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

Before retiring, Steven had worked as a hospital porter at the Southern General. Active and a hard worker, when it came to retirement he was concerned about losing motivation and becoming isolated. Having no family of his own, he had seen other unmarried friends find themselves with too much time on their hands, drinking their retirement away in pubs without anything to focus on.

He wanted to escape this pattern and resolved to do something different. He initially joined an NHS walking group, but was finding that this didn’t push him hard enough. One day, however, the health worker for the group took participants to the Craft Cafe Govan. Always having held artistic ambitions and an admirer of artistic skill, here he saw an opportunity to get involved with something he hadn’t done since school.



Upon joining the Craft Cafe, Steven was very focused on learning how to draw and paint. He borrowed art books from the Craft Cafe to take home and study, asked for technical advice from more experienced members and gradually built up his confidence and skill. Having started by using drawing guides, eventually he was creating artwork from his imagination, and now finds himself at a point where he is confident in his ability and making work of which he is rightly proud.

It gives him a sense of achievement, he explains, even just in the little things he learns, and he finds himself utterly absorbed and enjoying what he is doing. “When I am at home on my own it can get quite bad,” he reflects. “It gets heavy for me sometimes. People are not meant to be on their own like that and that’s why we go to things and keep busy.

“The people and the company at the Craft Café give me incentive. I genuinely wish I’d done this years ago. Other things have held me back, but I have started and it’s my time now, I am doing what I have always wanted to do.”

“The Craft Cafe gives me a target, a reason to get up and out, and helps stop feelings of loneliness. I get bored sitting at home and staring at the TV. But after coming here, I find myself practising my drawing at home instead of watching the telly!” Steven


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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