Ann Norman is the volunteer group treasurer/secretary/transport organiser of the Leeds Central Faith and Light* community. She is also a supremely popular tutor of knitting and crochet workshopsand an award-winning tutor on CraftCourses of 5 years standing.
Ann’s knitting and crochet workshops raise over £1500 a year for the Leeds Central Faith and Light community, a Christian movement which brings together people with a learning difficulty, their families and their friends. The central belief is that each person is of infinite worth and able to give as well as receive, something which we at CraftCourses whole-heartedly support, believing that people with learning difficulties have special gifts to share with the world.
“I became involved in the Faith and Light movement in 1982, through the leader, Marjorie, who is a friend of mine. We meet every month, and twice a year attend a regional gathering of Faith and Light groups from Yorkshire and the surrounding areas. We also attend various holidays – last year we travelled to Lourdes and attended gatherings in Durham and Norfolk.
“Fundraising obviously plays a big part in enabling our activities to take place, so teaching workshops for people to learn to knit and crochet provides an ideal and enjoyable way to help raise funds for the Leeds Central group. I retired from nursing in May 2013 and this gave me an ideal way to fund-raise, occupy some of my time and pass on my craft skills.
“I started the workshops in September 2013, advertising through CraftCourses.com, having been introduced to the site by another crafter. I provide workshops on a one to one basis or for small groups of friends, according to their availability. Workshops take place in a vintage tearoom, so we can have tea and cake whilst we work.
“I run approximately ten workshops a month and also have a group of about six people who meet once a month to sit and natter whilst we craft, all of which combined, raises over £1,500 a year for Leeds Central Faith and Light. Participants in the workshops have been very kind, as represented by the reviews people have written of my workshops on CraftCourses.
“I find teaching the workshops quite therapeutic, as well as challenging at times. They are very affirming for me and have surprised me in my abilities to be able to pass on my skills to all, whether right or left-handed, young or old, male or female! I find I am constantly adapting how I teach, according to people’s differing abilities to learn.”
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* The Faith and Light movement began in France in 1971, as a result of the rejection experienced when a family wanted to take their two sons with profound learning disabilities to Lourdes. Since then it has grown and there are now more than 1500 Faith and Light communities, in 85 countries spread around the world.