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#KeepGovanCrafting: David'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 David's Story - please note, the name has been changed for confidentiality reasons.

Govan born-and-bred, David is passionate about the history and community of the area. After serving as a cook in World War II, he worked as a porter at the Southern General hospital for 35 years before retiring, but remained active in the community, volunteering at the Govan Stones and with Friends of Elderpark. He was looking for somewhere regular to go during the day to keep him active, occupy his mind and bond with others.

David first came to the Craft Cafe in 2011 on a friend’s recommendation. He had not created any artwork since childhood and was hesitant at first, sitting at the side initially while others got involved. But that soon changed, and David was trying new things, getting to know new people and becoming part of the group.

David embraced the many artistic and creative techniques the Craft Cafe’s artist-in-residence introduced him to, including photography, silk painting, using a sewing machine, and sculpture. He has produced work that he is passionate about and proud of, including a black-and-white photography project focussing on historical sites in Govan, and he also photographed his vast coin collection, editing the work using Photoshop. Originally a baker by trade, he has cooked for other members, while he has discovered new creative passions, spending hours delicately and meticulously designing a mosaic bird.

David has said the most crucial part of coming to the Craft Café is the company . There, he feels that strong sense of community that he has always valued. He thrives in this environment, has developed strong friendships and is viewed with warmth and respect. These relationships are marked by small gestures of kindness, like bringing in the newspapers every week, collecting art supplies from charity shops, and arriving early to help put out the chairs in the morning. He is a quiet, gentle and warm-hearted person and feels at home in the Craft Café.

Coming to the Craft Cafe has had other vital benefits. David struggles greatly with his health; he has heart problems, often feeling breathless and tired, and has been in and out of hospital for years. He has eyesight issues, often finding things blurry and difficult to see, and his eyes water badly. Some days at the Craft Café he will only feel fit to sit and rest. But these issues only make him more determined to be active, and he fully believes that coming to the Craft Café provides him with much-needed exercise, while stimulating him mentally and allowing him to be among friends.


“The friendships here are first class! People are friendly and you feel welcome and supported. If it wasn’t for the Craft Cafe, local older people would have nowhere to go. You would have to stay in and be house-bound, and that’s when your health deteriorates. This place gets me out, I come here and it feels like a community. I am with my friends.” David


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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