We recently funded Creative Hands. Creative Hands is a group based in Rusholme that uses visual arts and crafts as a tool to improve the well-being of people in their local area.

The group aims to provide opportunities for all communities to take part in arts and craft activities and achieve their full potential. As well as this they hope to reduce the number of isolated young people, adults and families and increase arts and craft activities, improve skills, improve wellbeing and raise aspirations and increase achievements for them too.

The group has identified three values that underpin their work: Creativity, Community and Culture and provides accredited courses, cultural arts and crafts workshops, puclic art projects and volunteering opportunities.

With the award received from Forever Manchester, Creative Hands’ objectives are to:

  • Devise and deliver a range of arts and craft projects and workshops for young people and adults in Manchester
  • Provide volunteering opportunities for young people and adults in Manchester
  • Devise and deliver a range of arts and craft workshops to engage young people and adults that are isolated
  • Deliver AQA Unit Award Scheme accredited project ‘How to set up and run an enterprise in arts and crafts’
  • Work in partnership with other voluntary and community organisations, Manchester City Council and statutory agencies and act as a signpost to other services

They believe this activities will:

  • Raise to aspirations, skills, abilities and achievements of the people in Manchester
  • Create healthier and more active people and communities
  • Increase confidence and self-esteem
  • Increase financial, social and personal assets
  • People move on to further education, training or employment

Creative Hands’ latest project will see women taking part in a series of arts and craft workshops to develop and improve their practice. This project aims to motivate and increase women’s aspirations and confidence to develop creative businesses to enable them to strive for independence. The project includes exploring new techniques and materials, designing and creating art and craft products (such as gifts, home furnishing etc.), branding, packaging, promotional material and logo development for their products.

The women will take part in 12 x 2 hours of creative art sessions once a week.

Women face socio-economic deprivation and high unemployment in the wards Creative Hands are targetting are targeting: Rusholme, Fallowfield, Longsight and Moss Side.

The women find it difficult to access business courses because they cannot find local provision and appropriate levels so they do not bother at all. Most women the group have talked with expressed a desire to be able to access their course as it fits around their family commitments, but these types of courses are extremely difficult to find.

Many said they didn’t know enough about starting your own business. A group of women in September 2012 told Creative Hands that they wanted to learn more about how to start their own business and access accredited courses to help them to move closer to independence and employment. Many of the women who came to this session told the group they would like to train and work but are deterred by a lack of childcare provision and the costs. Lack of accessible, affordable childcare can be a major deterrent to training and work, as can the timing of programmes that do not accommodate to a mothers needs in relation to school run times and school holidays.

These women become isolated and are faced with additional pressure of being on their own in the home without the support of a husband or partner. It puts a lot of strain on the mother which can lead to ill health and depression. In 2013 a group of women who participated in our Creative Business 4 Women course told Creative Hands they wanted to take part in more arts and craft activities to develop their skills and build their confidence. All the women were living on benefits or with a very low income. They said they were finding it extremely difficult to find work that suited their family commitments. Some of them felt frustrated that they were not able to do what they loved and use their creative skills and talents.

Creative Hands now help women with problems like this to learn skills and also guide them, helping them to create their own business and build it from home.

If you’d like to support a group like Creative Hands DONATE HERE.