Just before Christmas 2021 we awarded funding to Swansea based charity Your Voice Advocacy. They are a member led charity for people with learning disabilities living in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot. They have 150 members, some with learning and complex physical disabilities. They support their members to socialise and have a say in their lives.
The grant was used to set up their weekly ‘Crafternoon’ sessions for adults with a learning disability, which has now been established as a regular and hugely popular feature of their work. The funding was used for the purchase of craft materials. As Covid restrictions lifted and their members’ confidence returned, sessions moved from being solely online, which was difficult considering the activity, to a mix of in-person and online. This has maximised accessibility. Attendance is between 8 and 14 people each week, with a range of abilities, but all sharing the same enthusiasm and creativity.
Sessions tended to focus on special events such as Christmas and themes such as ‘favourite animals’ and involve different media (pen, paint, clay, etc.) and utilising objects like mugs, eggs, cloth bags and wooden objects.
The grant allowed them to purchase a greater range of better quality craft materials, which really helped to bring out the members ideas and creativity.
For their members who had been hit hardest by the pandemic, the opportunity to come together and make things, vastly improved their confidence and restored their enjoyment of life. It is clear that they are immensely proud of what they create and always amazed at their own abilities. They learn new skills and share ideas amongst themselves. Where there are communication difficulties this activity offers a chance for self-expression and a profound feeling of achievement.
We are so happy that our funding contribution was used so positively and made a difference to this charity's members.