At Tadcrafters, we help people to support their local community by making or doing things they enjoy like sewing, knitting, gardening, wood working or beekeeping.
Although we have a few different activity groups, our main crafting groups make items, mainly from repurposed materials, which are donated to worthy causes. We support a range of charities and other organisations while helping people to learn new craft skills, developing a social network of people and building a more resilient community mainly in and around Tadcaster, North Yorkshire.
We help people to appreciate the importance and benefit of craft activities to help them relax. At a time when most things can be purchased cheaply due to mass-produced manufacturing it is often forgotten that the process of making an item by hand can be rewarding in itself. Knitting, sewing, woodworking and other crafts are effective relaxation techniques and have proved to be very beneficial in tackling stress and depression. In addition to this, receiving a hand-made gift is so much more personal, and this appreciation is also very rewarding.
For a list of our current projects see our latest newsletter on the home page of this website.
There are many worthy organisations who benefit from the support of Tadcrafters, examples include:
- We make patient property bags for St. Leonard’s Hospice. The bags are used to return patient’s belongings to their bereaved relatives.
- We make insect hotels and hedgehog lodges for local wildlife
- We make washable feminine Hygiene kits that are taken to girls in developing countries so that they can attend school when they are menstruating and therefore have access to better education.
- We make twiddlemuffs which are given to organisations such as care homes and hospitals. These can be very calming for people with dementia.
- We make heart shaped cushions, and drain bags, which provide practical support for patients who have had breast surgery
- We facilitate workshops with groups within the community such as local primary schools, Rainbows, Brownies, Beavers and the general public to make lanterns and snufflemats
- We have gardening projects to improve the local environment
- We make snufflemats to give animals greater mental stimulation whilst at the dogs Trust or RSPCA
- We support appeals by charities such as the British Legion and Marie Curie by making flowers to raise their profile for them to attract greater donations
- We make blankets for Age UK at York Hospital so that patients who are admitted in only their night clothes have something to keep them warm on the journey home.
- We make bunting to support local events such as the 2 miles we made for the Tour de Yorkshire in 2017 and the 2 km we made for the UCI Cycling World Championships in 2019 when they came to Tadcaster.
- We help people to press apples to make apple juice so they don’t go to waste
- We support local events such as the Lantern Parade in February
- We collect donated fabric, yarn and haberdashery that can be re-used including some excess fabric from interior design companies
- We collect “gently worn” bras to send to countries where underwear is a sign of status, reducing the likelihood of abuse.
We delivered a total of 438 Christmas stockings, 127 hats and 54 scarves to Spirit of Christmas and the Selby District foodbank in 2021.
This month saw the start of out latest new group which will be looking after a hive of bees. The swarm arrived at the Barn in the summer of 2020 and we homed locally until their return to their permanent home in July 2021.
Contributions for the Tadcaster Community Patchwork Project finally came to an end after starting a year earlier. A wide range of designs and techniques were used by many people in the local community. The finished wall hanging will be on display in the Barn once completed.
The Quaker Burial Ground was looking neglected and so a group of gardening volunteers were established to care for the site so that it could be a more inviting site for the community to use, whilst also encouraging bio-diversity and wildlife. The first sessions finally took place in April as the Covid 19 restrictions began to ease slightly. The images below show before and after shots of the steps.
In response to increasing concerns about children’s mental health we started our worry monster project for local Children’s Services. 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.
There’s a fabulous organisation in East Yorkshire called “Knit for Nowt” that co-ordinates the making of knitted and crocheted worry monsters, unfortunately they are unable to keep up with the demand from therapists etc. Tadcrafters have developed a sewing pattern for volunteers to use. . https://www.knitfornowt.org/
2020 was not a typical year for any of us. Despite all the hurdles and changes in direction we encountered we still managed to make quite a significant impact. We are in the process of creating an impact assessment involving the comments and feed back from our volunteers and supporters. If you would like to contribute (anonymously) please spend 5 minutes to complete this simple questionnaire https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/9PMR5LS
In the meantime this is a summary of some of the things we achieved in 2020
“These are so lovely; I wasn’t expecting anything like this. My children are going to be so happy. I almost want to cry.” Recipient of our Christmas Stockings and Hat & Scarf sets from Selby District Foodbank.
