Hi Tadcrafters’ volunteers and supporters,

You might not be surprised to hear that January has been a bit on the quiet side.  After the initial re-arrangement flurry everything settled into lockdown restrictions mode but we’ve still been busy planning ahead for some exciting new projects. There’s not much of a list of activities in January but I can talk about the amazing things we achieved in 2020.  

During 2020 we:

  • made approx. 12,000 items helping potentially 12,000 people and their families. It would cost them around £34,500 to buy these items.
  • supported over 30 worthy causes
  • had over 40 regular volunteers ( and also some irregular ones!)
  • used materials over 95% of which were re-purposed from donations
  • trained 6 Mental Health First Aiders (thanks to funding from the Community Fund)
  • ran 3 project groups: Tadcaster Tadcrafters group (knitting/sewing etc), TadGrafters (woodworking), Sherburn-in-Elmet group (knitting/sewing etc), and are just about to start a gardening group.
  • were supported by donations, and funding from Tadcaster Town Council, North Yorkshire County Council, Community Fund, and Lloyds Bank (School for Social Entrepreneurs programme)

Considering we were unable to meet up I think this is a significant achievement, so well done everyone. this is a summary:

review of 2020

Impact survey

Although as a company we run on very little money, we often apply for funding to help us to carry out new activities e.g. the Mental Health first Aider Training paid for by the Community Fund.  Understandably, these funders usually want to find out about the organisation and they really like facts, figures and comments.  This information also helps us to find out what we are doing right and what we can improve on. Whether you are a volunteer, or a supporter of what we do, if you have 5 minutes spare we would really appreciate it if you could complete this anonymous questionnaire (it’s mainly multiple choice). https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/9PMR5LS

Knitting/Sewing Project Updates

Unfortunately it appears that the restrictions will remain in place until after the February sessions are due to happen so we are working on the next sessions all being in March. There are plenty of kits all made up and ready to come out to people so please make use of the offer of having your supplies delivered to you in the Tadcaster, Sherburn and surrounding villages area or you can collect from The Barn.  Everything is clearly labelled to show when it was last handled so you know if you need to wait before handling it.  Except for face masks which should be taken direct to the box at the back door of The Barn, there’s no hurry to return items you have made. We are unable to distribute them and are struggling for storage space so please hang on to them until the next drop-off session.

If you require supplies please email tadcrafters@outlook.com stating what kit/s you would like and where you would like it delivering.  If you can do this before 11th February it would help us to group deliveries together, especially in Sherburn and the villages. Instructions are given by email.  Please say if you need thread or any basic equipment.  Tadcaster deliveries are made by foot and give me a good excuse to get out and about.

New knitting and sewing project: Worry Monsters

You may have noticed in the news about the increased numbers of children suffering from poor mental health due to a wide variety of reasons connected to the pandemic. To support Children’s services in our area we will be knitting and sewing Worry Monsters.

Worry Monsters are used to help children to resolve their worries. When a worrying or troubling thought comes into the child’s mind they can write it down, or draw a picture, and feed it to a monster.  They will often be willing to tell the monster about the worry when they can’t, or have been told not to, tell an adult. Sometimes telling a monster is often the only way they will feel able to communicate what’s happened. A therapist can get out the piece of paper on which the child has written or drawn the worry, and they can discuss it and offer reassurance and help. 

There’s a fabulous organisation in East Yorkshire called “Knit for Nowt” that co-ordinates the making of these monsters. Unfortunately they are unable to keep up with the demand. There’s lots of information and choice of knitting and crochet patterns on their website if you are interested, but we are going to focus on one monster pattern (the toothy monster) just to make things simpler for you.  As long as you follow the safety rules we don’t mind which you do. Knit for nowt also have patterns for puppets. We will be looking to make these in the future.

Tadcrafters have developed a sewing pattern and instructions for you and supplies will be available in kits.

We are planning on donating the monsters direct to our local Children’s services. Any surplus will go to Knit for Nowt for distribution. (NB These patterns must not be used to make items for sale).  There are strict safety rules to observe when making the monsters but they will be great fun to make and hopefully will be fun to use. 

