Crafty break has carers in stitches

An art organisation led a series of crafty sessions to give carers a much-needed break. Zinc Arts which has more than 20 years experience of running art projects, made a return visit to a Carers Café run by the Comet’s Charity of the Year Crossroads Care Hertfordshire North (CCHN).

16 carers got involved in two textile workshops led by textile artists Laura Bragg and Felicity Skelton.

Jo Wilkinson, executive assistant for CCHN said: “Some of the carers were already keen at handicraft and needlework and saw this as an opportunity to develop and learn new skills. Others were novices but still rolled up their sleeves and soon became handy with a needle and thread or the sewing machine.”

Week one saw the carers learning how to produce batik – a type of Indonesian cloth – using brightly coloured material and hand painted images. These were turned into items to take home and were sewn onto cushion covers that they also made themselves.

One carer said: “I just couldn’t believe that I started and finished a project in the time we had and I have a handmade and decorated cushion cover to keep that is all my own work! They were lovely sessions really enjoyable.”

Lixi Chivas, Project Co-ordinator at Zinc Arts said: “We were delighted to return to Crossroads Care as part of our Hertfordshire Adult and Family Learning Service programme. It’s always a pleasure supporting people to enjoy time out to learn something new, or revisit an old skill they thought they had forgotten. And as the ideas flowed so did the conversation, bubbling with memories of sewing and needlework, from making wedding dresses to fishing nets to bloomers!”

If you are involved in a community group and would like to do something similar call Lixi at Zinc Arts on 01277 365626.

To find out more about the Carers’ Cafes run by Crossroads Care Hertfordshire North phone 01462 455578 or visit our website at