Skip to menu Skip to content

Impact Arts blog

85-year-old Netta receives her Girl Guides arts badge at Craft Cafe Edinburgh!

Over 70 years ago, a young girl from Pitlochry was left dismayed when she failed her Girl Guides artists’ badge.

Last week, at Craft Café Edinburgh, 85-year-old Netta Watson was awarded what was rightly hers as the Guides took the time to correct a wrong done seven decades prior.

A resident of St. Raphael’s care home, Netta has been attending Impact Arts’ Craft Café workshops for just over a year.

Craft Café workshops run in partnership with Viewpoint care homes, giving residents a place to work with professional artists on arts and crafts projects.

As well as workshops running on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays each week, the residents’ artwork is celebrated at high-profile exhibition events.

The most recent of these took place the Image Collective gallery on the top floor of Leith’s Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre.

Work sold in this exhibition raised over £1,200 to be reinvested into Impact Arts charity art programmes, and Netta made a significant contribution to this total – she sold nine watercolour, pastel and acrylic works, including portraits and Scottish landscapes.

Surprised at selling so much, Netta commented that this was not bad, considering she failed her Girl Guides badge – and this led Impact Arts tutor Kate Bell to contact the Guides to right an injustice that had taken place in the 1940s.

Last week - determined to recognise Netta' artistic achievements - Gillian Fraser of the Girl Guides surprised Netta by turning up at the St. Raphael’s workshop to present her with her arts badge, in front of fellow Craft Café members.

“It was a great surprise, so unexpected and exciting,” said Netta. “It had me in tears.”

Has receiving an arts badge wrapped up some unfinished business? “Definitely. I can’t actually remember why I failed it in the first place – I couldn’t see that my work was much worse than anybody else’s!

Why does she enjoy attending Craft Café? “For good company, for good coffee and for good conversations. I so enjoy trying all the different artforms and media – and nobody fails you!”

Kate Bell is the lead tutor for Craft Café in Edinburgh. She is thrilled that Netta has received due recognition for her artistic efforts.

“Netta is incredibly dedicated and I am delighted to see her awarded for creating so much thoughtful and colourful artwork,” says Kate.

“Craft Café members were in on the idea from the start - Netta was told only that someone was coming in to have a chat with her on Thursday morning.

“We were all very moved when the penny dropped and Netta realised what was going on! She is a great encouragement to her peers who share in her infectious enthusiasm for the arts.”

Craft Café workshops run each week in two Viewpoint care homes in Edinburgh: St. Raphael’s and Lennox House.

The aim of the workshops is to celebrate older people’s creative achievements, offer access to materials and quality arts tuition, and help break down isolation and loneliness in residents.

Donate now

The team at Impact Arts work hard to secure over £1.5m of funding per year to provide life changing creative experiences for more than 5000 people.

You can help us achieve this target through making a single gift, or a regular donation. Thank you.

Make a donation online




Our newsletter will keep you up to date on news from our creative projects and programmes across Scotland.