We last wrote about our charity work back in March 2018 - so this is the 'feel good, do good' sequel. We wanted to update you all about what our next steps have been as after all, anyone who attended one of our workshops prior to April 2018 have a stake in the 'buy one, gift one' project we ran. More recently, we also committed to a new project that we also wanted to share more about. Just to be absolutely transparent from the outset, we have not received any funding or grants for any of this work.
To start, here is a quick summary of some facts & figures we shared relating to what we were able to achieve Sept 2016 - March 2018:
- 110 crafting workshop spaces gifted
- Via 6 group workshops, across 5 charities
- £585.90 cash donations across 3 charities
- 7 raffle prize donations across 6 charities and a school
The 'buy one, gift one' project ran for our first 1.5 years in business ending in March 2018 after accruing 209 places to gift (you can read more about the scheme in our previous blog) - so when we last wrote we had 99 remaining. Our primary focus initially was how to best gift the remaining spots. However we were also really interested in finding a more sustainable way to incorporate a charitable element for community good to our business.
So how have we got on?
Since April 2018, we have gifted a further 50 crafting places across 3 workshops (Block Print, wirework rings and hand knit necklaces - chosen by the groups) to 2 local charitable organisations - Young Women's Outreach Project (YWOP) and Handcrafted Woman's Group at Re-F-use CIC Cafe in Chester Le Street. This brings the current total up to 160 crafting places gifted. We wanted to strengthen the relationships with the charities we worked with and thought this would be best achieved if we kept to one or two.
Here is some of what the staff team at YWOP shared with us about their experience:
"...block printing was definitely the most popular. We think this is because the young women were completely involved in all steps of their make and felt like they had really been responsible for what they created. We think this made them feel empowered, capable and increased their confidence..... we feel that your delivery was always kind and encouraging."
For our remaining gifted spots we are working with Mind Tyneside & Northumberland - heading there this week to do some more Block Printing. We have also managed to identify some further locally charities so are confident that by the end of March 2020, all places will have been offered and we look forward to sharing news on that then.
We have also been able to make £408 financial donations too by teaming up with Thought Foundation and gifting a slice of the entrance price that the lovely guests of our Thoughtful Night Market events pay. This has benefited two new charities to earlier events: international charity Help Refugees and locally ManHealth CIC, Durham.
The next phase:
We are currently trialling a new scheme based on a monetary donation to a charity that supports well-being and shares some of our values. This time for all the workshop and pop-up events running October 2019 - the end of March 2020 sold on our website, £1 from every space purchased will be donated to Mind Tyneside & Northumberland. This will help their work by funding activities in their well established support groups and other services offered - the info-graphic below gives some extra information as to what different sums can help contribute to and the costs of services they routinely provide. We aim to review the impact of this too but so far, current sales mean that at the point of writing this blog our total is £54. We hope to raise £200 by the end of March 2020.
If you have any questions about any of this, we are always happy to talk, please feel free to get in touch or add to the comments below. If you'd like to join us at one of our events and help us reach this total, you can check out the options here. If you'd like to donate directly to them yourself, here is a link to their