls for All is a Scottish charity which collects and distributes underwear to help adults and children in Africa and the UK. In Africa, they help those living in orphanages, slums, IDP (internally displaced persons) camps and schools, as well as those in hospitals suffering from medical conditions like obstetric fistula. Underwear is a luxury that isn’t easily available is some of these places and, if it is, many people just can’t afford. As a status symbol, a woman wearing underwear is more likely to have influential connections and less likely to be taken advantage of or abused. The next parcel won’t be going off until after Christmas so if you have a sort-out you can let us have your (clean) and gently worn off-casts then.
Have you been growing any tall sunflowers this year? Rather than throw the seed-heads away when they have finished flowering please could you save them for us for a gardening project we have in mind for next year? We don’t need many.
We are delighted to announce that we have received funding to help us to restart covid-safe workshops when restrictions allow. Thanks to NYCC Stronger Communities Restore and Recover funding we will be able to create individual kit boxes of equipment to have individual and spaced workstations so there’s no need to share. Numbers will be limited, of course, but it’s a step closer to getting back to our more sociable sessions.
Good luck to 6 of our volunteers who start training this month to become Mental Health First Aiders thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund. Many people are experiencing greater anxiety and stress in the current situation. With our help, hopefully we can reduce some of the suffering local people might be experiencing by helping them to get the most appropriate support.
Last month I mentioned that we had recruited a virtual volunteer, Katie (in Scotland), to help us to do some vital research and create some information to help us show what an impact we make. We have now also recruited another virtual volunteer, Shuarha (in London) and I hope they will be able to work together to support us. I am delighted to welcome them both to the Tadcrafters team. In a few weeks time I hope we will be able to ask you to complete a questionnare to find out how you think Tadcrafters has had an impact on you and our community.
Over the last year I have been a student on the School for Social Entrepreneurs Start-Up Programme sponsored by Lloyds Bank and in October I finally graduated. This has been a fabulous experience and I have been very priviledged to study beside other founders of similar organisations and share their experiences. I have learned a huge amount of invaluable information on the course to be able to run our community interest company. (This is totally separate to becoming a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts which I told you about last month).
Knitters- if you have any of the bags that our latest supplies of yarn have come in, please let us have them back for re-use.
You may remember that back in March we were awarded the runner-up prize in the Selby District Business Awards Social and Environmental Business of the Year 2020. We have now officially received the award.
Future events and projects
Sadly we won’t be able to have a tombola stall at the Christmas Market afterall. Any tombola items, especially crafty ones, are always gratefully received and will go towards the next stall, whenever it is.
A big thank you to everyone who made and donated any of the huge amounts of items we received in October including cot blankets, personal effects, 50 toiletry bags, wool, tombola, quilts, tote bags, baby cardigans, jumpers, hats, booties, twiddlemuffs and poppies. Thanks in particular to Eunice, Sandra J and Sue L for a huge pile of knitted items each and Anne H for her regular haul of bags and quilts.
If you would like a mention (and you are all certainly worthy of it) please put a note in the bag of goodies you donate next time both with your name and the list of items as bags do tend to get mixed up together.
There will be a Tadcaster Tadcrafters session on Tuesday 10th November 10.30am to 12.00pm outdoors at The Barn for you to drop-off the Christmas project items (Christmas Stockings, hats and scarves) so they can be distributed in time. There is no need to bring any other items. There will be a limited supply of kits and wool. If you require anything specific please let me know in plenty of time and I will try to get it for you.
- keep your visit brief and stay at least 2m apart.
- Handle the supplies as little as possible. Kits will be labelled up with the date they were last handled, please do not open them up.
- wear a mask and use the hand sanitiser provided before and after your visit.
- sign-in please make sure we make a note of you on the old-fashioned register. Only when we return indoors, if you have a smart phone you will be able to sign-in using the QR code too.
Information about our policies, procedures and full Covid 19 risk assessment is available by email.
Unfortunately the TadGrafters session on Wednesday 11th November has had to be cancelled. With luck, the next session will be Wednesday 9th December, at The Barn 4-6pm.
Craig is back with us again and now fighting fit. There will be places available for new people but numbers need to be lower so please let us know if you would like to come the week before. Regulars please let us know if you are coming or not on the What’s App group or email. We will be continuing to make hedgehog lodges, bird boxes and bug hotels over the next few months from pallets. Additional workbenches are making it possible to keep 2m apart.
