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Colchester Recovery Centre gets crafty

05 Jul Colchester Recovery Centre gets crafty

Veterans and their families ditched the beach this sunny weekend in favour of a craft day at the Help for Heroes Recovery Centre in Colchester.

Sandra Gosney, Activities Coordinator at the Recovery Centre, has an army of dedicated volunteers who help run Activity Tuesday and they kindly gave up their time to attend the craft day.

There were plenty of different activities on offer:

Plant pot / pebble painting
Dream catcher making
Scale modelling
Wood turning (pens, BBQ tools, necklaces, nutcrackers and much more!)
Wood crafting (maple leaves)

Sandra said: “Our volunteers are a tremendous asset to us at the Recovery Centre. Without the time, resources and patience they offer we simply wouldn’t be able to offer these opportunities to our veterans and their families”.

The craft day was arranged with the hope that new activities could be tried which would give people a taster of what to experience during our Activity Tuesdays. All of the volunteers are members of clubs in the community and many veterans have become so enthused with what they’ve been taught that they’ve joined those clubs themselves. Some are even considering making it a business!

Sandra was really pleased with how the day turned out: “I was a little worried that people would escape down the beach due to the glorious sunshine but veterans and their families turned up in their droves for the craft day! We had around 60 adults and children here today; all engaged and enjoying themselves”.

“Not only are our veterans discovering new skills they didn’t realise they had but many are finding it a good way to enhance their well-being. The activities involve a degree of concentration and that is helping to reduce any anxieties or negative thoughts. We definitely see craft as an integral part of Activity Tuesdays as it facilitates informal peer to peer discussion”.

The day was topped off with a group of veterans presenting a gift to the charity’s new Recovery Manager East, Julian North.

John, Bob and Melvin had crafted a beautiful chess set during Activity Tuesday sessions over the course of a year.

Melvin said: “It’s been challenging at times but we’ve all really enjoyed making this chess set. We wanted to make something which everyone could benefit from. The pieces are bigger than a traditional set so that anyone with the shakes or a prosthetic arm should still be able to grab them”.

Julian added: “This isn’t just about a chess set. It’s a legacy piece. Our veterans and volunteers have invested a lot of time in crafting this; it will be used for many years to come and represents recovery in action”.