This month we donated 196 Christmas stockings, 15 scarves, 20 hats, 24 knitted toys, 18 chocolates with knitted covers and 15 baby cardigans, hats and bootees to Spirit of Christmas and 100 Christmas stockings, 14 hat and scarf sets and 6 cosy chocolate oranges went to Selby District Food Bank. both organisations help families who are desperately in need of a little sparkle at Christmas
“… thanks to the loyal volunteers who while the hours away making things to provide joy for other people who they are unlikely to meet. We have already squirrelled, about 8 hats, scarves, chocolates away for children in Doncaster as well as 2 of the baby outfits and boots. These will be well received by families concerned who are in one of the lowest income areas in the UK. We hope to give the rest away in our shop that will be open to 300 low income families in Selby. Your team does an amazing job and we appreciate being beneficiaries of some of the lovely items you have made”
Ronnie (and Diane) Munro, Spirit of Christmas
Among lots of other donations this month we gave 12 Quilts, 10 blankets, 20 baby cardigans, 20 hats and 15 bootees to Martin House Children’s Hospice.
“Thank you for your kind donation of patchwork cot quilts, knitted baby clothes and bonding squares. They have been so well received by our care team and have instantly been put to use! We really appreciate your support, thank you for all your help to Martin House.”
Emily SharmanRegional Fundraiserfor Martin House Children’s Hospice (North & East Yorkshire)
The Hollyhocks on Ingleby Drive pumping station were looking spectacular, especially to the bees. A big improvement on the 7′ high nettles right across the plot two years ago.
“Thank you so much for the cushion and drain bag you created and provided for breast cancer patients at St. James’s in Leeds. I had my operation in April and was so touched when I came out of theatre to receive these beautiful gifts. I was obviously feeling vulnerable and it gave me such a boost. I wanted you to know how much I appreciated it. Many thanks for your kindness and your crafting. It really did make a difference, Cathy.”
In May 2020 we supplied 50 Heart-shaped cushions and 56 matching drain bags to St. James Hospital breast cancer surgery ward.
During the month of April Tadcrafters made and donated 62 sets of scrubs for Leeds and York hospitals and in the region of 400 uniform wash bags. These have been donated to frontline workers in organisations such as St. James, LGI, Harrogate, Pinderfields, Airedale and York Hospitals, GP practices in Leeds and York, a Community Mental Health team, community support workers looking after vulnerable people in their own homes and care homes in the local area. There have also been many more people using Tadcrafters’ instructions to make and donate any number of additional bags.
This is just a small sample of the comments we have received:
I just wanted to say a massive thank you for all of your help, now and in the past. Your group have provided so much support to our hospitals and you have really had a huge impact. The staff are all so grateful for your support with scrubs and bags. Maya Liversidge, York Teaching Hospital Charity.
Evi Matless Estate Manager of Popple Well Springs care home in Tadcaster said “A huge thank you to Su and all the team for supplying my on-site care team with uniform wash bags. What a fantastic idea and greatly appreciated”
“I gave them out to our Doctors and Nurses today. Without a doubt they are the best ones we’ve had. I’ve been able to give 2 to the people working in the hot hubs which is really important” said Paula Morris from York Medical Group.
In thanking Tadcrafters, Caroline, from Tudor House Care Home in Selby said “ Just received my bags thank you very much. They will be a great help and a real boost to morale. xxx”
“This is such a lovely thing for our staff and very much appreciated”. Nikki Pranket Meadow Lodge Home Care, Sherburn –in-Elmet
“Well done to you and the team. You guys really are brilliant – thank you“. Jenny, Frontline worker
We made 23 YorKits that went to Educate the Kids in Mombasa, Kenya
“Thank you to all at Tadcrafters for sending out hygiene packs for the girls, such a great gift” Educate the Kids
We donated out first bug hotel to The Barn and our first hedgehog lodge to Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. We later donated a bug hotel and a hedgehog lodge to Little Land, just out side Tadcaster, where Mal the rescued hedgehog now lives.
In 2019, amongst other things, we’ve managed to use recycled fabric and yarn to make and donate:
299 personal effects bags for St. Leonard’s Hospice
181 heart cushions and 54 drain bags for St James Hospital
97 twiddlemuffs mainly for York Teaching Hospital Charity
87 blankets and quilts mainly for Age UK at York Hospital
55 snufflemats for the RSPCA, Dogs Trust and Hearing Dogs
2170m bunting mainly to decorate Tadcaster
100 Christmas stockings to Leeds Baby Bank, HomeStart York & Acomb food bank.
20+ Hygiene kits, 111 hats, 18 scarves, gloves, jumpers…
…and we have also sent 421 bras to Smalls for All this year.
12th December 2019
“…a huge thank you on behalf of the staff and the dogs, for the snuffle mats you made for them. They all love them!” -James Jones, Dog Welfare Officer at the Beatrice Wright Centre for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People (with Jaffa, below)
We donated 100 Christmas stockings to HomeStart York, Leeds Baby Bank and York foodbank (Acomb). All these organisations help struggling families with young children. We also gave them knitted hats, scarves and jumpers.
