Cairn Crafts gets sewn up with funding boost

A craft group in Peterhead has been awarded funding from Cairn Housing Association’s Community Fund to support its invaluable community knitting projects for local care homes and premature neonatal units as well as supporting personal artistic projects.

The Frank Jack Court craft group

Cairn Crafts aims to help tenants at Frank Jack Court retirement housing complex to learn new skills, build friendships and revisit old hobbies while providing a much-needed service to their local community.

The £750 grant from Cairn Housing Association’s Community Fund will finance wool and needles as well as materials for personal arts and crafts projects.

The group, which was formed 18 months ago under the guidance of tenant Anne Day, have struck up strong relationships with local organisations. Their most recent projects have included knitted hats, blankets, bonding squares and Christmas stockings for premature birth units in Aberdeen, Peterhead and Dundee.

The craft group’s work is highly sought after by premature neonatal units as knitted items are also precious keepsakes for the families of babies in these units. The group also create hand-knitted sensory ‘fiddle muffs’ for residents in a local care home. These soothing sensory items are a much-needed aid for people living with dementia.

Members of the group meet for two hours on a Monday at the development, part of Cairn Housing Association, and form a conveyor belt of productivity.

Jess Coutts

Anne Day, group leader, said: “Wool is expensive, and we’re so pleased to have the funding to allow us to continue our work for the next year. The group helps people to build their confidence and develop new skills while getting to know each other better and looking out for each other.

“We wouldn’t be able to make the things we do without each other’s talents. We hope the group can continue making donations of our work to the community and tenants can enjoy meeting up weekly to chat and learn new skills.”

Resident Jess Coutts picked up her needles for the first time in 40 years when she joined the group.

Known to the members as ‘the machine’, Ms Coutts now knits up to seven items a week for other members to decorate with crochet work, embroidery or beading.

As well as knitting and crocheting for the local community, the most recent projects include crafting and selling Christmas Garlands and the group are currently making Easter Egg chick cosies for Easter 2020.

Donna Simpson, court coordinator at Frank Jack Court, commented: “It’s great to see this group bringing tenants together. We have a lot of creative tenants in the court and Anne has done a great job at organising the group”.

Projects which enhance the quality of living in areas where Cairn tenants live are eligible for funding from Cairn’s Community fund, from improving the lives of local people, providing environmental benefits to strengthened community.

With over 30 years’ of experience, Cairn Housing Association maintains its reputation as a quality, affordable home provider with a property portfolio of 3,200 homes across Scotland.

Cairn has plans to build 400 new homes across the country in the next five years to help meet the needs of local communities.

The housing provider has also operated its community fund since 2013 and over this time has injected £60,000 into areas local to its developments.

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