As part of our #KeepGovan Crafting campaign to prevent the closure of our older people’s Craft Cafe in Govan, we’re sharing stories about the service, how it has changed the lives of the members and why it is vital the service continues. This is Cathy’s Story – please note, the name has been changed for confidentiality.
Cathy has been with Craft Café for over seven years. She
likes to keep busy and has always led an active life. After decades of working
in office administration and helping boost failing businesses back to success,
she was pleased to retire at 61 – but no ready to stop altogether.
“I’m a people person,” she says. “I need challenges to
motivate me. If somebody needs something I want to help – that’s what gives me
Cathy first came to the Craft Café to bring a cousin who would
not come otherwise. Suffering from depression and alcoholism, he had lost his
job and needed help. Upon joining Craft Café, he began painting seriously, and
his confidence soared as has ability developed. “This resource was phenomenal
for him,” says Cathy. Her cousin passed away not long after coming to Craft
Café, but she feels it enhanced his life enormously in the latter stages.
Cathy lives alone. As a younger woman, she had a
life-changing aneurism. She spent a while hospitalised and found she had lost
her short term memory, to the extent where she could not remember her own name.
It was a traumatising experience and she had to rebuild her memory, which she
still battles with now. This is why she is keen to keep her mind active and
busy –this is a technique directly helping to keep her mind and memory
Cathy has been involved with countless projects and
activities over her years at Craft Cafe. “We are encouraged to take on new
challenges,” she says. “I have surprised myself – all the crafting activities
have given me confidence in things I did not even realise I could do.”
Over the year, Cathy has been a fantastic support and
organiser for many Craft Café events, including fundraising sales, helping with
cooking, organising entertainment for
community events. She also helped to co-ordinate a Vintage Day for Craft Café
in collaboration with local radio station Sunny Govan. These activities stimulate
and challenge Cathy, but they are also reaching beyond the Craft Café and
helping regenerate the community.
“Because of these activities the community now works together,”
says Cathy. “This is the community pulling together. Without this project many
people would end up isolated, depressed and disconnected.”
“All the members get isolated and lonely. At
least a few days a week they are out amongst people. They have contact,
connecting with each other. Families don’t have the time they need these days.
So the members have friends here who help them out, motivate them. These people
have got talents! If this place was not here all that would go to waste – it’d
be tragic! So many skills would be lost.”
“Everybody needs to
be cared for, valued and important – including myself! Craft Café gives a
reason to get out of bed in the morning.” Cathy
Craft Cafe Govan is facing closure after March 2018. We are looking to raise £12,000 to secure the service for another year. Any donations you can afford would be welcome. Visit our Crowdfunding page for all the details.