“Thank you so much for your wonderful donations of Christmas Stockings for our volunteers to give to the children that they support this Christmas. They are delightful, in such lovely colours and designs, and the fabrics are gorgeous!”
Hilary Norris, Home-Start York
We started our TadGrafters group who recycle wood to make things like insect hotels and hedgehog lodges for local wildlife.
We have now donated over 2000 bras to “Smalls for All” to literally support women in developing countries!
We helped to decorate Tadcaster with around a mile of bunting to welcome the UCI World Road Cycling Championships which was distributed around local businesses and public areas.
We sent 224 heart cushions and 74 matching drain bags to St. James Hospital, Leeds over the 12 months.
“On Wednesday I was in St James hospital having a mastectomy a very dark day for me!
After a long gruelling day I was presented with a shoulder cushion and what a lovely
Surprise it was and I decided to write to you to say thank you
You made such a difference. It is pretty and practical and has been my constant companion”
“Your efforts make a very difficult time more bearable”
“I would like to say a HUGE thank you to you…. I was unfortunately recently diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy … at St James’ hospital. I was given a heart pillow and a drain bag by my breast care nurse the day after surgery… This pillow is still my best friend and it goes everywhere with me. Could you please pass on my upmost gratitude to all the kind sewers who make these items. The pillow not only provides comfort to my scar but also to my soul as it’s caught a few tears.”
Patients at St. James hospital
We have recently given snufflemats to the RSPCA in York, Hearing Dogs, and The Dogs Trust in Leeds.
“Thank you for the wonderful snuffle mats you brought us today.
I know the dogs will love sniffing out treats from them! I have attached a couple of images of one of our dogs enjoying one this afternoon. Bailey was kept entertained for quite some time!
Thank you again for thinking of our dogs. It really is appreciated.”
Media Assistant (Leeds and Manchester), Dogs Trust
The Tadcaster Beavers helped us to make them
We made over 200 knitted and crocheted daffodils that were donated to the Marie Curie Daffodil Appeal which helped them raise funds in our area to care for people with a terminal illness.
We sent 71 Patient Property bags to St. Leonard’s Hospice
We facilitated and ran a number of lantern making workshops so that many people could participate in the Tadcaster Lantern Parade. An estimated 400-500 people took part.
We made over 3500 knitted and crocheted poppies which were displayed in the Riley Smith Hall, around the memorial and the fabulous display at Selby Abbey. We certainly did our bit towards the WW1 Centenary Commemorations.
We helped 1st Tadcaster Brownies make a snufflemat each which were delivered to The Dogs Trust in Leeds, and RSPCA in York. The girls really enjoyed reusing old school and brownie uniforms to make them.
Tadcrafters featured live on Radio York Breakfast show with Joanita Mussisi to celebrate the 60th birthday of Blue Peter.
Tadcrafters won the Yorkshire Post’s Rural Awards Community Group of the Year. All our hard work for worthy causes and contribution to the community has been recognised across Yorkshire.
Ingleby Drive Pumping Station Garden area was planted earlier this year with seeds from the “Grow wild project” (www.growwilduk.com) has looked spectacular. The resulting seeds will be harvested and used on the rest of the plot along with other donated seeds.
Days for Girls
22 lovely Days for Girls kits were sent to Kenya in September.
“Please pass on our thanks to all the people who have had an input into providing these (kits) whether by sewing or donating towards the other items in the kits. This particular batch will be going to class 7 girls (13 year olds) at Kampi Ya Samaki Primary School in the Lake Baringo area of Kenya. The kits will be delivered personally by a group of us who are travelling to Kenya at the end of October this year and will help girls to attend school every day of the month and hopefully not fall behind the boys in academic achievement.”
Beryl, Secretary, Friends of Meisori School, Kenya.
We know that the things we make can make a big difference to people’s lives but It’s always lovely to hear from people who appreciate our work. This came to the Tadcrafters mailbox this month:
“I would like to say a HUGE thank you to you, especially Lynda. I was unfortunately recently diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy at St James’ hospital. I was given a heart pillow and a drain bag by my breast care nurse the day after surgery, with a lovely note attached from Lynda who had made the pillow. This pillow is still my best friend and it goes everywhere with me. Could you please pass on my upmost gratitude to Lynda and all the kind sewers who make these items. The pillow not only provides comfort to my scar but also to my soul as it’s caught a few tears.”
