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Craft and chat group in Earby helps bring the community together

Earby craft and chat group started back in February and runs every Tuesday morning from 9.15am until 11.30am at Humble Pie on Colne Road. There are currently nine regular members who meet every week. Sarah Clay who runs the group said:

“The group get together to have a chat over coffee, to learn new skills and get advice from one another at the same time. The group helps support the local café by holding the craft group there.” Sarah is the expert in crochet, whilst other members knit and sew. “Members have made items like blankets, coasters, socks and patchwork quilts. Whoever attends the group really enjoys the experience and they always come back. No one knew anyone before the group started and now we are like a little family.”

Sarah started this group because she enjoys crochet and says this group helps people who may be isolated to get out and about and meet people. It gives people a purpose to come out of their house and is good for their health and wellbeing.

This group can also help those who may have a health problem and cannot manage doing other more strenuous forms of keeping active. Sarah herself suffers from a health condition and explains crochet helps her relax and is very calming.

Dr Phil Huxley, Chair ,NHS East Lancashire CCG said: “NHS East Lancashire invests heavily in social prescribing because we see the important role that community groups and activities have in helping people keep fit and stay well. The Craft and Chat Group is a lovely way of bringing people together for a common purpose to benefit others. Groups such as this can really help reduce social isolation and loneliness which we know can negatively affect physical and mental health."

Local resident, Hayley Reed, who is a nurse by profession and works for NHS England is a volunteer at the group and has made an octopus for her midwife friend who works in the premature babies unit at St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester. Hayley said, “Research has shown that crocheted tentacles remind little ones of their umbilical cords and being inside their mother's womb, which in turn helps them feel safe.
There is scientific evidence to support crafting:

"Is knitting therapeutic? Heck yes. It’s a proven scientific fact, just like we know chocolate and red wine are good for us. Since turning my life over to yarn, I’ve talked to thousands of knitters who claim it’s cured everything from gout to their weight problems. I can’t speak to all cures, but it can certainly improve one’s mental health. I know it helps mine.”

So says Clara Parkes, author of the just-released book The Yarn Whisperer: Reflec-tions of a Life in Knitting (STC Craft/A Melanie Falick Book) and the founder and publisher of KnittersReview.com. Personal testimonies, anecdotal evidence, and medical studies all back up Clara Parkes’ claims.

In 2007, Renee Magee was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. The disease affects the central nervous system and she describes the experience of her illness as being “like having pregnancy brain—only it doesn’t go away.”
Magee, though, has a secret weapon in her health arsenal: Knitting needles.

“I’ve found that it’s really good for the brain to work on something where you have to focus,” says the 36-year-old knitter. “You’re following through on something and you’re following a pattern, it’s mental exercise.”
If anyone would like to have a go at knitting these please contact the craft and chat group on the details below to discuss further.

Due to the popular demand this group now runs on Friday afternoons in addition to Tuesday mornings. There are already 11 new members who have signed up to the Friday group.

How to access the group?

The group is a drop in and you don’t have to knit or crochet; sometimes people just come and have a chat. It is absolutely free to attend.

Humble Pie
3-5 Colne Rd
Earby
Barnoldswick
BB18 6XB

Facebook: @Earbycraftandchat
Twitter: @Earbycrafts