Craft facilitating conversation

Once a month, a small group of people within our Family and Community Services (FACS) program in Melbourne’s outer west have been gathering to walk a path to wellbeing.

A workshop, entitled Craft and Conversation – for wellbeing, sees the group attend the local Melton Library and Learning Hub where a shopping trolley packed with raffia, scissors and paper, wool and needle hooks, among other bits and bobs, aims to inspire, if not creatively, then definitely with laughter.

The workshops began in response to pastoral care workers wanting to reach and inspire all those who were feeling alone and uninspired in their own homes.

“Despite us visiting with many clients in their homes, sometimes the biggest impact can only be made in communication with others,” said FACS Sunshine Pastoral Worker, Jeanette Acland.

The response to the workshop has been overwhelmingly positive. Attendees have relished in being able to learn something new while also being able to teach something to others. They simply enjoy having a cuppa and a chat with others who value the support of like-minded folk.

Over the two hours shared together, conversations range from sharing the problems of raising grandchildren, accessing the right services for their family and what children will or will not eat. Quite often the remark of “and I thought I had it bad” can be heard!

Jeanette says this workshop provides an avenue for people to slow down and come together.

“Sharing space, time and hand work can bring us out of our daily routine and off the treadmill for a time. We slow down as we concentrate on the slow work of our hands and find that our speaking is gentler and our need to talk less,” said Jeanette.

“In the past the churches ‘ladies guilds’ and Mother’s Union provided this much needed space, time and slowing down to women whose work was not always respected, understood or even seen. Sadly, the churches are no longer looked to for this service. Craft and Conversation – for wellbeing is going a small way to gather again those in need of a good, ordinary community gathering,” said Jeanette.