Vicky Urquhart, Senior Community Fundraising Officer at Mind, the leading Mental Health charity in England and Wales, tells us about Crafternoons...
Every knitter, stitch, and scrapbooker knows the power of craft. There’s nothing quite like it if you need a moment of stillness or a few hours of peace. Crafting has been bringing people together for centuries, whether that be through sewing circles or paper folding classes. It’s also long been used as a force for good.
I work in the fundraising team at Mind, the leading mental health charity in England and Wales. Over the years my team noticed that more and more amazing supporters were hosting crafting sessions as a way to raise money for our charity. People were hosting these events in their homes, places of work and community centres. They were treating their guests to a relaxed afternoon of crafting with some tea and cake and asking people who attended to contribute a donation towards Mind.
Many of these fundraisers had their own lived experience of mental health problems, or were moved to support Mind because someone close to them was struggling with their mental health. These events weren’t just raising money, they were also raising awareness around mental health as a cause.
With one in four of us in the UK experiencing a mental health problem at any time in a given year, this was hugely important. We wanted to provide as much support to these incredible individuals as possible, which is why in 2014 we launched Crafternoon as an official Mind fundraiser.
Since then, Crafternoon has grown steadily to become the biggest, craftiest mental health fundraiser in England and Wales. It takes place twice a year – once in the summer and then again just before Christmas.
The official date for this year’s summer Crafternoon is 20 July 2019 – but people are welcome to host their event whenever suits them.
No matter the date, the Mind fundraising team will send them a Crafternoon fundraising kit with everything they need to get started and will be on hand to support with ideas and information.
Now in its sixth year, Crafternoon is one of the most important dates in Mind’s fundraising calendar, helping to fund essential services such as the Mind Infoline. This free advice line received over 100,000 calls from people struggling with a mental health problem last year.
In 2018, the average Crafternoon event raised £100, which is enough to fund 16 calls to Mind’s Infoline – ensuring that people can reach help in a time of need. But no matter how big or small, every event held and every penny raised makes a huge difference.
Taking the time to create something handmade can fill you with a sense of accomplishment like no other – and that feeling is even stronger when you know you’ve made something in aid of a great cause.
To take part, all you need to do is visit www.mind.org.uk/crafternoonregister and sign up. Whether you’re a knitting novice or a crochet queen, the money raised through your Crafternoon will help Mind to ensure that everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets the support and respect they deserve.