#KeepGovanCrafting: Elizabeth'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 Elizabeth's Story - please note, the name has been changed for confidentiality reasons.
Aged 69 and retired, Elizabeth had only recently moved to Govan and knew very few people in the area. Having suffered from arthritis for years, she had been forced into early retirement and had mobility issues. Soon after, she was diagnosed with diabetes and depression. Her husband had passed away in 2012, and her responsibilities included caring for other family members with health issues.
She moved to Govan in 2015 due to a lack of transport links where she lived previously. The following year, she saw a Craft Café poster in a local shop window, and decided she would give it a go. “I will never forget my first day here,” she says, “I felt instantly at ease and was able to help people. I felt valued. I felt like there was a reason for coming here. It was very welcoming.”
Elizabeth is a very talented craftsperson; she can sew, knit and embroider. Due to her skill, she was instantly able to help people and got thoroughly involved. She said that helping people felt like “a huge personal achievement” as she hadn’t previously felt confident in her ability to communicate and instruct.
Since joining, she has made candles, mosaiced and knitted ‘comforters’ for an NHS dementia ward. She also knitted a comforter for her sister, who has severe dementia, her nephew, who is in hospital after a serious stroke, and was commissioned by another Craft Cafe member to make one for his wife who is in the later stages of Alzheimer’s. These were the first times she had knitted in almost 40 years, when she was making clothes for her own baby daughter.
Elizabeth feels the Craft Café has had a huge impact on many areas in her life. Physically, it gets her out and about and moving, which her doctor says is just what she needed to help with her arthritis. Her GP told her they are pleased with her new sense of motivation. She feels more stable in her life and, because of the routine, she feels her eating habits are under more control, helping with her diabetes.
Most impressively, she has been able to decrease the dosage of medication she takes for depression. This is something she sees as a direct result of coming to Craft Café: “It gives me a reason to get up in the morning. If it was on every day of the week, I’d be here.”
“I have met lovely people here. This place has given me friendship. I know that I can contribute to the group, I can help other folk and giving gives me a feeling of self-worth. This place means everything to me, it means I have a purpose in life, which I did not have before. I feel like I am coming home again when I come to this group.” Elizabeth
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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