How arts and crafts is bringing people together for charity

When Tricia Stephens moved to Petworth in 2014 she was keen to replicate a successful U3A arts and craft class she had previously run.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 6:26 pm

Four years later in February 2018 she held her first Petworth Community Craft Group meeting.

The Coultershaw Warehouse they use is run by the Coultershaw Trust, where Tricia’s husband was treasurer, suggested she run an arts and crafts group there.

“From the first idea it just snowballed and currently we have about 10-12 members but would love to have more,” she said.

Making poms poms

“With the help and support of Petworth and District Community Association we set up the group and have been running ever since.”

Sponsors pay for the rent of the warehouse for sessions with a suggested £2 voluntary donation from members who attend.

“Initially we all worked on the same new craft for a few sessions and then we would have a theme eg for Easter or Christmas and members would make saleable items to that theme,” explained Tricia.

“In the early days we all made items to sell but some people found they were left little time to pursue their own projects so we changed it for 2020 and invited people to bring their own craft to workshops.

Socially distanced group in August 2020

“It is a place to meet, do craft, chat to people, it is good for our wellbeing and mental health and also raise money for charity. To date we have raised about £4000.00”

Items made by the group are sold at local events with the proceeds going to local charities. For 2021 the group has decided to support the Sylvia Beaufoy Youth Centre.

During lockdown members have been carrying on with their projects at home and wares have been sold on Facebook but Tricia is looking

forward to being able to sell in person again.

“We were able to meet only four times last year and look forward to meeting more in the future,” she said. “We are thankful to all our sponsors over the years and everyone who has donated materials.”

Current sponsors include: Kevis House Gallery, Tristan Eves, Therapy, Tiffins Tea Rooms, Spriggs Florist, Rowntree Tyron Galleries, Savills UK, Caroline Laurence, Keyfox Farm Partnerships and Southdowns Chiropractic.

For further information email [email protected], visit petworthcommunity.org/petworth-community-craft-group or phone 01798 342016.