Tadcrafters are part of the TEMPT (Tadcaster Events Management Project Team) who have been shortlisted for a North Yorkshire County Council Volunteer of the year award. This picture shows some TEMPT bunting, made by Tadcrafters of course.
22 Days for Girls washable feminine hygiene kits, made entirely by Tadcrafters, set off on their journey to an entire class of year 7 girls in Kenya to arrive later this year.
In August 2018 we received this message after another 33 heart cushions and 8 drain bags were sent to St. James’ Hospital in Leeds:
“Hi Tadcrafters, I would like to say a HUGE thank you to you, especially Lynda. I was unfortunately recently diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy” at St James’ hospital. I was given a heart pillow and a drain bag by my breast care nurse the day after surgery, with a lovely note attached from Lynda who had made the pillow. This pillow is still my best friend and it goes everywhere with me. Could you please pass on my upmost gratitude to Lynda and all the kind sewers who make these items. The pillow not only provides comfort to my scar but also to my soul as it’s caught a few tears.”
The gardening project at Ingleby Drive Pumping station is blooming. August 2018
Another 23 personal effects bags were donated to St. Leonard’s Hospice in August 2018
We have now donated over 200 bags in the last year.
“We love them all !!!!!…the pomegranate fabric was amazing !!!!!
I have given Jenny one of our social workers the drawstring bags for her work in pre bereavement with children and young people, she loves the bright screen print style bags !!!!”
Matron, St. Leonard’s Hospice, August 2018
Another 8 Blankets and scarves donated to Age UK at York Hospital to provide warmth to people being transported home. August 2018
Poppy wall hangings being prepared for the WW1 100 year commemorations coming up in November.
As part of the Tadcaster Arts Festival in July we had a visit from Neil, who runs wood-turning courses from his workshop in York. He kindly allowed Tadcrafters to try their hand at making light pulls and the bodies for stitch unpickers. (www.workerinwood.co.uk)
These heart-shaped cushions are given to the breast surgery outpatients ward.
They give comfort and security to women who have surgery and provide protection from bumps when out and about during their recovery.
A cushion is worn under the arm pit supported by the shoulder strap which is worn across the body.
The first batch of 30 went to St. James’ hospital in Leeds in April 2018
Often patients arrive at hospital in their nightclothes or other light clothing and don’t have anything else with them when they are returned home by Age UK, York. 21 blankets, 9 scarf/hat sets and 6 scarves were donated to Age UK York in April 2018.
“Thank you and all the rest of the Tadcrafters for such a marvellous effort! Please pass on my thanks and compliments to everyone who was involved with this.”
James Player Deputy Chief Officer, Age UK, York.
…a very big thank you to all of you –the blankets and squares we are receiving are amazing !
They are put to very good use to people who need a little warmth and /or comfort on their travels home..
They have been so gratefully received –I only wish you could see some of the faces when the patient knows they can keep the blanket –priceless !!
Many thanks and please, please do keep knitting …
Bev Ward, Home From Hospital Organiser, Age UK York, York District Hospital
People and organisations that donate items are essential participants in the Tadcrafters activities.
These gorgeous fabrics were donated by Vanilla Interiors in Tadcaster in April 2018
We sometimes have some unusual projects that are suitable for our more skilled crafters. These are 3 of 4 donkeys that were donated in April 2018 to the “Donkey Sanctuary.”
“Thank you so much for the four beautiful knitted donkeys which arrived safely in their wonderful packing. I love their bright colours and kind faces. I am sure they will sell quickly and the money raised go towards keeping all our donkeys safe and healthy.”- Community fundraising team,
The Donkey Sanctuary
Thank you for our last delivery. The cheeky bumble bee charms are beautiful !
Ann and the gang at St Leonards Hospice
We make Snuffle mats to be donated to rescue homes like the Dogs’ Trust so that animals have stimulating activities and treats.
Animals such as dogs and cats will be more relaxed if they have worked their brain hard. Giving them a job or a challenge can also help prevent problem behaviours, such as barking from boredom, stealing items to chew and hyperactivity.
The first 4 snufflemats were donated to The Dogs Trust in Leeds in March 2018
Tadcrafters contributed to 20 Days for Girls kits that arrived in Kenya
January/February 2018- Tadcrafters held workshops at Riverside School, Rainbows and with the general public for children and grown-ups to make over 300 lanterns for the 2018 Lantern Parade
We had an extra session to finish off the poppies for Selby Abbey
5 blankets and 4 twiddlemuffs were given to Highfields Care home
In conjunction with Tadcaster Library we made and distributed boxes for every day of Advent to help promote local businesses. We called it TAdvent.
