The Tadcrafters group, originally called “Bunting For Tadcaster”, was set up after our small Yorkshire town was devastated by floods and collapse of its bridge over Christmas and New Year 2015/16. The community spirit in the following days was amazing with many people spending their holiday helping total strangers clear out their mud soaked homes and shops. After the clear-up there was very little people could do to help until the buildings dried out and the insurance companies paid out. The bridge was clearly not going to re-open for a long time so gloom and despondency was settling in.
Plumbers, builders and electricians etc had a clear role in the recovery. Su wanted to harness the enthusiasm in the wider community to keep people supporting the local traders who might otherwise be forced to close before the bridge could be re-opened. She thought that by getting a group of people together to make bunting it would keep the community spirit alive as well as cheer the place up a bit. The target was to decorate the streets in time for the Tour de Yorkshire which was coming through Tadcaster at the end of April.
We managed to make hundreds of metres of bunting from old sheets and donated fabric which helped us celebrate the opening of the much needed temporary footbridge and the Queen’s birthday as well as the Tour de Yorkshire, but the “Bunting for Tadcaster” group didn’t want to stop! It became clear that the group had developed a network of people who, in the process of helping others, had benefitted greatly themselves by sharing and learning new skills. There were many suggestions of projects for charities and other worthy causes, and of course the community was still in need of support too, so we decided to continue. We were fairly buntinged-out though, so we decided on the name “Tadcrafters”.
Tadcrafters now support a wide range of charities and worthy causes whilst helping people to learn new craft skills and develop a social network of people in and around Tadcaster. The items we make are mainly made from recycled donations of fabric, yarn, haberdashery and wood which are given to us by local people and businesses.
Many people appreciate the benefit of craft activities to help them relax but unfortunately these skills are being lost in our busy and often stressful modern world.
In an era where most things can be purchased cheaply due to manufacturing it is often forgotten that the process of making an item by hand can be rewarding in itself. Knitting, sewing, woodworking and other crafts are effective mindfulness techniques and have proved to be very very beneficial in tackling stress and depression. In addition to this, receiving a hand-made gift is so much more personal as it shows how much the maker has thought about the receiver to make it, and appreciation is very rewarding.
There are also many worthy organisations who benefit from hand-made items and plenty of projects that are suitable for a group of people, like Tadcrafters,to donate to. See the “How We Help” page to find out which who we have helped so far.
We used to meet at the Social Club but now meet at The Barn, Manor Farm, St Joseph’s Street, Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, LS24 9HA, where we make many items mainly from donated and recycled materials including personal effects bags for St. Leonard’s Hospice (to return belonings to bereaved relatives), feminine hygiene kits (for young women in developing countries), twiddlemuffs (for people with dementia), homes for hedgehogs and lots of other projects. We’ve also been collecting unwanted bras and socks to send to charity instead of being thrown away.
Drop-in sessions are every second Tuesday of the month, from 10am until 4pm and TadGrafters wood-working sessions are every second Wednesday of the month 4-6pm. You don’t need to bring anything with you, or in fact you don’t even need to knit or sew, but we do ask for a voluntary donation of £1 to help with the things that we we need to pay for. If you can bring a sewing machine, knitting needles to the drop-in session or even your own crafting project to share with others, that’s great. If you can’t make the sessions you can still join in by donating items you have made for our projects which we can distribute for you.
We rely on donations of fabric, wool, and lots of other bits and pieces that people kindly give us to be able to do this. If you have a look at the latest newsletter or “join in” page you will see the current wish list, and a calendar of events if you would like to put them in your diary.
In August 2016 we became a Community Interest Company so that with the aid of a Selby District Council Community Engagement Forum grant we purchased equipment and materials to be able to help more people learn craft skills and support a wider range of charities and worthy causes. In early 2018 we received a grant from NYCC Stronger Communities Fund to help pay for venue hire and storage costs. We have also received funding from the Big Lottery and County Councillor Locality Budgets to help us with materials costs. In 2020 we received funding from the Lottery Community Fund to train some of our volunteers to become Mental Health First Aiders.
In 2017 Su Morgan won the North Yorkshire County Council Volunteer of the Year Award for setting up Tadcrafters. In 2018 Tadcrafters CIC won the Yorkshire Post Community Group of the Year and we received a silver award in the Minster FM Listener Choice Awards in the Inspirational Business category. In 2020 we were runners-up in the Selby District Council Corporate, Environmental, Social Responsibility Business of the Year category and have been shortlisted for the Yorkshire Women Volunteer Awards.
We continue to work on many different projects and help many people both locally and around the world. Our “How we Help” page will give you a flavour of what we get up to.
We are part of the Tadcaster Events Management Project Team (TEMPT) that helps to organise events and activities to promote business in Tadcaster. For a calendar of events visit the TEMPT website: www.tadcasterevents.com
We plan to support new groups in the surrounding area and activities. Get in touch if this is something that we might be able to help you with or you would like us to talk to your group about our activities and projects.
We hope that you want to join in!