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#KeepGovanCrafting: Cathy's Story

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 a purpose.”

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 functioning.

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.

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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.

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