Our history, objectives and what we do
We believe passionately that group creative activities can be hugely influential on health and well-being. We’ve seen through our own personal struggles with reduced mental health just how much difference these activities can make to people and this was what inspired us to set up Mobile Craft 4 U in 2015.
We have designed and delivered our projects for the benefit of people in the community suffering loneliness, those living with cancer and other debilitating illnesses, young mothers struggling with PND, those in recovery from substance/alcohol misuse, older people at risk of isolation, young people with additional needs, their loved ones and carers.
We have worked with over 1000 beneficiaries. People living with reduced mental health sometimes feel like they don’t have the energy to get out of bed, let alone do housework or care for themselves. Connecting with people is vital for mental wellbeing, and pursuing group creativity is a great way for people to feel part of something more worthwhile, building communities and giving new opportunities and purpose.
Whether it is deco-patch or collage making, taking that much-needed time out to do things we can enjoy is hugely important for our mental wellbeing. Being creative enables us to escape the humdrum of daily life for a while, to relax and enjoy the freedom of experimentation. When we craft, we work with a variety of different colours and textures, appealing to the senses and keeping us energised. Our brains and hands are working and creating which, in turn, brings an enormous sense of achievement. Group creativity provides a pleasing sense of productivity, which is particularly welcome when everyday tasks become difficult to achieve.
Our sessions enable people to achieve beautiful results quickly, we provide all the necessary resources and give beneficiaries ideas for how to use their newly learned skills outside the session. For many people, this first experience of seeing what they can create themselves – sometimes for the first time in many years, if at all – can be hugely empowering. The feedback received has been very positive and our evaluations in all settings indicate a wide range of benefits. Cancer sufferers have told us that during our workshops, the trauma of the chemotherapy they were currently enduring left their minds completely. Another participant who had experienced a lot of tragedy in her life, losing both of her sons at a young age and nursing two husbands through Alzheimer’s, told us that she no longer felt the need for group therapy. Ivy now volunteers for us.
We have heard first- hand how our sessions have helped participants enjoy enhanced wellbeing (happier mood/lower anxiety and stress levels), a sense of achievement in their new skills and, crucially, new friendships and deepened bonds – all as a direct result of our projects. We have learned that each individual within our groups has their own personal story, sometimes very sad or tragic, and that during the projects as trust develops and bonds deepen, people open up and garner support in their shared burden. This is always very humbling for us and pushes our determination to reach many more people in the community.
We have had the privilege of receiving funding from Big Lottery Awards for All for three, year long, projects. In 2018 we were awarded funding for a two year programme of workshops by The National Lottery Community Fund Reaching Communities. Thanks to funders such as Tesco Bags of Life, Living Well Sefton, HOP -Happy older people- The Community foundation for Lancashire and Merseyside, Sefton Mayoral Office and The Co-operative Community Fund, we have been able to provide projects, free of charge, to many charities and community groups in the Merseyside and Lancashire region.
We have worked in partnership with several charities and community organisations such as:
Macmillan Cancer Care– Initially a 36 week course, we have since facilitated many 6 week projects for people living with cancer. Also Daisy Chain, a small charity based in Formby supporting those affected by the disease.
Life Rooms– A centre in Southport supporting recovery and helping people living with and managing mental health issues.
Brighter Living– A charity committed to tackling social isolation for the elderly residents of High Park, Southport, which is an area of high deprivation.
Home Start– A charity helping mothers with young children struggling with mental health issues and post natal depression.
The Hesketh Centre– A residential and day care facility, treating those with both chronic and acute mental health conditions.