I am now 6 months into my internship with Craft Aid International, and I have learnt so much. Some highlights include learning about...
- The joys of the sizzix machine. This is a key piece of craft equipment we use in our therapeutic sessions. Kind of like magic! Maybe even better than a wand (although my experience of wands is limited…)
- What a larch cone is.
- How to tweet! (i.e. online communication, rather than speaking bird language…)
- How to cook 360 rashers of bacon in a few hours.
- The names of fonts. Oh how I love a good font.
- How to take phone calls. I bought the tray below for Susie this Christmas, because I use the phrase on it a little too much.
I am now learning to take notes when I pick up the phone!
And more generally, I’ve been learning about how a small charity (with big plans) operates, about fundraising, web-design, events-organisation, management, communication, administration and so much more.
However, perhaps the thing I have been struck by most since my time at Craft Aid International is the importance and beauty of inclusivity.
And it is not just the participants in the UK and Peru who have had their lives changed by their involvement with Craft Aid, the volunteers have also been inspired and had their lives enriched too. At one of our recent volunteer-training sessions one lady exclaimed, “There can’t be many 85 year olds who’ve learnt how to do screen-printing today. Never stop learning!” There are so many more quotes I could write here as an example of things our volunteers say they've have gained from their time at Craft Aid.
And then there’s my own experience: I graduated from uni suffering from exhaustion and feeling low. Since moving to Harrogate to work with Craft Aid, I have been recovering and regaining my health. My internship has reenergised me and has helped rebuild my confidence. The participants and volunteers have really made me feel at home.
We often thank our supporters and volunteers with the phrase, “Thank you for being part of the picture”. For me (and I don’t think I’m alone in this), being part of the picture has been a massive privilege. As a Christian, I believe that God welcomes us all, whoever we are. And I think Craft Aid displays this inclusivity wonderfully.
(More on inclusivity from Natasha in our next post.)