Craft group in Micklefield is playing its part in tackling isolation and calls for new members as meetings re-start

A craft group that is a lifeline for its members in Micklefield is set to start regular meetings again next month and hopes to attract more people after a grant from a wind farm fund.

Like most community and local organisations, Micklefield Craft Group, was forced to stop meeting from March last year when the coronavirus lockdown was imposed and since then meetings have had to be when they could be facilitated at people's houses and in line with changing regulations.

However, for the first time in almost a year, regular meetings will be moving back to the group's original home at the village’s Youth & Adult Centre - and will be bigger and better than before thanks to a grant from Banks Renewables.

It has awarded Micklefield Craft Group with a £500 grant from the community benefits fund linked to the nearby Hook Moor wind farm. Banks provides around £10,000 of funding for local good causes every year and for the ladies of the Micklefield Craft Group it means they will be able to expand the work and products they are currently working on.

Members of the Micklefield Craft Group with Lewis Stokes of The Banks Group.

Projects are mainly card-making and embroidery but members can try what they like and the new equipment and move back to bigger premises will offer more scope for creativity, said a group spokesperson.

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With the lifting of Covid restrictions, sessions starting again from September 7, the group, which draws its members mainly from across Micklefield and Garforth, is now looking to encourage more people to come along and see what it offers.

Stephanie Reeves is the treasurer and self-confessed 'baby' of the group - which she added was about so much more than crafting.

Embroidery is one of the most popular activities at the group.

"I am the baby of the group at 63, the rest are in their 70s and 80s but there is a wealth of knowledge. The group has been going for many years, and while much of our recent work

has focused on card making, we’re open to trying any type of crafting activity.

"The social side of our meetings is often just as important as the crafting activities and we’ve really missed seeing friends regularly in a setting that we all enjoy, so it’s great to know we’ll be back together again soon."

For some members the group was a lifeline to tackling isolation, loneliness and meetings were something they very much looked forward to.

Hard at work, the members have had to meet in their own homes when regulations have allowed.

She added: "It is very much a social group we well. It is really quite significant for some members but it is a group that is open to all ages and we’d love to see some new members

coming along to give crafting a go when we start back in September."

Activities vary but due to restrictions over the last year have had to focus on individual work, but the move back to the Youth and Adult Centre will enable them to take on bigger group projects - and ability is no issue.

Mrs Reeves added: "We can have a little bit more free reign. I am the world's worst artist and was constantly at the bottom of the class for drawing but I love creating. I am not a great inspirationalist but if I get an idea, I can do it.

Card-making is a group favourite and new equipment thanks to a grant means the group can add to the work it does.

"I do a lot of scrap-booking and do them for my grandchildren. It is just telling their story, the little one - who is three - loves to get them out and we go through them regularly. It is a total switch off."

Lewis Stokes, community relations manager at Banks Renewables, adds: "The Hook Moor Wind Farm Community Fund is specifically designed to help local community organisations improve what they can offer to people in the area.

“Helping the Craft Group obtain the equipment and resources it needs to enable more people to join in fits this objective perfectly, and we hope they get lots of interest from residents who want to make new friends while showing their creativity.”

A cup of tea and a chat is as important as the activities for many members of the group.
Treasurer, Stephanie Reeves and members of the Micklefield Craft Group.