If you are not local to Tadcaster and it is easier for you to send your monster direct to Knit for Nowt please do so. https://www.knitfornowt.org/  

New sewing project: Banana Box Toys

You may remember that we donated lots of Christmas stockings and presents to Spirit of Christmas last year. They were absolutely delighted and have asked if we would be able to make some drawstring bags which will be used to hold a book and small toys to give to children

In 2017 the Selby Charity “Spirit of Christmas” were asked if they could provide some toys to families who were struggling to make ends meet. Banana boxes were readily available from the local supermarkets and these were used to put toys in. They were repurposing banana boxes as well as toys. This is how the term “Banana Box Toys” came into being. https://www.spiritofchristmas.info/bananaboxproject

In 2019 report from The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health estimated that 30% of all children were living in poverty. Unsurprisingly the Joseph Rowntree Foundation Poverty in the UK Report 2020/21 estimates that poverty is likely to increase in the wake of the pandemic. Two of the ways they recommend to reduce poverty are to improve education and to strengthen families and communities.  We hope we can help to do that.

We’ve already made some kits ready to sew.  The instructions are the same as our other drawstring bags but the size and drawstring length is different If you have any brightly-coloured children’s duvet covers that might still have some life in them we will be happy to convert them into bags.


Tadcaster Community Patchwork

As this project is a commemoration of the pandemic in Tadcaster we intend to keep the project open until we achieve some sort of normality. Please continue to make the 6”/15cm squares to represent you, a loved one, or a local business or organisation in Tadcaster. You can always check with me if you are concerned that someone else might have already done the same. If you let me have a design I can put a kit of materials together for you. They don’t need to be as complex as in the picture. If you would like to knit/crochet a flower or other design to attach to a square that’s absolutely fine.

Other News

Tadcrafters Workshop sessions

Fingers crossed we hope to be able to start workshop sessions again in March.  Thanks to funding from NYCC we have individual equipment kits and trugs of tasks to do including threading drawstring bags, clipping and turning of YorKits liners, drawing round templates, cutting out fabric and whatever else can be done whilst having a socially distanced gathering. Details in the next newsletter.

Group updates

Tadcrafters Tadcaster drop-in and workshop session

The next session will be on zoom at 10am on Tuesday February 9th.  Please email for a zoom link.  Now so many more people are using zoom to connect we thought we might try another zoom session.   Perhaps just to chat or to share ideas or ask advice on completing various projects.  If you have a smartphone, tablet, laptop or similar device you can use zoom for free.  If you struggle with IT I’m happy to talk you through what to do and when you have done it once you will find it’s really easy to use.

The session at The Barn will not be going ahead this month but please make use of the offer to have kits delivered to you locally- it gets me out of the house and makes some space in my garage!  If you require supplies please email tadcrafters@outlook.com stating what you would like and where you would like it delivering.  The next planned Tadcaster drop-off/ pick-up and workshop session will be on Tuesday 9th March 10.00am to 12.00pm at The Barn.   

Information about our policies, procedures and full Covid 19 risk assessment is available by email.

TadGrafters (Wood-working group)

The TadGrafters will be meeting by zoom at 4pm on Weds 10th Febuary.  Please email if you would like the zoom link which will also be posted on the TadGrafters What’s App group.  In March we’re hoping to be able to have a (socially distanced of course) whittling session up at Little Land.

Sherburn (and surrounding villages) Group

There’ll be no session in February but please feel free to join the Tadcaster group zoom on Tuesday 9th. If you would like any kits delivering it would be appreciated if you could let either myself or Karen Packham know by 11th February.  The next Sherburn pick-up/drop-off session at the Library will hopefully be Saturday March 13th 10am-12pm and thereafter every second Saturday of the month. Karen will have a supply of sewing packs and knitting yarn to give out. We hope to be able to re-introduce workshop sessions eventually but not just yet.

Gardening Group: Quaker Burial Ground

Unfortunately we’re not going to be able to get this project of the ground just yet but we are hoping that we should be able to start something from 10am on the weekend of 13th and 14th March.  Sue Tennant will be leading the group and we will be making a list of names of people interested in continuing on the day. There’s no need to book a place but bring some gloves and secateurs if you have them.

In the mean-time please feel free to go and have a look at the site. The Quaker Burial Ground is on Oxton Lane, Tadcaster, opposite the turning to the Tadcaster Primary Academy school.

The project is supported by Tadcaster Town Council and Selby District Council and we will be taking advice from the Woodmeadow Trust, a pioneering charity based in Escrick which will help us to contribute towards addressing the catastrophic decline in biodiversity in the UK. https://www.woodmeadowtrust.org.uk/

Beekeeping Group

The bees are still over wintering in Healaugh at the moment and due to move to the Barn around Easter. Keep checking the newsletters for more information about how and when you can get involved.

List of Current projects 

We welcome anyone new who would like to join us but ask you to please stick to our current projects as other items can be hard to find homes for. We need to focus on a few projects at a time so we can support everyone, maintain our standards and supply items that are wanted by worthy causes, in appropriate quantities.  We are able to supply materials locally for free and instructions are provided by email or the links provided below; if you need help, please ask.


