As a not-for-profit craft company everything we do is for the ultimate aim of improving people's wellbeing, particularly those who couldn't usually afford to be creative.
Here we outline the various ways we have been able to help others through Crafting4Good CIC, because of the craft supplies we sell through our store and the generous donations we receive.
Some of our printables and donated magazine freebies were given out to attendees at a mental health event at St Catherine's church, Wakefield. The even was put on by the Richmond Fellowship for local people to see the types of support and activities available to them - we approached it from a 'self care' point of view, i.e. being creative can help your wellbeing and had various freebies printed out so that people could take them away and get creative when they got home.
Various kids craft items given to a group of children and young people who were attending a summer group over 5 weeks. We don't get many kids craft supplies donated, which is a shame because we have plenty of kids groups asking, but we managed to pull this lot together - a mix of new and used goodies - so the kids could do card making, painting, modelling, loom bands, bead making and general crafting. We even managed to get some creative books in there.
Quite a bundle of craft goodies - all brand new - for St Swithun's Community Centre in Wakefield after they had generously funded our office space and storage, allowing us to 'get started'.
All items had been donated by customers, followers and the public as well as The Paperbox.
Free craft supplies for attendees at a Positive Mental Health day at St Swithun's Community Centre. People were allowed to take what they wanted from our donated stock of craft sheets, die-cuts, embellishments and peel-off stickers - all thanks to generous customers and followers - and at the end of the day, what was left was given to the centre for their crafting groups to use.
New cross stitch kits donated by customers were given to Leep 1 CIC, a center for people with learning disabilities.
They enjoy doing needlecrafts under the guidance of one of their members who recently had her cross stitch and embroidery work exhibited at an art gallery, and sells what she's made (I bought one of her embroidered mats!)
A lady donated some of her old knitting supplies and the needles went down a treat with a local Knit & Natter group who took what they needed.
I'm no knitter, but a certain size needle was much sought after, number 8's maybe...?
The start of it all! We ran some pilot craft classes at a supported housing scheme for people with complex needs which ended up running for a few months. This started the ball rolling with the donations coming in from customers, social media followers and even people we didn't even know but who heard about it from others or read our blogs. You can read all the blogs we did on this pilot here (we now support groups with access to supplies rather than do outreach ourselves due to time restrictions)
In addition we supplied a new printer to a community food bank; Christmas craft goodies to a retirement home for people with dementia; provided affordable downloadable activities to people who are housebound and on a very tight budget, and helped people to make new friends and take part in online activities both home and abroad through our online community.
Disclaimer: We are a developing social enterprise and part of that development is learning what works and what doesn't. We have listed various things that we've done from when we started out as a record of the things we've been able to do for others, but we may not be doing those things today e.g. outreach sessions with groups - we have learned that this is not viable for us to do time-wise so we now support groups run by others with resources and supplies.
* We always look for the best way to get the most benefit from donated items to have the best social impact possible *
We encourage our customers to make their own social impact through use of our "Sell What You Make" printables for fundraising or even donating what they've made to those who need them e.g. see our article Food Bank Story
Perhaps the biggest impact of all is all down to those generous people who donate unwanted art and craft supplies - without them, we wouldn't have the resources to continue doing what our company is set up to do.