Sherburn (and surrounding villages) Group
The Sherburn Tadcrafters sessions due to take place on Saturdays 14th November and 5th December at Sherburn Library have had to be cancelled, unfortunately. The next session will hopefully be Saturday January 16th 10am-12pm and thereafter every second Saturday of the month.
We are happy to support the development of new groups to help build stronger links within the community. We are planning to start a gardening group to help look after the Quaker Burial Ground on Oxton Lane (Tadcaster). Because the Barn was chosen as the home by a swarm of bees in the summer we will also be establishing a Beekeeping group to look after a hive or two there. If you are interested in joining either group please get in touch and look out for announcements in the newsletters.
List of Current projects
We welcome anyone who would like to join us but ask you to please stick to our current projects as other items can be hard to find homes for. We are able to supply materials for free and instructions are available by email; if you need help, please ask. We need to focus on a few projects at a time so we can support everyone, maintain our standards and supply items that are wanted by worthy causes, in appropriate quantities.
- Christmas stockings to be filled by charities supporting struggling families. Templates and ready cut kits already distributed. Deadline November drop-off sessions.
- Drawstring bags for Dementia Forward and York and Selby Hospitals. Available ready cut.
- Personal effects bags for Leonard’s Hospice. Available ready cut.
- Tote Bags for Second Chance and York Teaching Hospital Charity
- Tadcaster Community Patchwork. Create your own 15cm/6” square with an image that represents yourself, a loved-one or feature of Tadcaster, (and your name). Deadline January 2021. Instructions also available on the website.
- Face Masks. Please email for written instructions or follow this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inJQexwK8Yg . Available ready cut in the box at the back door of The Barn 24/7 and Sherburn Library during opening hours.
- YorKits liners, shields and drawstring bags. Available ready cut.
- Heart-shaped cushions and drain bags for St. James’ Hospital.
- Shawls for York Teaching Hospital Charity (York and Selby Hospitals). Any design including wide scarves.
- Hat and Scarf sets for Selby Foodbank. Adult and child sizes.
- Twiddlemuffs for people with dementia. https://www.nbt.nhs.uk/sites/default/files/attachments/Twiddlemuff%20instructions.pdf
- Premature and neo natal baby clothes for Martin House Hospice and Leeds Baby Bank. These items are not required at the moment.
- Cot-sized blankets: These items are not required at the moment, but the same things made longer and narrower will make excellent shawls.
- If you can’t knit you could help by decorating twiddlemuffs.
- If you can’t sew there are non-sewing tasks such as threading drawstrings that are really useful to the team, please ask.
- Picking-up/dropping-off supplies for people who are unable to make the sessions. Team up with someone who cannot drive or has other commitments on session days.
- Tombola: We are always on the look-out for suitable tombola prizes, especially crafty ones.
- Snufflemats: for donation to animal charities. Please email for instructions
- This is a great time to learn a new skill. To learn how to crochet we recommend Bella Coco on YouTube where you can follow the instructions, stopping and starting at your own pace. e.g https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npIsh-o9AM0&t=3s
Instructions, tools and materials available at the sessions.
- Bird/bat boxes, bug hotels and hedgehog lodges for local wildlife.
Pictures of all our projects and information about how and who they help can be found on our website.
Wish list and other ways to help
We are now able to accept limited donations of fabric/yarn etc. again, but we still have a shortage of available space, so the closer to our wish list the donation, the better.
- New or clean, nearly new polyester/cotton or other lightweight woven fabric
- New or nearly new knitting yarn. Any colour or weight
- Fleece fabric
- Items, especially hand-crafted ones, suitable for our tombola stalls
- Vintage fabric and haberdashery. What is not suitable for our own use we sell to people who really appreciate it whilst raising funds for our projects.
- “Gently worn” bras and new pants for “Smalls for All” http://smallsforall.org/
- Please share our social media posts and encourage others to join in.
- If you would like to make a financial donation/direct debit 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/
Keep in touch
If you need to get in touch with us, and need a response, please use email. This is to protect your personal details and because conversations on social media become lost. Someone will get back to you but it might not be straight away due to other commitments. The Tadcrafters Chat Group is a great way to keep in touch with each other and be inspired. You can also follow the Tadcrafters Page on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@Tadcrafters).
To be put on the emailing list (wherever you live) please request it by emailing email@example.com and add us to your list of contacts so we don’t end up in the junk. There are usually only one or two emails a month.
See you soon, Su.
Directors Tadcrafters CIC: Su Morgan, Lynne Howard and Sandra Levitt