  • Worry Monsters for Children’s Services –Toothy the worry Eater: https://www.knitfornowt.org/worry-puppet-patterns
  • Drawstring bags for Dementia Forward, Banana box project, YorKits and York Teaching Hospital Charity.
  • Personal effects bags forSt. Leonard’s Hospice.
  • Tote Bags for York Teaching Hospital Charity
  • Tadcaster Community Patchwork. Create your own 15cm/6” square Instructions also available on the website.
  • Face Masks. Please email for written instructions or follow this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inJQexwK8Yg  . Packs available in the box at the back door of The Barn 24/7 and Sherburn Library during opening hours. 
  • YorKits liners, shields and drawstring bags.
  • Heart-shaped cushions and drain bags for St. James’ Hospital.


  • Worry Monsters We are focussing on the “Toothy monster” but there’s a wide choice ofoptions andinstructions also available on https://www.knitfornowt.org/
  • Shawls for York Teaching Hospital Charity (York and Selby Hospitals). Any design including wide scarves.
  • Daffodils for Marie Curie will be used for next year
  • Buttercups for Dementia Forward will be used year round so don’t worry if you think you might miss a deadline.  

Other projects

  • If you can’t knit you could help by decorating twiddlemuffs.
  • If you can’t sew there are non-sewing tasks such as threading drawstrings that are really useful to the team, please ask.
  • Picking-up/dropping-off supplies for people who are unable to make the sessions. Team up with someone who cannot drive or has other commitments on session days.
  • If you are interested in joining the TadGrafters, gardening or bee keeping groups please check the newsletter for updates.
  • If you are interested in starting another interest group in Selby District please get in touch.  
  • Tombola: We are always on the look-out for suitable tombola prizes, especially crafty ones.


Instructions, tools and materials available at the sessions. If you would like to join in wood working projects from home you would be very welcome.

Pictures of all our projects and information about how and who they help can be found on the “what we do” section of our website.

Wish list and other ways to help

We have now stopped accepting donations of fabric/yarn etc. for the time being again, because we have a shortage of available space.  Please try to hang on to anything you would like to donate until the next drop-off session.

  • New or clean, nearly new polyester/cotton or other lightweight woven fabric or brightly printed duvet covers
  • New or clean, nearly new winceyette (brushed cotton) sheets/fabric
  • New or nearly new knitting yarn. Any colour or weight
  • Items, especially hand-crafted ones, suitable for our tombola stalls
  • Vintage fabric, equipment and haberdashery. Any items not suitable for our own use we sell to people who really appreciate it, whilst also raising funds for our projects.
  • Gently worn” bras and new pants for “Smalls for All” http://smallsforall.org/
  • Please share our social media posts and encourage others to join in.
  • If you would like to make a financial donation/direct debit to help us do what we do you can do so on the Local Giving website which can be found at: https://localgiving.org/tadcrafters
  • Sign up to Easyfundraising to raise money for us at no extra cost to you when you shop online, https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/tadcrafterscic/

Keep in touch

If you need to get in touch with us, and need a response, please use email. This is to protect your personal details and because conversations on social media become lost. Someone will get back to you but it might not be straight away due to other commitments. The Tadcrafters Chat Group is a great way to keep in touch with each other and be inspired. You can also follow the Tadcrafters Page on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@Tadcrafters). 

To be put on the emailing list (wherever you live) please request it by emailing tadcrafters@outlook.com  and add us to your list of contacts so we don’t end up in the junk. There are usually only one or two emails a month.

See you soon, Su.

Directors Tadcrafters CIC: Su Morgan, Lynne Howard and Sandra Levitt


Tues 9th FebTadCrafters Zoom catch-up10.00am  Zoom
Weds 10th FebTadGrafters Zoom catch-up4pmZoom
Sat 13th FebDrop-off/pick-up session10am- 12pmSherburn Library
Sat 13th  and Sun 14th FebGardening Group10am onwardsQuaker Burial Ground
Tues 9th MarDrop-off/pick-up and workshop session10.00am- 4pm TBCThe Barn
Weds 10th MarTadGrafters4-6pmThe Barn
Sat 13th MarDrop-off/pick-up session10am- 12pmSherburn Library
Sat 13th  and Sun 14th MarGardening Group10am onwardsQuaker Burial Ground
10th AprilDrop-off/pick-up session10am- 12pmSherburn Library
Sat 10th  and Sun 11th AprilGardening Group TBC10am onwards TBCQuaker Burial Ground
13th AprDrop-in workshop session10.00am- 4pmThe Barn
14th AprTadGrafters4-6pmThe Barn

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