Craft Clubing with the Hackney Youth

Me and my little man in 2010

Me and my little man in 2010

Having passed on skills to my two kids and encouraged making, painting etc for years with them I have realised it is time to pass it forward in a wider sense. I have the time and the skills so why not encourage youngsters to start crafting young. Unfortunately there is a ‘lost generation’ out there. I was lucky that my mother was taught to sew and knit by a neighbour, but she was never encouraged by her family to follow her passion just to go to school, then secretarial school and then into a job.

Sure she traveled – she was a £10 Pom in the late 60’s but when she returned to England, had babies ie me, it was then all to late as a struggling single mum to step out, re-train and use her sewing skills to found a career. Instead she used to knit and sew to dress us. It was an enjoyable but practical pass time. Then she took the time to pass it on to me – and I fell in love with fabric, thread and weave.

My favourite dress my mum made me -  I suspect she knitted my bro's jumper too!

My favourite dress my mum made me – I suspect she knitted my bro’s jumper too!

My mum inspired a career that has spanned 20+ years and led me to this blog, and setting up my Folksy shop…. so I think I owe it to her and all the women out there like her to pass this on and encourage youngesters to think of ways to find and use crafting talents. Especially in an area that see’s high youth unemployment and despite the recent cool label and huge influx of the well off, and trendy is still struggling with inclusion issues.

The recent riots show the disparity between the have’s and have-nots, and these kids need to be shown there are other ways. They can aspire to more than a job in JJB sports, and to be honest there is a lot of talent here. I’ve seen it already through the years with the fantastic Youth club which you is talked about on the Volunteer Centre Hackney Website . There have been screen printing and textile workshops which the kids have loved – streetwise and always ready with a quick come back, you see them concentrating and quiet whilst they come up with an original design that says something to them. A few days later they are running around the estate wearing their handprinted t-shirt with pride. Is’nt that so much better than fighting and arguing about gang territory. Girls, boys, black, white and every shade in-between no worries no cares just fun, colour and crafting.

So I need your help. I have some supplies, we have glue, paint, scissors, the space to do it and I have the time and skills. I just need fabric, buttons, beads, ribbon, anything you can spare. If you live close by and can drop it round fantastic – if not and you are in london then I can come with my trusty Wheelie Boy and collect. If you live further a field and have some fantastic ideas of makes we could do and want to share that’s great also. I want to think outside the box – show these kids craft is cool, fun and relevant!

Details, Details, Details

Just drop me a line at letting me know if you have supplies or an idea and I’ll respond as soon as I can.

The project startson the 8th January 2013 and initially is running once a week for 6 weeks – after that we’ll see what the kids think & if they want it to continue then fantastic it will!

I want to do one session for the #imapiece Craftivist Collective project to show these kids that they can have a voice too and it’s just as important as us adults to use it.

Any other suggestions and I would love to hear from you…….

Crativist Collective #imapiece piece of the week

Crativist Collective #imapiece piece of the week

Oh and we need a cool name – something that grabs the kids – the estate is called Wilton Estate, it’s near London Fields in Hackney E8 London – so if anyone has a suggestion …..

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