Pass It On Skills is a way of sharing, learning and preserving skills, of building knowledge, confidence and experiences. The group is a grass roots skills exchange mainly co-ordinated through a Facebook page. It's grown and developed in response to requests and offers from within its membership. Individuals are coming together and forming a community, based in mutual respect and recognising that everyone has something to offer and that learning together is both fun and rewarding.
There have been some unintentional but wonderful secondary consequences that have come out of the skills experiences. Two examples that have stood out for me have been a prominent member who has mental health problems and physical health problems has said she feels equally valued through skills and not defined by her illness - she helps teach others. And in another example a skills person has found a new way to spend time with her mother who has dementia through the shared enjoyment of knitting.
Perhaps it's best expressed in the words of our members:
What does Pass It On Skills mean to people? - Feedback from the Facebook Group
I think it's a great enterprise and has lots of potential. I have enjoyed passing on my crochet skills and look forward to sharing more as time goes by. It has been interesting to me to find people who learn in the same way as I do and to be able to share with them.
Though health has kept me from a couple of other meetings where I could have been learning skills, I anticipate much more involvement in the future and over long period. As a disabled person with complex needs (I have C-P.T.S.D., D.I.D. and fibromyalgia among other things) I can tend to become socially isolated, and though I have had a number of options offered, I didn't want to join groups solely related to my diagnoses (keep me out of those pigeonholes!).
Instead of being the passive recipient of a service aimed at a cohort of disabled people, I am part of a collective and can give as well as receive and this is very important for self-esteem which is so easily lost with the change of identity that comes with chronic health issues. I am just like anyone else with skills to share and to learn and love the fabulously creative and community oriented people I am now meeting and the relaxed, yet not lax environment.
'Pass it on Skills' feels to me like a much needed safe space, and a brilliant way for me to begin to re-engage socially while learning about and utilising my strengths and skills. I am also passionate about community ventures which bypass capitalist mores so I have a love of the political aspect too.
I look forward to more and ongoing skill sharing sessions. Thanks,
I've only been able at attend one meeting so far - Proggy Matting. It was great to hear about the history and variation of names for the craft around the area. Sitting in that circle of ladies made me feel not only part of the community, but part of acontinuing history. I felt a connection to the families who used to put these mats on their beds on cold winter nights, before moving them to the bedroom floor and finally the downstairs floor. An amazing tradition. I know a lot of people who as kids hated making them, but who have now asked me to make one for them! At my pace they may get a cushion!
I have been to 2 craft afternoons and loved them both, meeting lovely people and new crafts at the same time, a big thank you to Sally for passing on her knowledge and Joanna Bates for making it possible. PLUS I have actually learned to ride a bike, and at 62 it was no mean feat I can tell you. Phil Goldblatt made it possible as he was so patient with me and gave me the confidence to do it, I would recommend him to anyone wanting to brush up on their cycling or even a beginner like me. Without this site I would still be struggling with various ventures but now have new skills to practice, particularly the Proggy Mat craft. Come on people, give everything a go and keep this site alive.