For the past 5 years, I have facilitated creative workshops as part of Adult Learners’ Festival, passing on my craft skills to local residents of Hackney.
Coming from a social care background I have developed a passion for working with vulnerable adults experiencing or overcoming challenging situations, wanting to offer some solution especially in these days of austerity. Specifically, I wanted to provide a creative outlet where local residents could find a release and not focus on their issues or misfortunes.
Hackney, one of the boroughs to be subjected to gentrification, once a buzzing community full of culture and cool vibes is now merely a hub for young people to party, get high and slurp coffee all day. If long-standing residents haven’t already been forced out to live in areas such as…and… they are left behind in a place they no longer recognise. Little amenities to meet their needs the community element of Hackney has been lost along with the well-being of some of the more vulnerable residents. This paves the way to an increase in deprivation and most importantly a loss of the soul of what makes Hackney the place so many people want to gravitate to today.
Being mostly self-taught in silversmithing, sewing and knitting I felt I was in a good position to pass on my craft skills in these areas to beginners. After years of self-doubt, I finally built the confidence to tell myself I was well positioned to teach these craft skills in a simple, digestible way that was not intimidating. After sifting through various online courses, college guides and TimeOut recommendations silver ring making was a constant feature and would be the workshop I would practice and then propose to Hackney Council as an activity to provide to its residents to increase health and well-being in the borough. Fortunately, they too saw the value in the workshop presented and the ball was in motion to roll out the workshops.
Last week I had the pleasure of facilitating two workshops as part of Adult Learners’ Festival. Both workshops “Make a Sterling Silver Ring” and “Leather Oyster Card Holder” was fully booked but a lucky few were able to grab the seats of those that didn’t make it on the day. Both groups were absolute pleasures to teach providing plenty of giggles during the sessions. I was fortunate to have the lovely hiliveloveurlifestyle to offer some much-needed assistance to the workshops adding a great vibe and atmosphere to both sessions. All participants left with extra large smiles on their faces, even new friendships formed. Along with either a shiny new piece of jewellery or classy wallet they will treasure for years to come.