The Facebook group was founded on the 6th October 2015, by mid-January 2016 it had 500 members. “A group with those who know how and those who want the know how. Social fun informative and friendly”
Language help and Christmas crafts were early offers of skills and it became obvious there was a wide range of skills and wants and a number of areas were set up to help people find what they were looking for. The first organised get together planned was Learning Crochet.
From the beginning, well, even before since the group grew out of Pass It On Coastal Style, the emphasis was that skill sharing would be free except for the costs of material/venues and that costs would be kept as low as possible to participants.
Sometimes members might get pointed towards an existing group they weren’t aware of – an adult wind band and a running group spring to mind, sometimes a request for a skill turns into a group learning together, hair styling started with a request to learn to do a French plait.
Some things seem to happen almost immediately, the first crochet get together was 19 days after the group was founded, some take a little bit longer to organise, whereas sometimes you find out that a friend you already have knows a skill you wish to learn. Some requests have taken a bit longer and we’ve had a few false starts – it turns out that December is a nightmare to organise anything new J. And some things really do need to wait for the right season, winter is hardly the best time for “Grow Your Own”
With a grant from Small Sparks, the group moved up a gear, knitters and crocheters got together to make hats and scarves for Making Winter Warmer a local homelessness organisation. Some who couldn’t make the organised meeting worked from home. Part of the grant funded the materials. A similar effort has gone into Twiddle Muffs, which are a muff with attached items which can provide distraction and comfort to dementia sufferers, in particular while having canulars fitted for medical reasons. This time the group is meeting in a care home, which adds an additional socialisation involvement for the residents.