We took part in the Methodists’ Christmas tree Festival and held a stall at the Christmas Market
We supported the St. James’ Hospital, Leeds breast outpatients’ department by having a stall at their fundraising for spa days event.
1048 “gently worn” bras were sent to Smalls for All which is a Scottish Charity which collects and distributes underwear to help women and children in Africa. They help those living in orphanages, slums, Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps, schools and hospitals. http://smallsforall.org/
“Your latest bundle is amazing !!! I have given our social work team a number of small bags now for special little pre bereavement items and the rather luxurious purple silk draw string bags are with her for the next people/youngsters or children who we will meet”
Ann Cairns, Matron, St. Leonard’s Hospice (Nov 2017)
We were joined by Adam Tomlinson from Radio York who broadcast for two hours from our November 2017 drop-in session to help promote their “Knit for North Yorkshire” scarf knitting appeal.
In November 2017 Tadcrafters were voted Silver in the Inspirational Business Category of the Minster FM Listener Choice Awards.
In November 2017 Tadcrafters won NYCC Volunteer of the Year . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUKY-r-y5Ng
Lynne ran a workshop in Skipton with a women’s community group
In Autumn 2017 many different groups of people helped us with the poppy display for the Selby Abbey end of WW1 commemorations in 2018 including people at the Community Discovery Day and the 2434 Church Fenton Squadron Air Cadets.
In October 2017 we donated 30 personal effects bags to St. Leonard’s Hospice. These bags are used to hand back a patient’s belongings to their bereaved relatives.
In October 2017 we celebrated TadApple Day by organising a community event to press lots of apples into apple juice.
In October 2017 we celebrated International Day f the Girl with pupils from across York (and Brazil!) and Days for Girls as an event in york Minster.
In October 2017 we assisted at a Days for Girls workshop at Manor School. Pupils later visited Malawi and taught pupils there how to make the kits for themselves.
In September 2017 we supported the amazing Issy Sanderson and York Days for Girls at TSYS “Thread” group, a workplace crafting group in York.
In August 2017 we donated lots of Personal effects bags to York Hospital and St. Leonard’s Hospice
We have featured in videos about the Tour de Yorkshire and its legacy.
We supported the launch of the York Hospital Dementia Appeal and their twiddlemuff making session.
We are recycling our Tour De Yorkshire bunting as much as possible. About 1000m is being sent to Goa, India to decorate 16 street schools and over 50m has gone to Worcester Snoezelen
The knitted bunting is being remade into twiddlemuffs and fabric from the giant bunting is being cut up to be used in the Days for Girls hygiene kits.
We decorated Tadcaster ready for the Tadcaster start of the Tour de Yorkshire on Saturday 29th April 2017 (using as much recycled and donated fabric as possible) to promote local businesses and support the community.
We co-ordinated other decorations and community events in Tadcaster for the TdY/Tadcaster Cycling Festival in April 2017.
We collect “gently worn” bras that are sent to developing countries where the wearing of underwear is a symbol of status for women and therefore they are less likely to be victims of abuse. In July 2017 we had collected over 800.
We have donated woolly hats and premature baby clothes that will go to help Syrian refugees in Greece and projects in Gambia.
We supported Days for Girls in York Minster to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th 2017
We’ve done some schmoozing with some famous people including Sir Gary Verity and Christian Prudhomme from the Tour de Yorkshire, and Nigel Adams, our local MP.
We got a like from Comedian Susan Calman and a round of applause from the audience at her show
We made lanterns (in conjunction with Faceless Arts) as part of the bridge re-opening celebration parade on 19th February 2017
We have made poppies for the Cenataph in Tadcaster and to sell to support the poppy appeal. We will be supporting the Selby Abbey poppy display for the 2018 commemorations.
We make Twiddlemuffs and blankets which are donated to residential care homes such as Highfields in Barkston Ash, York Hospital and private individuals. Twiddlemuffs are calming for people with dementia.
We make feminine hygiene kits for Days for Girls (York) which are sent to places such as Gambia, Nepal, Pakistan, India and some UK inner cities. We use donated fabric, much of which would otherwise be thrown away. (e.g. we made 112 shields and 294 liners for kits that went out to Gambia in November 2016). Days for Girls in York also seed fund workshops for women in developing countries and support refugees and asylum seekers in the UK.
We have supplied knitted clothes to the premature baby unit at the LGI. (October 2016)
We decorated Tadcaster in preparation for the Tour de Yorkshire 2016 recycling many donated sheets and duvet covers. (April 2016)
We started by decorating the approaches to the temporary foot bridge (Sonny’s Bridge)